Saturday, February 20, 2010

Orchid Phalaenopsis

A dear friend sent me this orchid - Phalaenopsis -- on my 77th birthday when she learned that this was a special birthday in Japan. It is utterly gorgeous.

Blocked view

I have nothing against tall men; tall handsome men can be delightful. But when a tall man walks in front me on a crowded sidewalk, I am inordinately annoyed because he blocks the view of my path just like an SUV driving in front of me. There is always that perturbation arising from the uncertainty that it might at any time slow down and I might incur a rear end collision. I am above average in height; so, I must qualify and say, instead of tall men, men taller than I, and women, too. A tall big head in front of me, male or female, annoys me, too, in a theater; but there is no impending fear, is there, of bumping into it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

History again

History is nothing but a story,
said Thomas Carlyle.
The two words descend from historia.
So, history as an account falsifies,
by design or by default,
deliberately by embellishment or distortion,
thus concocting a fiction,
or else by reasoned selectivity,
or inadvertently by omission.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Cooper Union

Cooper Union's new building by Thom Mayne of the Morphosis, completed late last year, is an 9-story block with a gash in the middle. It is a "Le Corbusier for New York", a monument of the 20th Century Modernism, a fine exemplar of what I call "erectional architecture," asserting its external presence in command of the environment, the last of the breed, so to speak, of which Frank O. Gehry represents messier examples. The interior is dominated by the grand stairs that go straight up to the fourth floor, much too steep for sitting on, even for stepping up and down, existing more as a showy display than for daily circulation, for which monumental volume, classroom, studios, and offices are shoved around it along mundane double-decked corridors. The Lincoln Center development by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro is an effort in piecemeal assemblage, which accomodates the surrounding urban fabric more sensitively and perhaps better looks forward to the architecture of this century.