It’s easy to forget that in the early 1960’s, when the Beatles and their Brit-pop clones were invading this country, the real story was the enormous changes being wrought on British culture by postwar America. After 15 years of rebuilding, the English were finally entering a period of economic expansion, one of international optimism and Read More
By Clay Risen 12/27/04 12:00am
New York Underground , by Julia Solis. Routledge, 251 pages, $35.
There are few topics as fascinating or, in their potential to devour readers whole, as dangerous as this city’s underground. Most American towns barely have one to speak of-who cares what’s under Phoenix? New York’s underground is different: The history, geography, politics Read More
By Clay Risen 11/01/04 12:00am
Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Revolutionary Structure, by Alastair Gordon. Metropolitan Books, 305 pages, $27.50.
A few weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal ran a fascinating account of the slow demise of legacy airlines, in particular US Airways. Legacy carriers—so called because they are the legacy of the pre-deregulation Read More
By Clay Risen 10/04/04 12:00am
The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture. Phaidon Press, 824 pages, $160.
The joke about Phaidon’s new Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture is that, at 809 pages and 16 pounds, it’s less a coffee-table book than a coffee table. But every ounce is justified, as Phaidon’s editors have assembled a beautiful, thorough overview of Read More
By Clay Risen 6/28/04 12:00am
Herbert Muschamp, The New York Times ‘ architecture critic, is stepping down from his post much as he attained it: surrounded by applause. Twelve years ago, he was called the country’s next great critic; today, his army of detractors is all too happy to see him leave.
The official line at the paper is that Read More
By Clay Risen 12/01/03 12:00am
It is perhaps ironic that Maya Lin, architect and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was one of the 13 members of the jury that selected finalists in the competition to design a memorial at Ground Zero. Ironic, because all eight finalistsrely heavily on the minimalist vocabulary Ms. Lin introduced to the Read More
By Clay Risen 10/27/03 12:00am
Lost in the soap-opera story line of New York Philharmonic’s near-divorce from Lincoln Center-its announcement earlier this year that it would decamp for Carnegie Hall, and its subsequent prodigal-son return earlier this month-was news of the center’s first major donation to its rebuilding efforts, a $16 million grant from the Alice Tully Foundation. The money Read More
By Clay Risen 9/08/03 12:00am
More than any architect in recent memory, Rem Koolhaas bet his career on New York City. But he didn’t do it by building; he did it by writing.
Visiting the city on a fellowship during the architecturally moribund mid-70′s, Mr. Koolhaas wrote Delirious New York , a self-styled “retroactive manifesto” that laid out what had Read More