Friday, April 18th, 2014

Road Trip: Greenville, South Carolina


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You know how sometimes you’re headed to some town you’ve only seen from an interstate highway (near the Peachoid) for a wedding and your expectations are low? This weekend I traveled to Greenville, South Carolina for a wedding and I could not get over how charming and beautiful that town was. I even ran into John Legend twice – go figure!

Once a thriving textile town, Greenville went through a rough patch, but now the downtown area, the west end and the newly developed Swamp Rabbit Trail along the Reedy river are very impressive. Refurbished mills and new construction include design studios, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and art galleries.

At one end of the trail was this cheerful rainbow garden.

Heading downstream (Greenville is along the fall line, so the river is full of falls and gorgeous rocks), I came across this amazing view of tree roots in section.

The Liberty Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the falls and lands you at the West End of town, which is the cool design-centric area. The bridge is supported by two 90-foot masts that hold the one suspension cable. Quite impressive and a beautiful feat of engineering, the bridge was designed by architect Miquel Rosales.

At the West End side of the bridge sits the charming Passerelle Bistro, where patrons can enjoy the view of the falls from the stone patio. There are also nice clean public restrooms around the corner — always a plus on these adventures.

The West End is full of design businesses like Postcard from Paris. Is this a great ghost sign or what? This is a view from the Swamp Rabbit Trail below.

Circling the West End before heading back to the hotel, we came across an old-school Army-Navy store. Then we ran into Legend and his cutie dog Pippa in NoMa Square, which was icing on the cake. Greenville South Carolina is a charming livable city at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains that I’m still dreaming about almost a week later. I highly suggest a weekend trip, especially during spring or fall.


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Urban Re-Planning: Detroit


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We’ve seen misguided urban renewal projects ruin vibrant neighborhoods. We’ve seen highways and railroad tracks cut cities off from their waterfronts. We’ve seen insane tunnel projects try to stitch them back together. We’ve observed cities like Youngstown Ohio try to trim their city limits and downsize, we’ve seen cities like Charlottesville Virginia tinker around with the idea of changing to a town. The latest? Razing the city. Detroit is demolishing tens of thousands of buildings to revitalize itself. What’s tricky with Detroit is that the viable areas tend to be on the outskirts, and the planners want to blow out a lot of what’s in the middle. Don’t the residents burn it all down on Devil’s Night anyway? That was a wrong thing to say. Sorry. Maybe all they need it Clint Eastwood. Lately all of the Detroit images I have in my head come from Gran Torino and Hung.

This article in yesterday’s New York Times is really interesting. I wonder what efforts, if any, will be made to recycle and reuse the materials from the buidings they demolish? I wonder if this is the answer, and if it’s not, what is. I wonder at what point in declining populations and deteriorating neighborhoods we decide to just pull the plug and give up. Whatever the result, it will be a landmark precedent in urban planning forever.

  • image one from here
  • image two from here

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Have you been on The High Line Yet?


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Leave a comment!

I haven’t, but I’m dying to! What did you think?

I’m a huge fan of Bill Cunningham, and he has a charming video here about the fashions he’s seeing on The High Line.

Speaking of fashion, check out the High Line Merch here. I love the Trina Turk green and white print hat:

Keep up with High Line news over at The High Line Blog and the ever-growing Friends of The High Line flickr group pool. This shot is from flickr member ljpsf.

top two photos from


Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

This is Cool – Redesign Your Street at GOOD Magazine


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Check out all of the inspiring submissions to the GOOD magazine “Design a Livable Street” Contest. Here are two of the many wonderful candidates:

By Chris Malloy:



By Shaun Smakal:



Go check out the rest of the entries here.

All images courtesy of GOOD magazine. Winners will be announced on May 18th.