Typographic Tokyo

Korean snack stand in Tokyo. Photo by Yohei Morita My wife and I lived in Tokyo from 1992 till 1998. We spent a week here in 2000 and I am now back here for a week in 2007. It is a tantalising experience—it seems familiar in so many ways and yet subtly different, like a […]

W. Fairmount Avenue

Lately I have become fascinated by street signs. Not only does their ubiquity place them at the centre of the city’s visual landscape, you can read a lot into the signs themselves. Their design, for instance, speaks to the image a city tries to project of itself. The content of the signs—names and language—sheds light […]

Purgatory on the C-Train

“No Name” by Jason Mark. Digital composite I first met Jason Mark when he came to live in my apartment. Actually, I should be more precise—I met him when he came to sublet my apartment. I was living in a cheap studio on Park Avenue near Fairmount, pleasantly appointed but also quite small and dark. […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Purgatory on the C-Train , , ,

Montréal Architecture (No.1)

Musée Pointe-à-Callière 350, place Royale Angle de la Commune Vieux-Montréal (Québec) www.pacmuseum.qc.ca

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Owen Rose 3 Comments

An Introduction to Depanneurs

“Salut, monsieur!” Running in to grab a couple of beers, I’m greeted by the clerk. He’s an odd guy, with a closely shaved crop of black hair and a self-important, Duddy Kravitzesque charm that comes across whether he’s addressing you in English or French. There’s a bit of irony in his greeting, and in the […]

With the Lunar New Year, a New Vancouver

The God of Fortune. Photo by Ben Johnson Each year, Vancouver celebrates Chinese New Year like no other city on the continent. People flock to Chinatown for the traditional parade just as businesses are gearing up for one of the busiest spending periods of the year. Festivities large and small erupt across the city with […]

Time-Travelling in Montreal

Montreal ’87? Try Montreal ’72. Flickr habitué Colin Rose recently delved into his photographic archives and pulled out some remarkable shots from the early 1970s. Some depict a massive snowstorm that coincided with a blue collar workers’ strike, which left downtown streets impassable for days. Others focus on Montreal’s art deco architecture. Since they are […]

Posted in: Canada, History by Christopher DeWolf 3 Comments , , , ,

Morning Coffee: Cafés in Old Cairo

El Fishawy is the best known café in Cairo and a favourite of Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz Mention Cairo, and the first things that come to mind are the pyramids. Why do I consider this unfortunate? Because the pyramids are a remnant of a dead civilization, and Cairo today is a living city of […]

The World Comes to Smallville

Lewiston, Maine. Photos by Samantha Appleton from the New Yorker. “‘Who authorized this?’ Lewiston officials say that this is the question they heard most often when the Somalis began showing up in town. The answer was: Nobody did. The Somalis had simply decided to come.” So writes William Finnegan in the December 11th edition of […]

Nothing But Good Times

Park Avenue, Tuesday 3am. Photo by Christopher DeWolf Sylvie was thinking about what she should wear that night when the old woman started waving the $5 bill in her face. She’d already gone on to the next customer, pushing his things through so she could start ringing them up. When she looked around, she was […]

Posted in: Fiction by Mary Soderstrom Comments Off on Nothing But Good Times

Pedestrian Streets, Hong Kong Style

The volume of the crowds that descend on Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay every Sunday would generate chaos in most cities: Pedestrians would pour off overcrowded sidewalks and into the streets, snarling traffic. Police would scramble to either push people back or close the roads altogether. Nobody would quite know what to make of it. But […]

City in the Snow, This Time in January

Click here to view the whole set of snowy photos from Kansas City.

Posted in: United States by Eric Bowers Comments Off on City in the Snow, This Time in January , , ,

Skyscrapers in the Desert

Shibam is certainly one of the most architecturally outstanding places in the world. This dense walled maze of five hundred mud-brick skyscrapers seems to grow right out of the Yemeni desert. Many of its buildings date back to the 1500s—the city is as impressive from a distance as it is inside the city walls.

Après le déluge

Photo by Lee Celano for the New York Times Like Venice, it has often been said, New Orleans is sinking. It is sinking literally, of course, into the soft south Louisiana mud from whence it came. Yet it is its social decline that may ultimately render it more akin to the proverbial Pearl of the […]

Posted in: Demographics, Politics, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Après le déluge , ,