In which John discusses the absolute insanity of front yards. Turf grass is the biggest irrigated crop in the US; we irrigate grass almost exclusively with drinkable water; also, you will be surprised to learn that grass is INEDIBLE. Plus, I dislike mowing the lawn when it is 115 outside.
Lots of people (particularly people who work in the lawn business) will note that turf grass is a carbon sink (particularly if you mow the lawn frequently). This is true, but there are far more efficient carbon sinks that don’t require so much water. ”
Some have argued that we should stop using Detroit as groundzero for disasterbation. I disagree. The situation in Detroit has inspired more young people to get involved with city planning, economic development, and local politics. Artists, entrepreneurs, builders, farmers, VC’s, city planners, etc., are flocking to Detroit to try to save it. Shrinking cities phenomenon has an upside and a positive outcome, and that is more civic involvement, and a better quality of life.
Anyone who has poked around Detroit or even just seen the now ubiquitous images of its sprawling desolation is bound to have conflicting reactions. The city is a staggering spectacle, but the question of what exactly it is you’re looking at—or, more precisely, seeing—is something of an ethical and aesthetic litmus test in an age of so many artfully composed portraits of devastation. Detroit’s photographers manage to turn suffering into a still-life. Read more …
Clever plays to connect the slow food movement (in the act/resolve sense of the word) with fast food movement (in the physical activity sense) have been done, but how about this fresh feat? With invitation-only and pop-up eateries literally popping up all over the place, it couldn’t have been long before somebody decided to serve an exclusive meal on public transit. Those somebodies are Michael Cirino, Daniel Castano, and Andrew Rosenberg of New York supper club a razor, a shiny knife. Along with a large crew of 60 people that includes Jonny Cigar (Winetology), Mike Lee (Studiofeast), and Linda Lou (A Cheeky Chef), the hosts treated 12 guests to a 6 course lunch that took 5 months to plan. Though each guest was asked to front $100 for the epicurean adventure they didn’t know too many details about, the charge was refunded to them. The lucky individuals were in for a surprise as they embarked on the New York City Subway L Train during an off-peak period from 8th Avenue to Canarsie, with a culinary delight presented to them every three stations. Food was prepared and plated in apartments near the route, on station platforms, and in the train car. Even “The Great Gatsby” was read in all of this controlled chaos. Photos and details of the event can also be found here. According to sgoralnick, the lunch featured the following 6-course menu:
6th Avenue: Hamchi Crudo, Bone Marrow, Trout Roe, Laproaig, Sweet Lime 3rd Avenue: Foie en Brioche, Port Wine, Raisin, Lorimer Street: Ramp Soup, Black Garlic, Cippolini, Morel, Thyme Morgan Avenue: Petit Filet Mignon, Pomme Puree, Asparagus Bushwick Avenue: Pepper Jam, St. Andre Cheese Sutter Avenue: Chocolate & Gold Leaf Panna Cotta, Raspberry Coulis
Unsuprisngly, transit officials were not too thrilled by this stunt, even though it was well-executed and probably well cleaned up after, so don’t expect this to happen on your local commute any time soon.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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