Monday, July 19, 2010


Most people who know me know I am obsessed with both history and geography.  I have found a site that combines these two special things: The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.  The site allows you to zoom in on each map and see an impressive level of detail.  I have spent, and will no doubt spend many more, hours pouring over the 18th and 19th century maps of California and New York.  One of the most interesting finds was viewing this 1844 map of New York Harbor and comparing it with a very similar harbor map from 1866.  You can see how quickly Manhattan grew, and Brooklyn too, in just 22 years.  

The natural features of the harbor and shoreline are detailed beautifully in both maps.  There were so many creeks and swamps and estuaries before it was all paved over and industrialized! A fascinating exhibit currently showing at MoMA outlines urban planning and design solutions for returning a level of natural interface between land and sea here in New York.  I highly recommend seeing it before it closes in the fall.

First map image via

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Here are some shots from our 4th of July/ jam-band festival trip up to Maine... moody, saturated photos courtesy of my new favorite invention: the shake-it app.  It's been a hot summer so far and I am already dreaming and planning for Cape Cod!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I just saw Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love, staring Tilda Swinton. An Italian melodrama full of passion, haute cuisine, chic fashion and Milanese architecture, the film features the Villa Necchi Campiglio, an imposing home built between 1932-35 in an art deco meets rationalist (also known as fascist) style. The movie was fantastic, for many reasons, but the production design by Francesca Di Mottola is utterly phenomenal.
Di Mottola and Guadagnino show Milan in all it's sharp, aloof grayness. The house is a brick an mortar incarnation of the strange, intensely private and intensely privileged lives of the industrial elite in northern Italy. Everything that feels vaguely depressing and oppressive about the city seems honed into a glossy marble slab in the film. The house is currently a museum open to the public, but for filming was made into a rich, luxurious series rooms that, one after another, each seem to invent yet another shade of brown. I can't get it out of my head!

I cannot wait to visit the house the next time I am in Milan, and I will most definitely be seeing the movie again to soak up the visuals a second time. For more images and information, check out the T magazine article written by Armand Limnander.

Images via travelpod and