In Defence of Street Art

Ai Wei Wei projection graffiti, Hong Kong. Photo by Cpak Ming This month, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles opened a new exhibition on the history of street art and graffiti, the first such show at a major American museum. It has been greeted by controversy. One of the curators has been accused […]

The Mysterious Origins of Hong Kong Cuisine

Hong Kong-style pastries for sale in Mongkok Every day for more than 60 years, the ovens of the Mido Café have churned out dozens of crispy pineapple buns for breakfast tea. Better known by their Chinese name, bolo bau, pineapple buns are the most emblematic of Hong Kong snacks: light, fluffy and filling, with sweet, […]

Photo of the Week: There Will Be Light

This week’s photo was taken in Shanghai by Damien Polegato. Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Marching for Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei has become a cause célèbre in Hong Kong since his arrest by mainland Chinese authorities on April 3rd. In the week since I wrote about “Chin Tangerine“, who covered the city with “Who’s Afraid of Ai Wei Wei?” graffiti, artists have rallied to Ai’s support with a blizzard of interventions, homages and […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Marching for Ai Wei Wei , , , ,

Europe Through the Eyes of Others

Roma Barcelona Madrid

Posted in: Europe by Daniel Corbeil 2 Comments , , , , , ,

Photo of the Week: Sweet Smoke

This week’s photo reminds me of the waves of sweet, musky tobacco smoke I sometimes encounter when walking down the street — an experience that is becoming increasingly rare. It was taken in Freiburg, Germany, by Flickr user vaquey. Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your […]

Music for the Kinetic Metropolis

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5NDzSsotvs[/youtube] Every so often a musician comes along that captures the mood of a city, or at least a certain subset of its time and population. George Gershwin’s compositions embodied the bittersweet optimism of the striver’s New York; more recently, LCD Soundsystem evokes the disaffection felt in the gentrified, Bloomberg-era city. And what better represents […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Music, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Music for the Kinetic Metropolis , , , ,

Who’s Afraid of Ai Wei Wei?

At three o’clock on Wednesday morning, the air beneath the Central Mid-Levels Escalator became thick with the fumes of spray paint as a young university student left a message on the escalator’s pillars: “Who’s afraid of Ai Wei Wei?” Over the past week, the student, nicknamed Chin, has blitzed some of Hong Kong’s most high-profile […]

Hanoi’s Sunflower Youth

There’s something different going on next to Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi. This is a popular gathering place for middle-class youth, but they’re not sitting around drinking beer like the kids in the old city. Nor are these western-influenced young Vietnamese sitting around drinking tall mochachino lattés.

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Food, Public Space, Society and Culture by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Hanoi’s Sunflower Youth , , ,

Photos of the Week: Portlandia

Posted in: United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photos of the Week: Portlandia , ,

How Canada Votes, Street by Street

Election signs in Calgary, 2006 Canada is in the midst of yet another federal election, one that will, if the current trends hold steady, result in a third minority government for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. It’s a pretty dismal state of affairs. But even the most delicious truffle looks like a turd, so things might still […]

In Sicily, Between Now and Eternity / 9

Vie di Ortigia, Siracusa Après mon passage à San Giovanni alle Catacombe, j’explore la zone, repère quelques commerces où je peux faire mes courses. Et puis je m’arrête dans un bar, histoire d’apprécier un caffè en ce milieu d’après-midi chargé par la chaleur. Il n’est pas difficile de trouver une bonne place, un bistro pointant […]

Posted in: Europe, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on In Sicily, Between Now and Eternity / 9 , , , , ,

The Masked Metropolis

Why do so many Japanese people wear masks? The question became stuck in my mind almost as soon as I arrived in Tokyo late last month. Everywhere I went, on the streets and in trains, nearly half of the people around me were wearing surgical masks. I already knew part of the answer: people wear […]

An Alternate Map of Manhattan

The original, ca. 1800 Mangin-Goerck Plan (top) and part of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, as engraved by William Bridges Last month, New York celebrated the bicentennial of one of its most iconic works of engineering and urban design — Manhattan’s grid. The 1811 street layout was officially known as the Commissioners’ Plan, but its […]

Posted in: History, Maps, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on An Alternate Map of Manhattan , , , , ,