Small Streams


Wax On
November 23, 2013, 3:17 am
Filed under: art, awareness, business, cities, community, media, observer | Tags: , ,

Last week, I wrote about a tech workshop at Rough Trade East. But don’t go looking up “rough trade” on Craigslist, look it up in the New York Times which has a story on the new branch of Rough Trade in NYC. The old medium of vinyl is growing, perhaps not on a scale that economists recognize (e•con•o•mist, a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing — Oscar Wilde), but enough that more and more people have access to the joy of records.

“As more and more business moves online and also to the malls,” [Martin Mills of Beggars Group, an independent record company] wrote in an email, “there is an increasing countervailing human demand for community, for localness, for tangible beauty, for specialist knowledge, for range, for retail experiences that are not price-dependent but make you feel good.”



Subterraneans
January 2, 2011, 10:08 am
Filed under: awareness, cities, ecology, railbelt, technology, thinking, Tourism, walking | Tags:

This story in the NYTimes caught my fancy. It’s about urban adventurers, sewers, media, the wilderness, and the unconscious. Two or three men and a media entourage take a trip through the sewers and tunnels below New York.

Futurama and others have already explored NYC’s underground as metaphor, but these earnest explorers — one of them a climber of Mt. Everest — show the satisfactions of life in the urban wild.

When you’re not worried about getting caught or dying, . . . it’s really nice being underground.

Wilderness is, indeed, our refuge, though I would hope for one less smeared in feces. I also think of the brook corralled into a sewer and think that maybe it will see daylight again, someday.

I must also mention that writer Alan Feuer’s scene setting, commentary, and picaresque detail (cough drops and whisky for breakfast, anyone?) turns the travelog inside out in a delightful manner.



Crowds
September 14, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: cities, Pittsburgh, politics | Tags:

In regards to a recent Chris Briem post here’s a graphic on crowds.

Thanks, Dan



Secret Places
July 24, 2009, 4:30 am
Filed under: awareness, cities, photography, Pittsburgh, Tourism, walking

This book about Boston’s secret places had me thinking about the secret places in my own neighborhood and city.

There’s this tunnel in Highland Park that I’ve always wanted to share with people. Of course once a secret is shared or published it doesn’t become a secret anymore. The secret becomes familiar, even banal.

Then again, there are some things that are so encased in shadow and rumor that no amount of light and perspective will change our opinion of them as secret.

But if you want success in life or photojournalism, go with the obvious.