Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11/18/14 - 11/26/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


12 year old Cleveland boy with BB gun shot and killed by police (Slate)

Two story bowling alley/eatery/lounge bar set to open in University Circle (

Culinary conversation whets the appetite at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art  (Cleveland Jewish News)

Transportation town hall focuses on bikes, pedestrians and transit (

What comes first along West 25th Street- housing density or faster transit?  (


What Millennials love about Pittsburgh (The Atlantic)

Yinz heard about Pittsburgh's new protected bike lanes?  (Grist)

Pittsburgh Penguins fans ranked as best in NHL for 3rd straight year (Forbes)

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review looks at local Bluegrass jam sessions (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

MoMA presents tactical urbanism strategies for six expanding megacities (Designboom)

Dry San Diego to look to sewers as water source (MyFoxDC)

LA's transit agencies see success with suicide prevention camapign (ABC 7 News)

Should we consider ending the interstate highway system? (Strong Towns)

Thinking too highly of higher ed (Washington Post)

In pictures: An awful night in Ferguson (CityLab)

Police rarely criminally charged for on-duty shootings (Wall Street Journal) 

Baltimore jail staff corruption probe widens (Baltimore Sun)

How Silicon Valley created the world's biggest homeless camp (CityLab)

Global corruption a bigger scourge than terrorism (CBC News)

Seven reasons police brutality is systemic not anecdotal (American Conservative) (July 2)

Can cell phones stop police brutality?  (CNN)

Declining walkability plays a big role in China's obesity problem (CityLab)

Other Arts and Archeology News

The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture opens permanent NY space. (The Art Newspaper)

Visions of heaven and earth in an ancient Chinese tomb (Hyperallergic)

The mysterious death of the art world's favorite sheikh (The Daily Beast)

A journey deep inside Spain's temple of cave art (BBC Travel)

Why kissing in public is political in India (NBC News)

ISIS is waging another war on culture and history (Public Radio International)

Inside the Middle East's vanishing ancient religions (The Boston Globe)

Billboard includes streaming in music charts (The New York Times)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11/11/14 - 11/18/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Baron Batch discusses life as a Pittsburgh artist (Daily Toreador)

Nurturer of Modernism: Modernist studies conference looks at Pittsburgh's role. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) (Nov 5th)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette looks at holiday season house tours (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Forbes ranks Pittsburgh as a top place for veterans (Forbes)

Pittsburgh's arena football team, The Pittsburgh Power, ceases operations (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)


Lawn mowing sheep, one of several green, money saving strategies (National Journal)

Lake Effect artist's studios and event space coming to Cleveland State campus district (Freshwater Cleveland)

East Boulevard is a hidden gem among Cleveland neighborhoods (Freshwater Cleveland)

Cleveland's best places to live car-lite (Green City Blue Lake)


Cincinnati bike movement skips angry drivers, gets right down to growing (Next City)

West Virginia and Appalachia

West Virginia University suspends fraternities after student death (Valley News Live)

WVU School of Art hosts second annual Iron Pour event (The Daily Athenaeum)

The All Good Music Festival and Camp out returns to West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle (JamBase)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

How will congress respond to marijuana legalization in D.C.?  (Reason)

How sprawl hits Atlanta residents right in the wallet

Rise of the robot security guards (MIT Technology Review)

Riding the Rails: Chicago's history as a transit hub in photos (Curbed Chicago)

Survey shows Miami-Dade transit riders put frequent service and reliability first   (Miami Today)

American's cellphones targeted in secret U.S. spy program (Wall Street Journal)

Tensions over park behavior as homelessness rises in New York (New York Times)

Walkable development protects against catastrophe (Houston Chronicle)

Seattle government destroys play-garden for special-needs kids (Crosscut)

How the war on drugs perpetuates violence in Latin America (Vox)

World's largest solar energy plant producing much less power than expected (Associated Press)

Other Arts and Archeology News

Arts Scene in downtown Los Angeles grows (The Art Newspaper)

Christie's to sell largest private collection of Asian art at auction (The Art Newspaper)

Warhol's Elvis and Brando paintings sell or more than $151 million at Christie's (UK Telegraph)

11 modern and contemporary artists including Twombly, Ruscha, Kusama, Sherman, Gorky, break auction records

New project to digitize 10,000 Sci-Fi zines (Hyperallergic)

How Museums affect the brain (Hyperallergic)

Richmond, Virginia's RVA Street Art Festival announces a new location (

Disturbing new documentary claims sex abuse widespread in Hollywood (The Hollywood Reporter)

Inside look at Harvard's new art museum (

A Philadelphia library sues Maurice Sendak's estate (Hyperallergic)

Real-life Sherlock Holmes hunts down stolen Nazi art (

Black Comedy: cartoons in the first world war (Apollo Magazine)

Satirical news website, The Onion may be for sale (Bloomberg)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Call For Submissions: Looking at Appalachia Photography Project Seeks to Create Broad Regional Portrait

