my backyard is across the street

Posted on Oct 20, 2010 in china, shanghai, urbanism | No Comments

We are well versed in the language of American suburbs: winding streets, cul-de-sacs, houses set well back from the street, and private backyards. Even though the street I grew up on was decidedly more rural than suburban–perhaps as a result of that–the dreams and broken promises of the idealized suburban development cause an overuse of ...

their laundry is everywhere

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 in buildings, shanghai, urbanism | 4 Comments

Have I mentioned the laundry? It creates another colorful layer of the world. Dryers are rare, perhaps only for the laundromats, so domestic life spills out of open windows of almost every building. It hangs over the street creating a shady canopy of underpants. Did I just brush against your blanket? Do you think it’s ...

my brief awkward telephone conversation with china about the weather

Posted on Jun 27, 2010 in buildings, shanghai | No Comments

<ring> Wei? Oh hey China, how’s it going. Yeah, it’s super busy here right now too. We have this meeting today with the planning team from Tong– the weather? Yep, grey and rainy but cool — sort of like Seattle or Port –  wait, what? I guess the connection is bad. Oh yeah I know, ...

making ice cream

One of the hazards of purchasing a used bike in less than mint condition is that you have no idea just how many things can go wrong with it. I’m not disparaging “The Phoenix” for I know that one day, out of its rusted remains a bicycle previously known only in the world of myth ...