August 27, 2010

IF - Immovable

A simple charcoal drawing for this week.

August 20, 2010

How to Be Alone

A good poem finding redemption in loneliness.  Consider this your introvert service anouncement.

August 19, 2010

Highly Irreverent Mosque Being Constructed!

Just a guess - but I doubt my post will be pertaining to the particular mosque you are thinking about.

Construction is going on right now in Mecca on the Abraj Al Bait Towers.  It is not technically a mosque (that phrase sounds familiar) but will incorporate a prayer room capable of holding nearly 10000 people as well as several hotels (one which is a 7 star hotel) and a large shopping complex.  This beast of a building will be right across the street from the Kaaba, the most holy site in Islam. 

Architecturally this thing is a weird hybrid of a Las Vegas Casino, the Burj Khalifa, and Big Ben – with the emphasis on the casino.  While Islam has the potential to produce some very beautiful buildings it seem that the current leaders of the Arab world just can’t help but flaunting their bad taste with a building that dominates a world religion’s most sacred site with a literal mountain of tacky.

What really gets me is the shear commercial-ness of the whole thing.  It’s like its turning the Hajj into a trip to Disneyland.  My sense of beauty has been assaulted and I’m deeply ashamed that constructs such as this get the recourses of our world.  

So a word of advice to the owners of the "Mosque at Ground Zero" - if you survive your public relations disater, please hire a good architect.    

New york Part 4 - The Rest of the City

Just a sample of the rest of our time in the Big Apple (plus a few pictures from our first trip to NY)

New Cooper Union Building
Grand Central Station

The Guggenhiem
The United Nations (partially designed by Niemeyer)
The Main meeting hall at the UN
Central Park
Shake Shack
Brooklyn Bridge
Fun Subway Art Installations

August 18, 2010

New York Part 3 - The American Natural History Museum

 (note: due to bloggers new "picture uploader" some of the pictures are sideways.  Hopefully I will figure out how to fix this glitch in the future.)
The subway stop for the museum, complete with mosics of all kinds of animals.

The Wall of Biodiversity - officially Laura's favorite room.

Lifesize model of a Blue Whale.

Spider Monkeys!

There is a rumor that this mountain lion was killed by my Grandfather and given as a gift to the museum. 

The Rose center.  The big sphere in the middle is the planetarium and also a scale sun.

August 17, 2010

New York Part 2 – The High Line

To begin with,  a couple of off topic things:  First my test yesterday went alright (I did well on the vignettes but we’ll see about the MC) and second Laura and I went to go see the movie “Get Low” last night and it was one of the better movie that I have seen in a while.  So back to NY.
Early on Sunday morning Laura and I walked over to the High Line.  The High Line, NY’s newest park, was created out of an abandoned train track that weaves throughout Chelsea 3 stories up.  I actually blogged about it forever ago when it was still a proposal.  Funny thing about that post – the waterfalls are dead and gone but the High Line is there to stay.
If I was going to point to one architectural project from the last five years that embodies the best of the sustainable movement in architecture it would be the High Line.  It’s creative refurbishment and attention to detail stand out as well as its sense of playfulness (at one point there is an amphitheater that looks out over the street).  It feels a bit short at the moment but it is only 1/3 of the way built – and the second third is almost finished.
So my pictures are mostly of a bunch of architectural details with some growies sprouting up between them.  Also there wasn’t many people out because apparently New York like to sleep in on Sunday.