Friday, July 31, 2009

Paris... Toujours!


An urban heaven... In 2007 President Sarkozy set up a commission to identify and select 10 architects to head up multi-disciplinary teams, including in some cases geographers, transportation engineers, social scientists, and even philosophers. The President’s charge was simple: dream up bold visions for transforming Paris into a model “Post-Kyoto Metropolis of the 21st Century.” It takes courage and vision to transform urban spaces on a large scale and the challenge lies in transformation, adaptation, innovation while preserving the existing city and allowing a symbiosis between the old and the new.

Images of Paris represent an urban ideal – a jewel in the history of city-making. A network of broad avenues designed by Baron Haussmann in the 19th century connects civic monuments and beautifully shaped public spaces. This network is overlaid on a rich urban fabric that has evolved over 2000-plus years along the River Seine. Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are connected to an extensive metro system servicing the city’s 20 districts located within the inner city’s boundaries. The new projects will create an even more unique space for people to live, work and visit.

An interesting exhibition is dedicated to the results of President's challenge at the Cité de l'architecture until November 2009: Le Grand Pari(s)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hydrangea Waterfall

Blue Hydrangea

Just like the last green in a color pot
So are these leaves, withered and wrecked
Behind the flower umbels, which reflect
A hue of blue only, more they do not.

Reflections are tear-stained, inaccurate,
As if they were about to cease,
And like old blue notepaper sheets
They wear some yellow, gray and violet,

Washed-out like on a child's apron,
Outworn and now no more in use:
We contemplate a small life's short duration.

But suddenly some new blue seemingly is seen
In just one umbel, and we muse
Over a moving blue delighting in the green.

Reiner Maria Rilke
translation Guntram Deichsel 

Photo credit here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heaven can wait...


There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth... And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. - Paulo Coelho