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In A Sense of Place, SOP 2.0 by Olivia4 Comments

A lot has been written about the emerging significance of identity politics in the last few years. I’m gonna try and join that chorus right now. A lot of what’s been written is heavily critical. Some have noticed how this re-shaping has the power to thrust the economy in a new and eager direction. I’m going to try and stay …

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In A Sense of Place, Cosmopolitan by Olivia1 Comment

I want to discuss the idea of the cosmopolitan on a national scale, with an entire country being a place. Exclusion is, I think, one of the cornerstones of nationalism. Not patriotism, the softer cousin of nationalism, and not the institution of citizenship, which is conceptually legitimate. Nationalism is sort of the extreme of those two ideas and practices. It …

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Comprehensive Placemaking

In A Sense of Place, Placemaking by Olivia1 Comment

I want to conceive of placemaking as an anti-gentrification measure; placemaking as an economic exercise. Lots of polically, legally, and ecnomically controllable factors prevent whole blocks, neighborhoods, and cities from having an established sense of place. Like some inner cities — total deserts, that are jobless and destitute from white flight, like in Chicago. Not that I’ve been to Chicago, …

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In Placelessness, A Sense of Place by Olivia1 Comment

Placelessness is borne, according of Edward Relph, out of standardization, replication, multiplying. Lots of large corporations of all types — food, lodging, whatever — predicate the production of their physical locations as being identical to all of its predecessors.When you walk into any store of X or Y chain in any part of the world, you’re supposed to have the …

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In Landscape, A Sense of Place by Olivia2 Comments

Places where I have seen people sleep around the city: on the benches in the lobby of the Gallatin building, on the subway benches, on the subway platform, on the sidewalk, on top of one of the long tables in Bobst, on the tile floor in Bobst, on a bench inside the clothing store where I used to work, with …

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Open House

In Suburbia, A Sense of Place by Olivia1 Comment

About two weeks ago I found out I’d have to move apartments by the middle of March. I was annoyed but also kind of excited. I began looking. I knew where I wanted to be. I’ve been in Bushwick for a year, but I never grew attached. It’s just loud and weird. I’ve always felt like I was on a …

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The Castle

In Architecture, A Sense of Place by OliviaLeave a Comment

In my view, the biggest problems with Mrs. Panther’s assessment of her home in JB Jackson’s “Living Outdoors with Mrs. Panther” are (1) the inauthenticity with which she loves and wants the home; that is, the reasons for her desire and affection are not legitimate; and (2) certain practical functions of the home are totally unusable to her, making it …

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Going to Court

In Utopias, A Sense of Place by Olivia1 Comment

Jane Jacobs’ picture of downtown hinges on the idea of diversity and the bringing-together of things that might not on their own. I myself am really enamoured of mixed-use spaces, which actively facilitate the comingling. Different types of businesses and different genres of spaces (parks, plazas, public art works, etc.) can be deliberately placed to attract people of different neighborhoods, …

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In Social life, A Sense of Place by Olivia2 Comments

Grassroots is a sort of model example of a social space, even though it is a private bar. Everyone who works there looks as if they could have been born behind the bar. The staff, the infrastructure, the prices haven’t changed in almost four years. The people and furniture are just getting more physically decrepit. The sounds, smells, feel are …

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In Orientation, A Sense of Place by Olivia1 Comment

I’ve been thinking about the process of acclimation, the internal shift, that happens after you move somewhere new, between your first few weeks and a few months in. When you first get there you don’t have a map in your head at all. You have to check your phone and the street signs and the big landmarks like parks and …

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Flora Avenue South

In Spirit, A Sense of Place by Olivia1 Comment

It’s different when you’re paying for it, but I wasn’t thinking about it when we got there, sort of late, sort of stumbling, we had to try the lockbox code like six or nine times to get it right. Inside it’s total dark. We’re home, it’s not our house. There’s like pet stuff lying around. Toys and balls and bed. …

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Take the J Train

In Experience, A Sense of Place by Olivia2 Comments

I went out this far once before, to get my hair cut. Usually my stop is Kosciuszko, or maybe Gates if the light is good and I feel like walking west up Broadway. The haircut was at 121st Street, in Kew Gardens, where the landscape shifted within just a block from total urbanity to actual lawns and fat colonial houses. …