People often say that their hometowns or favorite cities are unique. "There’s no place like New York," they declare. This is true, up to a point—no two cities are exactly alike—but, broadly speaking, it’s nonsense. Almost every modern city is like New York, because nearly every city is substantially like every other city: There are traffic jams and suburbs and hip, formerly industrial neighborhoods and decaying ones. But Venice? Venice is different. There’s no place like Venice.
The same quality that made the Queen of the Adriatic a world power in medieval and Renaissance Europe—her amphibious nature, unassailably positioned out in a lagoon, her finger on the pulse of [...]
Outside my third-floor window, in a narrow, leafy lane of Bandra West, a suburb of Mumbai, a crow had got itself stuck in some leftover Christmas decorations that were hanging off a tree. One of its feet was caught in string and the crow was dangling in mid-air. As it became more aware of its situation, it became more frantic, wrapping the string around its foot more securely. I’m not an animal activist and crows are not likable but I could not watch it die a slow, painful, and terrified death.
It was too high up and too far away from my building for me to be able to [...]
Would turning down office and building lights in the city during the evening actually make streets safer? Sure, why the hell not.
Richard Florida's academic clients like to call Creative Class a "think tank." But his company, Creative Class, actually calls itself a "global advisory services firm," which is correct. Apart from the corporate clients—Goldman Sachs, Citi Group, IBM—for whom they advise on how to reach the "creative class," there's work geared to developers and real estate folks, corporate services and "talent management." And then there's his other clients: cities and city-states, and their business-development corporations.
Now Florida is the "anchor" for the Atlantic's handsome new Atlantic Cities site, (as well as a senior editor for the Atlantic). So the publication—which looks good! Love that Atlantic!—doesn't have to bother [...]
I became obsessed with Corsican mint a few years ago, after seeing a photograph of a courtyard garden, which-if memory serves-featured little more than ten or twelve large white stepping stones magically hovering above a translucent carpet of the Mentha requienii. While I had no desire to impose this kind of 'modern' aesthetic onto my own garden-which was already packed full of similar obsessions-I began to research. The plant, I quickly learned, has a preference for a 'climate zone' of 6 through 9-fairly warm– and though Washington Heights is technically a zone 6A, I find that plants do best if I treat the neighborhood as a zone 5. What [...]