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Posted inArt

Remix the Urban Jungle in the Cloud

I suspect most of us take the designs of our cities and streets for granted, at least when they’re working the way we want them to. But planning a single street requires myriad decisions. A nifty new web app called Streetmix, made by the current fellows of Code for America, lets you think about and play around with all those choices.

Posted inOpinion

Imagining the Payphones of the Future

I suspect everyone who’s wandered around New York — or any major city, really — has had the experience of walking past a payphone and wondering about its fate. Public phones often strike me as the ultimate objects in transition, relics from a pre-digital age dotting the cityscape. It may be a coincidental sign of the times that the vendor contracts for New York City’s more than 11,000 (!) payphones will expire next year.

Posted inOpinion

The High Line Gets Drrrty

The High Line Section 2 is New York City’s latest stab at utopia, so it only makes sense that people love it. But maybe they love it a little too much? Gothamist publishes a photo essay of couples canoodling on the High Line lawn, and all of a sudden, the lawn gets closed for cleaning. Cleaning of what, exactly?

Posted inArt

A Tour of the High Line’s New Section 2

Section 2 of the High Line, an elevated railway running down Manhattan’s Tenth Avenue renovated by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro that has quickly become an urban design icon, opens to the public today. But visitors to the park yesterday were greeted with a soft-opening preview, complete with popsicle vendors, public art projects and plenty of opportunities to lounge in the grass. The new section may not cause as much stir as the launch of the first, but the 10-block stretch from 20th to 30th street is full of subtle surprises, from flyover walkways to hidden forests.

Posted inOpinion

Historic Chelsea Seminary Building to Become Generic Condo

The General Theological Seminary in Chelsea (located on Ninth Ave between 20th and 21st Street) was established in 1817 and remained a holdout of patrician architecture for almost 2 centuries. Now, to relieve its mounting debt, the seminary is selling off buildings and land to luxury developers. The designs for the latest redevelopment were just released by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and guess what? They look terrifyingly bland.