Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

In July of this year Asian Longhorned Beetles were found in six red maple trees in a wooded area about a mile from my house in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood. Asian Longhorned Beetles bore into hardwood trees like birch, maple, and elm, eventually killing them if left untreated. Authorities consequently set up a quarantine area that includes my street. This means no one is allowed to transport firewood or yard waste out of the area, and an inspection is being conducted within the quarantine zone. There is a particular concern for the trees of Arnold Arboretum, which lies within the quarantine area.

In 2008 there was an Asian Longhorned Beetle outbreak in Worcester, Massachusetts. The city was forced to cut down 25,000 trees. Here’s a before and after comparison:

Worcester Street before, by Kenneth R. Law

Worcester Street before, by Kenneth R. Law

Worcester Street after, by Kenneth R. Law

Worcester Street after, by Kenneth R. Law

With old trees, as with historic buildings and artifacts, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Daniela Kostova and Olivia Robinson's Anxiety Map via Flickr/kthread

I’m a fan of the urban planner Charles Landry and his concept of the creative city. I just started his book The Art of City Making and came across this passage:

Our sensory landscape is shrinking precisely at the moment when it should be broadening. Sensory manipulation is distancing us from our cities and we are losing our visceral knowledge of them. We have forgotten how to understand the smells of the city, to listen to its noises, to grasp the messages its look sends out and to be aware of its materials.

I was reminded of Landry when I came across a link to a contemporary art exhibition currently showing at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in NYC. It’s called You Are Here: Mapping the Psychogeography of New York City. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I finally had a chance to try out Historypin, the website that lets you link old photos to Google Street View. Historypin was developed, in partnership with Google, by We Are What We Do, an organization in the UK that takes big goals like a cleaner environment or better schools and breaks them into small, manageable steps they call “actions.” Historypin represents action #132, Share a Piece of Your History, as part of a goal of strengthening intergenerational relationships.

I was home in North Carolina this week for my 20th high school reunion, so I rooted through my childhood photo album and found an image that seemed perfect for Historypin:

It’s the house I grew up in, just after an ice storm in 1979. The house was torn down in 1984 to make way for a baseball stadium, so the site looks radically different today. I was able to successfully pin the photo to Street View and upload a brief story about the house. You can view the results here.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: