The Daily Observer

A blog of urban issues, travel to obscure places, amateur photography, and blatant self-promotion.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Market in Whitechapel

As I start my work
they finish theirs

Walking down the market aisle
I see them disassemble
Pulling pipe from pipe
The now-collapsed skeleton of stands
glinting in the morning sun

or whatever is left to glint
Whatever steel is left unblemished
from years of rust

They will return, as I will
When the sun is overhead
When the noontime heat warms the pavement
awakening the smell of urine
from the stones beneath our feet

Cherries, headscarves, apples, sandals, mobiles
all stacked in pyramids, slightly overflowing
A man selling corn in a cup
branded as a healthy snack

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Construction Zone

 Nothing goes better together than pizza and model cities.

As promised in my last post, I now have an entry at the Winnipeg Art Gallery blog about my first attempt at a week-long city-building camp with kids. You can read about it here. Unfortunatley, part of my post was changed by the WAG Communications department (because they don't like Punnett squares?) so it does not reflect our actual process. To set the record straight: before we made our own city, we made some observations about Winnipeg. Then we slotted them into 4 categories (not 2, as implied by my entry on the Winnipeg Art Gallery site.) The categories and results were as follows:

The kids never were able to figure out what we might replace schools with. When I asked them why they did not want a school in their city, they responded "School is boring!" When I asked what they would do instead of going to school, they unanimously responded "Play video games." Then I presented the dillema: Who would make the video games if nobody went to school? An uncomfortable silence ensued.

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Building cities with children (part 2)

In a previous post, I discussed an experiment that I did while working for the Planning Property and Development at the City of Winnipeg. In this experiment, I asked children to design cities and neighbourhoods in which they would like to live. Although this experiment was a success, it seemed to me that half-an-hour was not long enough to generate really thorough designs of cities. Well, I'm back at it again, and this time the kids have an entire week.

As the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery Art Camps, I will be running a camp called Construction Zone (pdf), in which the children will get a chance to explore our city inside and out, watch people as they interact with public space, construct their own buildings, and fit them together into an entire neighbourhood. Once the camp starts, I will be posting the results on this blog, or on the WAG blog if they will let me!

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Washington DC: Congress Heights

When people tell me not to go somewhere but neglect to give me a good reason, I usually end up going there. And so it was that I ended up strolling down Congress Heights, generally considered the poorest neighbourhood in DC. As I strolled down Martin Luther King Avenue, I passed by the sprawling St. Elisabeths Hospital. Built in 1852 as an Insane Asylum, it is now being converted into the new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security. Nobody in DC noticed the irony in this.

St Elizabeths, making way for a new kind of insanity
There are also some intriguingly flashy stores on Martin Luther King Avenue, especially the ones that inhabit older buildings.

It all looks so appetizing, except perhaps the white bread

I also found a caution sign that I have never seen anywhere else. It seemed a bit cruel to me, but I suppose it's for everyone's safety.

I looked carefully, but could not find the Blind Pedestrian

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Washington DC: Metro trip to Eastern Market

Hop into the Metro station, take the Yellow line to L'Enfant Plaza, transfer to Blue line (east).

Outside the Eastern Market (actual market building not shown)

Inside the Eastern Market

Still inside the Eastern Market

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Library of Congress

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Hold

I am putting this blog on hold for the year. My workload is too heavy to write anything of quality.

However, I am happy to note that the Buttonbush photograph that I posted in this blog several years ago has been included in Encyclopedia Britannica.

Perhaps the same thing will happen if I post my photograph of the Prunus tomentosa.

Nanking Cherry