The Observer was beginning to suffer withdrawal. It had been more than two weeks since Michael Kimmelman filed his last piece for The Times Art Section, after a run of nearly one architecture review a week. We should have seen his latest one coming, but The Observer must admit that we did not.
It is not simply because defining bike lanes as architecture could be a subject open for debate, at least under Mr. Kimmelman’s starchiest-loving predecessor (to be fair, he did write about the Time Square pedestrian plazas) but also because the Gray Lady has not exactly been a friend to the cycling movement, consistently criticizing the godhead Janette Sadik-Khan.
But for Mr. Kimmelman, recently returned from Europe, cycling is almost a perfect conveyance.
So far Michael Kimmelman has delivered his thoughts on how to build better public housing developments, how to build better libraries, how to build better civic architecture in general. He steps away from praising the Bloomberg administration for a bit in his two latest dispatches, but the message remains pleasantly the same: architecture is everywhere, and it has a special power to shape our lives. Even those hippies down on Wall Street get it.
Perhaps the only thing more eagerly awaited in the city’s architectural firmament than Michael Kimmelman’s first column as The Times’s new architecture critic was his second. We knew he would come out keyboard blazing, but could he keep up the act as heir to Ada Louise Huxtables throne? The answer is an assured yes, which may finally put to rest all the angst about Mr. Kimmelman’s appointment and his lack of formal architectural training. We get not a dissection of a particular building, or even architecture in general but, as a fellow Timesman once put it, The Way We Live Now.
Michael Kimmelman was not the only one writing about Via Verde yesterday. The Architect’s Newspaper also has a report on the revolutionary South Bronx public housing complex done by architects Grimshaw and Dattner Architects and developers Jonathan Rose and Phipps Houses.
This morning, The Observer awakened to something many in the architecture community have been waiting months, if not years for. By the time you read this, the moment may have already passed online. But even if readers missed that frisson of joy in finding Michael Kimmelman’s first proper architecture review on the The New York Times‘ homepage, as much, or even more excitement can be had with an actual hard copy of the paper, where the review managed to sneak its way onto the front page.
Click to enlarge.
This weekend’s New York Times magazine is all about architecture. It’s definitely thinner than the big real estate special issue (although there are still plenty of ads, including a seven-page spread for the Frank Gehry jewelry collection).
All the big guns were pulled out for this Read More
According to Tyler Green (a sometime-Observer contributor), Michael Kimmelman, the chief art critic of the New York Times, had nothing nice to say about Pittsburgh at the International Association of Art Critics big shin-dig last week. “It tells us a lot about why the New York Times covers art the Read More
There are few things more humiliating than crying in Chicago. (One of them is crying in Detroit, which I have also done.)
Not long ago, I spent the optimal amount of time in Chicago, which is five hours. As a matter of habit, I spent those hours at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1997, Read More
Apparently blue-eyed men are evil and vain peacocks. The Transom will keep its dark glasses on and maintain silence about this theory.
After the ‘highly enjoyable,’ as they say, piece on Vogue, the correction at the very bottom of Off The Record is not to be missed.
A peek from inside a test Read More
It’s a bit daunting to sit down and review What Happened to Art Criticism? , a slim book by James Elkins that has recently undergone a second printing by Prickly Paradigm Press. Not because Mr. Elkins considers art criticism “very nearly dead” as a literary discipline. (There isn’t a critic alive who hasn’t, at one Read More