From, photographer, Roger May- in Belt Magazine
"What images first come to mind when you hear the word “Appalachia”? No, really. The first image?
One of the things I like to do in a group setting, particularly with students, is run through this exercise. I explain that there is no right or wrong answer. It always starts slowly. Not a peep from anyone. Inevitably, someone mentions coal. Then bluegrass. After a few minutes and some steady coaxing, we get down to the nitty-gritty. Incest. Trailers. Mountain Dew. Lazy. Uneducated. Now we’re talking. After compiling a list of a dozen or so of these visual cues, everyone seems to breathe a sigh of relief when it registers that they’re not alone in their answers. Nearly everyone thinks these things, but to say them out loud? That can be frightening. My next question is to ask what about these cues are unique to Appalachia or can they be found in other places in America. One by one, we all agree that not a single stereotype listed can be ascribed solely to Appalachia. So why is it then that we’ve come to associate them so strongly?"
May points out that many of the very well meaning New Deal and Progressive Era images of staggering poverty have stuck in the global imagination.

"Those images often represented the poorest parts of the area — to muster support for their intended cause — but unjustly came to present the entirety of the region while simultaneously perpetuating stereotypes.
So, what is it about these stereotypes, these visual triggers that are immediately conjured up when Appalachia is referenced? And how can we retrain our thinking and seeing?"
How have these stereotypes perpetuated the very poverty they aimed to fight? Brain Surgery and robotics in Pittsburgh is as much part of the "Appalachian Story" as poverty in Logan County, West Virginia.

50 years after the "War on Poverty", May aims to crowdsource a more complex and realistic picture of a vast area- that includes the entire Pittsburgh metro.


Submissions are not limited by style or subject matter (portraits, landscapes, etc.), however:
1. All work submitted must be the copyright of the photographer.
2. Photographs must be made in calendar year 2014.
3. Photographs must be made in one of the 13 state’s regions the Appalachian Regional Commission defines as Appalachian (here).
4. Submissions are open through 31 December 2014.
Include the date (month, day, and year), city, county, and state. Submissions must be in .JPG format, sized at 1500 pixels on the longest side, 72ppi. File names must include your last name and the city and state where the photograph was made (example: maychattaroywv2.jpg). Submissions received in any other format will not be accepted. Please do not watermark or add text to your submissions.
Photographs will be indexed by the state in which they were made. You are not limited to submitting work about one state, however please be aware of the ARC map boundaries. To be clear, this project is not seeking poverty pictures. Will poverty be included? Yes. Poverty exists to be sure, however the purpose of this project extends far beyond that.
Email submissions and questions to

May has already lined up an exhibition in Spartanburg, South Carolina- but hopes to tour the exhibition.
Sounds like a published book is also possible.
See, Looking At Appalachia for more details and images as project evolves.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11/5/14 -11/11/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Conflict Kitchen's Palestinian programming under siege (Hyperallergic)

The BBC's mobile news bureau experiment stops in Pittsburgh (Essential Pittsburgh)

Blame this Pittsburgh official for daylight savings time (Government Executive)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plays it by ear when hiring musicians (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)


Cleveland voters pass law that eliminates all city traffic cameras (USA Today)

Cleveland suburb, Maple Heights, Ohio also votes to remove traffic cameras (

Study projects Cleveland's downtown may have 23,000 residents in 5 years (ABC 5)

Walkable townhome development planned in Lakewood, Ohio (

Cuyahoga County expected to borrow $168 million to repair and spruce up government buildings (Cleveland Scene)

West Virginia and Appalachia

18 year old freshman elected to house of delegates becomes youngest state lawmaker in U.S.

As coal jobs vanish, miners search or new careers (Associated Press)

Other Urbanism and Architecture news

NYC's hugely expensive Fulton Center transit hub opens to riders (NY1)

Americans aren't as car dependent as you might think (Streetsblog USA)

New Urbanism Film Festival kicks of in Los Angeles (Streetsblog LA)

Feeding the homeless: Act of charity or a crime? (My Fox Houston)

Airbnb finally adds a "don't secretly film guests" policy (BetaBeat)

How wearable tech will transform walkability of our cities (Tech Cocktail)

Does Pheonix have a soul?  (AZ Central)

An Etsy co-founder and his wife have big plans for Albuquerque (CityLab)

Is America's civic-architecture inherently racist?  (Intercultural Urbanism)

In symbolic vote, 80% of Catalans support independence from Spain (Yahoo News)

Why some places still have plenty of pay phones (CityLab)

The rise of invisible unemployment (CityLab)

Germany celebrates 25th anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall  (Wall Street Journal)

Other arts and archeology news 

A treasure hunt for undiscovered American artists (CBS Sunday Morning)

Brooklyn art center uses Airbnb to fund its programming (Hyperallergic)

Former director of NY's Frick Museum speaks out against expansion plan (Artnet)

Sotheby's Q3 revenue drops 12.7 percent (ArtNews)

Qatari sheikh, once one of the world's top art collectors dies suddenly 
(The Art Newspaper)

Norwegian architects fight to save historic National Gallery (The Art Newspaper)

U.K. copyright laws prevent display of hundred year old soldier's letters and other historic documents  (Reason)

Islamists blow up church dedicated to victims of the Armenian genocide (Public Radio of Armenia)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

