Archive for the ‘cities’ Category

“When Hipsters Dream of the 1890s” – an abridged version of my hipster essay is now in Briarpatch Magazine

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Briarpatch Magazine, one of Canada’s oldest lefty political mags, has published an abridged version of my earlier essay on heritage hipsters and colonialism redux. If you want to read the original and longer post (with a far drier title) it is here: Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c. Thanks to Briarpatch for republishing this essay & thanks to its chief …read more

Post-mortem on the old Eaton’s building: an interview with Cesar Pelli

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The TD Bank building and Eaton’s building by Cesar Pelli, photo © Michael de Courcy, mid-1970s This is not a true post-mortem, since Cesar Pelli‘s 1973 Eaton’s building has not actually been demolished—and how rare it is to be able to say that in Vancouver, now one of North America’s capitals of demolition. However, the building might as well have been demolished because it has effectively disappeared. Pelli, one of the …read more

Turbo Architecture

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

This example of blobitecture is being proposed for Vancouver, apparently to be squeezed between two older buildings on the waterfront in the historic neighbourhood known as Gastown. There has been no public hearing regarding the building, so the public have taken to social media to express what seems to be more displeasure than pleasure. Celebrated former city director of Planning Ray Spaxman has spoken out against it, as have a …read more

Colonial aesthetics and Ralph Lauren

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

In a direct line from my earlier post on the heritage hipster style as a settler colonial aesthetic, here is another exhibit in the colonial museum of fashion: Ralph Lauren using genocide-era vintage photographs of native men in western dress as part of its recent marketing campaign. Not surprisingly this campaign has not gone down well. Sherman Alexie This week in colonial propaganda masquerading as history, we have Ralph Lauren …read more

Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Men in British Columbia, 1859, one in a newly discovered collection of early photographs of white settlers and First Nations in B.C. Via Vancouver Sun © Royal British Columbia Museum, reprinted with permission An abridged version of this essay has been published in the May/June 2015 issue of Briarpatch Magazine I am probably as bored of casual hipster-slagging as you are. In fact I may be as fed up with …read more

Jón Gnarr, Mayor of Reykjavik, on his dream for Iceland

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Photo of Reykjavik by Gunnar Steinn / Made by Iceland Jón Gnarr, mayor of Reykjavik and member of The Sugarcubes, shared Made by Iceland‘s photo on Facebook and wrote this: My dream (It’s pretty naive but I just have to get it off my chest) I think Iceland offers a unique opportunity for the world. It is a small community with only 350.000 inhabitants, highly modern and educated within less than …read more