Month: January 2011

ode to retail: holiday shopping

Hi Friends.  I’ve been away.  What have I been doing? Shopping!  Seriously.  Well, kindof.  It was the holidays, after all.  And while I was in New York strolling very quickly along Fifth Avenue trying desperately to get out of the ungodly cold, I got to thinking about retail and how important it is for our experience of the urban environment.  Many people, after all, only really go to a major urban center in order to shop, or perhaps to take in a cultural experience like a Broadway show.  Storefronts are essential for your experience of place, too.  Built form aside, compare the experience of Fifth Avenue to a great spot in Brooklyn that I visited the next day: Brooklyn Fifth Avenue You get the idea.  Anyway, it seems to me that the experience of retail, of shopping, is something that urbanists aren’t talking about much these days.  Sure, we’ve decided that we hate the car-favoring, public-excluding, indoor mass-market shopping mall, and we think that ground floor retail is the solution to all of our street …