10/28/14 - 11/4/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Oakland-Downtown Pittsburgh transit plan full of promises but short on funding (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Suburban Pittsburgh leaders push for bicycle lanes (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

New Ohiopyle Visitors Center offers spectacular views (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

American Theater Magazine looks at Pittsburgh's site specific Quantum Theatre (American Theater Magazine)

Frostburg, Maryland

Two public sculptures unveiled on Allegheny Passage Bike Trail


A growing force in PA: Independent voters 


The rise of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Belt Magazine)

Ohio Magazine features walkable Cleveland suburb of Lakewood as one of the states best hometowns (

Republican National Convention sparks inflated rental market (

PlayhouseSquare lights up for Winterfest 2014 (

Shipping container architecture trend expands in Cleveland (


Devo co-founder, Mark Mothersbaugh and film director, Wes Anderson consider concept of surreal theme park in Akron (Time Magazine)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

Share of first-time home buyers hits 27 year low (Wall Street Journal)

NFL Teams harness stadiums as museums (New York Times)

Great Lakes cities found at the intersection of walkable and affordable  (Great Lakes Echo)

Why middle class Americans can't afford to live in liberal cities (The Atlantic)

The case for trailer parks : Pre-fab homes grow as affordable quality housing option (National Journal)

Smartphones vs. taxi drivers (Reason)

Is the U.S. ready for seniors who want to stop driving? (Streetsblog)

Judge slams door on Uber in Nevada  (KOLO8 News)

Where are the world's most dangerous transit systems for women?  (CNN Travel)

New York City transit ranked safest for women among 16 major metro systems (Metro)

Why Minneapolis' beautiful bike freeways are totally the best (Grist)

Are walkable neighborhoods and bike lanes only for the creative class? (Public CEO)

Tiny houses have a not so tiny problem (Fast Company)

Tiny houses save Orlando owners money (Click Orlando)

Documentary to explore racism in transportation planning

In violent Venezuela bulletproof everything (Yahoo News)

Ten little cities near D.C. with awesome urbanism (Greater Greater Washington)

Other Arts and Archeology News

Alberto Giacometti's Chariot sculpture expected to break record, sell or over $100 million (CNBC)

Chris Ofili's thumping art history lesson (New York Magazine)

The Getty unveils unpublished cache of Joseph Cornell's letters (Hyperallergic)

Columbian art is having a moment  (The Art Newspaper)

Documenting caves used in the Irish War of Independence

Basquiat's unseen notebooks coming to the Brooklyn Museum (The Art Newspaper)

Fake Monet forgeries hit the auction block (Artnet)

Crowdsourcing may be transforming the film industry (Wired)

Amelia Earhart plane fragment identified (Discovery News)

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Cleveland Foundation offering 2,300 Free Theater Tickets for November 30th shows

• “A Christmas Story” by Cleveland Play House at the Allen Theatre at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. (family-friendly show)
• “A Christmas Carol” by Great Lakes Theater at the Ohio Theatre at 3 p.m. (family-friendly show)
• “The Santaland Diaries” by Cleveland Public Theatre at the Outcalt Theatre at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (adults-only show)
There will be an online ticket lottery system for the chance to be randomly selected to receive up to four tickets to a single performance.
See all the details here:

Saturday, November 01, 2014

With friends like these: Seeing Possibility in East Liverpool and the Ohio River Valley


I have never been to East Liverpool, and not driving, has prevented me from exploring the area more deeply, which is the main reason I don't post much about it. I have been around Wheeling a few times.

What press regional cities like Wheeling, Weirton, Steubenville and East Liverpool do get tends towards the negative.

Rust Wire hosted a typical post-(By a girl allegedly trying to help) playing on every stereotype- starting with a highly inaccurate headline, "East Liverpool and the Unforgiving Economy of Rural Appalachia".

"It’s a city where almost every second or third house seems to be abandoned, and not just abandoned. Some are burnt out. Some are falling down. The locals talk about the incessant and merciless drug traffic. They say dealers have come up to the city from the east coast – having found a robust market for heroin and other opiates. The drug trade wreaks constant havoc on the streets. In late September, five people were shot there in a single night."
Crime, abandonment, drugs, toxic chemicals, high cancer rates, sadly all too true. But.. this is hardly more Appalachia (Some stretches of the river better fit that description) than Pittsburgh itself is. East Liverpool is about a 35 minute drive from Pittsburgh International Airport. You can't really be near a major Airport and in "Appalachia" at the same time, these places lack the isolation that defines Appalachian poverty.

What makes their condition so tragic is how they are being left behind in an increasing thriving regional economy. A few clicks on street view, shows what are still very beautiful towns with the remains of deluxe main street amenities- mini Pittsburghs.

Two major issues seem to come to mind.

1) The huge impact the loss of rail links. River towns on often narrow flood plains are not well suited to auto-centric development.

2) The strong tendency to still see often destructive heavy industries as their only chance at jobs, even as automation has radically shrunk the need for workers.

This post will hopefully trigger a conversation about better leveraging the awesome assets, history and location of these communities and better linking them to greater Pittsburgh.