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Author Topic: The places we live — and read about
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 24 November 2005 09:32 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Urban life has never generated so much print. Check out a selection of reviews about big cities, small cities, dream cities and secret cities. (Oh, and a suburb in New Jersey.) www.rabble.ca/reviews
And discuss it all here!

[ 24 November 2005: Message edited by: Rundler ]


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 24 November 2005 10:47 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rundler:
(Oh, and a suburb in New Jersey.)

That reminds me of a movie I just caught on television last week, partway through, called "Garden State". It's set in a suburb in New Jersey, and there's an interesting part at the end where they explore an abandoned dig where developers were going to put a shopping mall.

Also, in another thread, we were talking about the idea of a Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, and I got to wondering if it would look anything like the kind of transportation systems they have linking most points in New Jersey to both New York City and Philadelphia.

Geez, I've managed to do total thread drift in the second post of the thread. Sorry! Anyhow, I'm checking out those books and they look pretty neat, Lisa.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sarabble
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10937

posted 24 November 2005 12:06 PM      Profile for sarabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a Vancouverite in the capital, I'm intrigued by Dream City, the book by Lance Berelowitz about my home town. From the review it seems like a rosy-glasses view of the city on the ocean, so my first question would be what differentiates this book from all the other books about Vancouver written in recent years?

Someone gave me City of Glass by Douglas Coupland as a going-away gift when I left The Couv a few months back. It sounds very similar to Dream City, although City of Glass has a very flippable layout with small pages and many photographs - plus it's an entertaining read, given Coupland's writerly talents. Does Dream City rival Coupland's take on the town?

What I find interesting about Vancouver these days isn't the stuff of tourist brochures, it's the fact that - last time I checked - Vancouver has the largest growing downtown population of any North American city. Last I checked, each year 6000 people move into the downtown peninsula, there are 18 major downtown building projects underway, 405 hectares of downtown urban renewal, the largest private redevelopment in North America, and an extension of the waterline at Coal Harbour – shrinking the ocean itself. Does Dream City includes this portrayal of Vancouver?

(Quick totally unrelated endnote: sorry to add to any thread drift, but I must quickly mention that the c/c radio station I used to work at sponsored the Vancouver screening of Garden State and I was really glad we did - I think it's a wonderful little film [with a great a soundtrack to boot.])


From: The Capital | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
boyreporter
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11104

posted 24 November 2005 12:16 PM      Profile for boyreporter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sarabble:
What I find interesting about Vancouver these days isn't the stuff of tourist brochures, it's the fact that - last time I checked - Vancouver has the largest growing downtown population of any North American city. Last I checked, each year 6000 people move into the downtown peninsula, there are 18 major downtown building projects underway, 405 hectares of downtown urban renewal, the largest private redevelopment in North America, and an extension of the waterline at Coal Harbour – shrinking the ocean itself. Does Dream City includes this portrayal of Vancouver?

The book is actually quite meaty and does go into depth on Vancouver's urban renewal and its booming downtown. I've read City of Glass and the two are very different. City of Glass really got into the psychology of Vancouver a little more, and Coupland is good at this, being born in North Van and a fairly astute observer and sharp writer.

Berelowitz book, like I said in the review, looks like a book for tourists at first glance. But I was pleasantly surprised at its depth and analysis.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
LemonThriller
babbler
Babbler # 11085

posted 24 November 2005 12:26 PM      Profile for LemonThriller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What lies beneath reminds me of the pictures a friend of mine took in Detroit. Apparently, there are hundreds of buildings there that were abandoned after the car manufacturing industry pulled out and the city's economy plummeted.

There's something extraordinarily depressing about abandoned buildings -- especially when you know the history of it.

Here in Halifax, I always try and sneak into our University's greenhouse cuz it's beautiful, smells good, and is on the top floor of large building, giving a spectacular view of the ocean.


From: Halifax, N.S. | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
chester the prairie shark
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6993

posted 24 November 2005 12:44 PM      Profile for chester the prairie shark     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The scale of abandonment in detroit has to be unprecedented. Spectacular site devoted to abandonment in detroit just keep hitting the express button and it will take you through abandoned industrial, commercial and residential sites with pictures that will make your jaw drop. Incredible, there are huge mansions and grounds that have been abandoned for decades, a ghostly yacht club and street after street of industrial plant. one of the most affecting for me is a picture of the downtown YMCA. a huge 11 storey brick building that looks like its out in a field, there are no other buildings left standing around it. its sits on a downtown street for cristsakes.
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbling_Jenn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10944

posted 25 November 2005 04:22 PM      Profile for Babbling_Jenn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally, I'm most interested in Access All Areas. My housemate has the book and has been quoting from it for days now. It sounds really exciting, and surprisingly respectful.

Admittedly, I am pretty supportive of direct action, but this book was more about the excitement and wonder of exploring. I thought it would be more of a break-and-enter type book, but rather it seems to be about returning to childhood wonder.

You know when you were a kid and you'd find a hole in the brush, or that perfect hiding spot in a tree? It would be so fun and new -- sounds like Access All Areas is bringing that back, but in an urban, "grown up" world.


From: Rural Ontario | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sharon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4090

posted 25 November 2005 04:29 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Here in Halifax, I always try and sneak into our University's greenhouse cuz it's beautiful, smells good, and is on the top floor of large building, giving a spectacular view of the ocean.

I've been there. It's a beautiful place to visit and I loved it. Many people don't even know it's there.


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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