Yahoo! Mindset Search is an interesting and powerful search engine for research and, strangely enough, shopping. I did a Mindset search on my name: David W. Boles. It takes a little while for the full returns to load because Mindset interactively parses each website for relevance.
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Kevin Lynch is a magnificent writer who expresses the heart and mind of the city beyond simple infrastructure and services. Lynch presses beyond the ordinary for meaning and memory in cities and he imbues each of the senses in the expectation of what a city must provide for those who live and prosper within the city skin. Consider this quote from his monograph, The Image of the City:
The art of shaping cities for sensuous enjoyment is an art quite separate from architecture or music or literature. It may learn a great deal from these other arts, but it cannot imitate them.
Or ponder this thought from his Good City Form monograph:
Decisions about urban policy, or the allocation of resources, or where to move, or how to build something, must use norms about good and bad. Without some sense of better, any action is perverse. When values lie unexamined, they are dangerous.
Kevin Lynch’s vision and writing are consistently breathtaking. Take a trip through his cities on the page and prepare to catch more than your breath.
Arthur Miller died. He was 89. When I was in the M.F.A. Theatre program at Columbia University I was fortunate to meet Arthur Miller at a staged reading of a new Arthur Kopit play called Bone the Fish at the old Circle Rep “garage” theatre in the Village near Christopher Street. Kopit’s play was a semi-send up of David Mamet’s successful Speed the Plow Broadway play.
Kopit later changed the title to Road to Nirvana when the play had a full Circle Rep production later in the season. The staged reading starred Sigourney Weaver and it was directed by her husband, Jim Simpson.
I was working as Arthur Kopit’s assistant on the show and I was stationed in the back row of the theatre to take notes. A beautiful young woman came up and asked me to save her the last empty seat next to me. I did not want to commit to saving her seat because the theatre was packed and more people were streaming into the tiny space. Before I could answer her she winked, smiled and disappeared.
I had the pleasure and the honor to interview Annette Lareau last week concerning her fine book Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. The book is a fascinating ethnographic study of 12 Black and White middle-class, working-class and poor families and it explores how space, interaction with authority and exposure to the idea of an aesthetic help form children.
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