“In a manner, the bench is the apotheosis of urban life, the city’s most democratic place and a forum from which to watch life happen. In a commercialised public arena in which we have become recognised as consumers and customers rather than citizens, the bench remains an unalloyed public good.” Edwin Heathcote, FT
This excellent essay by FT architecture critic, Edwin Heathcote looks at the role of street furniture – public seating, streetlights, newsstands and post boxes – in a fast-changing urban landscape. Populating the city’s liminal spaces like familiar friends, I always loved the newspaper dispensers in New York (do they still exist?) and the green metal chairs in Paris’s Jardin des Tuileries.
Like silent supporting actors in oh-so-many classic movies, they’re not just essential street kit for locals, they also serve as perfect photo props for tourists. Here’s a favourite photo of James Lee Byars’ The Golden Sphere surrounded by the essential green chairs (top) (more…)
“The lighting is so great in there, and also, it’s frankly going people watching too. When you’re in that waiting room, everyone is wearing The Row and staring at their phones and trying not to be seen, but we’re not at the plastic surgeon—it’s okay, we can all relax! We’re drinking our lemon water and all hanging out together wearing our trousers.”
Rachel Tashjian, Into The Gloss(more…)
“This is a city filled with people who thrive on trying to stay culturally relevant, and thus, have anxiety over not being relevant enough. It leads to an obsession over where the chic people are hanging out—the artists, the writers, the avant-garde. The fascination with the next big thing is why you probably read about Williamsburg for a while in the early 2010s, a media treatment that eventually broadened to Brooklyn overall. The Brooklynification of the world is well-documented, synonymous with hipster and reclaimed wood, and gentrification.”
Serena Dai, Bon Appetit(more…)
“Being at Gap in 1998 and 1999 was like being Tina Turner at the 1985 Grammys. She won everything that year. She was the most celebrated. The most eyes were on her. Everyone was looking at her and following her every move. And that’s what it was like at Gap.” (more…)