City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Metaphors for New York

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New piece in the NYT by James "Celluloid Skyline" Sanders about a fictional New York amidst the Hollywood back lots:

"For all the surprises the Southern California landscape has to offer, few are as unexpected, or surreal, as the sizable chunks of New York rising among the palms on the back lots of Hollywood. These massive scenic reconstructions, half a dozen in all, each covering several acres, are built close to full scale, with 50-foot facades and full-width streets. They are as walkable as any real city … The New York streets are hardly an exact duplicate of New York. A haunting, unmistakably dreamlike atmosphere pervades the back lot city — one that begins, paradoxically enough, with a kind of hyperreality in which every surface, shape and material, all lighted by the high California sun, seems more sharply defined, more real, than the real thing."

New York Times: On the Back Lot, New York 90210

Whilst you’re over at the NYT in an imaginary NY, check out Herbert Muschamp’s Metaphors Rise In Harlem Sky on the "Harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor" architecture show at the Studio Museum in Harlem:

"’Harlemworld’ consists of conceptual projects, not plans for direct intervention in the city’s material fabric. "Metropolis as Metaphor," the show’s subtitle, establishes the theoretical orientation. It is sometimes objected that conceptual work shirks the architect’s responsibility to the real world. The truth is that a show like this describes the extent to which the real world has already changed in the eyes of its designers. The show would be valuable even if it did no more than hold the perceptual ground … Too, ”Harlemworld” reveals that architecture has become an effective medium for educating the public about the ideologies encoded in urban forms. Some time ago the architect Diana Agrest described the city as the subconscious of architecture. In this show the situation is reversed. Architecture has become the practice of exposing the emotional content and above all the energy beneath the well-dressed urban facade."

New York Times: Metaphors Rise In Harlem Sky
[via George – thanks!]


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