29 June 2010

News from the shore

As a potentially significant storm season looms, it may not be a good sign that competition for beach replenishment work is down.  Meanwhile, the Cape May Herald reports that Avalon has just reopened it beach after an emergency replenishment.

22 June 2010

St Croix thoughts

As our seniors prepare to study the island, I thought I would share some initial thoughts. 

It struck me as an island of contrasts between the real and natural St Croix/s and the built.

It seems easy enough to say, "Oh, we don't need to preserve that little piece, no one would develop it anyway." That is probably what someone thought about Protestant Cay, a tiny little island which sits a few yards off the shore of Christiansted.  Seems too small to develop...

They built the touristy stuff so close to the water that the boardwalk had to go out beyond the shore.

Some National Parks take a seemingly insignificant historic site, an obscure fort, or an old iron furnace, and they build massive monuments and markers.  At Salt River Bay they take one of the more significant historic sites in the country, the only place in the US where Christopher Columbus landed (although he stayed onboard), and they have gone for a more subtle approach.

At least the cars stay several feet back from the beach. And there is a sign to tell you it isn't just any old beach.

Site and purpose together are the arbiters

"Best use depends on how we value uses.  Site and purpose together are the arbiters of the plan, and not either one alone."

Kevin Lynch

18 June 2010

Suburbia Transformed video

The opening reception at the James Rose Center's Suburbia Transformed exhibition has been captured in a video by Marshall Katzman at RidgewoodPatch. Interviews include our own Dean Cardasis and former Speaker Series participant Matt Urbanski of MVV.

16 June 2010

Keeping up with St Croix

A pretty basic essential to learning a new place is to read the local papers.  The Internet makes this especially easy.  Two papers stand out to me as great resources for learning about St Croix.  Both are available on line and write about the study site.

The St. Croix Source

Virgin Islands Daily News

Even the NY Times covers St Croix sometimes.

15 June 2010

Hiking NYC

The problem with my occasional hike of Manhattan is that it leads to the suggestion that I should lead other hikes.  But I don't need to! Jack Eichenbaum is already leading so many great hikes that there is no need for further repitition.  You can learn about Jack's hikes at his new GeoNYC website.

11 June 2010

07 June 2010

Forest Hills Gardens

How do you write an article about Forest Hills Gardens' winding streets and without mentioning Olmsted until the last paragraph?  The Times shows you how.

04 June 2010

Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art and Landscape Design

The Morgan Library has what sounds like an outstanding exhibit called, "Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art and Landscape Design." The NY Times describes it as a "captivating, if geographically unbalanced, show" that "traces the Romantic movement from its first flowerings on English estates to American Transcendentalism in full bloom."  With works from artists like Alexander Pope and F. L. Olmsted, it could be the top show for landscape architects this summer. (Student admission is only $8, but admission is free on Fridays from 7 - 9 p.m.)

Can Facebook save the DInky?

The NYTimes reports that New Jerseyans are organizing on Facebook to save Princeton's historic Dinky.  This kid can't bear to look at a future without it.

03 June 2010

Swiss Tree Museum

The Swiss Tree Museum hasn't even opened yet and is already getting awards. The NY Times describes Enzo Enea's project as a "meticulously curated outdoor display," but I am not sure that captures this modern design experience.

Fracking river problem

American Rivers has named the Upper Delaware the most endangered river in the US because of a practice called fracking.  The petroleum industry says it is safe.  They also named 9 other rivers as endangered, but they aren't as close to here and lack the timely link with the Gulf - sorry Chetco River!  No oil, no #1.

01 June 2010

In Memoriam

We are saddened to write of the death of Charlie Kontos.  Charlie Kontos was a Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolution who was one of the most energetic and well liked.  He was very popular with the students as a teaching assistant in both our Watershed Management and Land Measurement and Mapping classes.  Over the last two years became an important and memorable presence at CRSSA and in the Environmental Planning and Design classes.  This is a tragic shock for all who knew him

Rather than posting a photo of him, I've posted a photo by him.  One of his great passions was the posting of motion-activated cameras in the woods.  He made a great splash with his photos proving the presence of fishers in New Jersey and deserved plenty of media attention for it.  He also established a site about these relatively unknown New Jersey residents.

Feel free to post remembrances in the comments section.

Big cities in China

I stumbled onto this fascinating blog/site called Chinfographics that explores different graphics highlighting issues about China.  It has some great examples of interesting graphics that convey lots of information.  The one that got me there in the first place was called The Long Tail – 60 Chinese Cities with a Population of Over 1 Million that was featured on Scocca. It will be interesting to see where they go next.