Month: June 2010

nobody lives in the capitol building. or, what neighborhoods in d.c. are like.

Last month I had the incredible experience of attending a conference of US/ICOMOS and the World Bank, in Washington, DC.  The conference focused on the relationship between heritage preservation and economics, and particularly on the ability of heritage preservation and tourism to create successful economic outcomes in surrounding communities.   Presentations about  minority cultural preservation in China, about healing through preservation in the Balkans, and about how heritage resources are an essential part of the environment of a thriving knowledge economy were particularly fascinating.  Several case-studies and arguments about the relationship between resource management and tourism were also presented, providing a useful framework for addressing this always-tenuous relationship.  It was really exciting to have so many professionals, grad students and recent grads from a variety of fields collaborating to discuss these issues around the world.  Also, visiting the World Bank was super-cool, whatever you think about its impact on global development. Beyond the conference, though, my little trip to D.C. was a wonderful breath of fresh air and a great opportunity to see a bit of …

blight roundup.

So weekly might have been a bit of a stretch, but I really have been photographing a lot of blight these days.  Here’s a quick roundup of some of the great sites I’ve spotted: some of them truly destructive to their surroundings, some of them sad and nostalgic for their abandonment, and others just somewhat surprising.  Enjoy.

memorializing.

have you ever wondered why it seems like memorial day is just like veteran’s day?  every year we commemorate our fallen soldiers and reflect on what it means to be a nation at (what seems like) constant war.  but aren’t the two different? when i read this gorgeous op-ed in the Globe i realized what’s wrong: veteran’s day is our time to honor soldiers, but memorial day is — or ought to be — a time to think about war. more specifically, it was originally created as a day to remember and continue to heal the rift caused by the Civil War, a rift that continues to play itself out throughout our national politics.  i think it’s safe to say we’re more interested in barbecues and politically safe memorial services than any sober, profound interrogation of what it means to have entered into deadly and devastating conflict with ourselves and other peoples.  and certainly the fact that we have had such conflict within our own landscape is not something that goes well with hot dogs. …