Look Away

On Nazis, Not-Sees, and Singing 'Dixie' in My Middle School Chorus

Obviously, revisionism is a problem. In America, there are real children in real schools reading textbooks that say that black people thought slavery was awesome. But at least revisionism requires some time to go by. Revisionism concedes that reality cannot be altered, and so it exploits the fact that memories fade. There is another phenomenon that makes no such concession. It is not a revision of what one saw in the past; it is a real-time filter that alters what one is seeing before the rest of the brain can …

The Street Vendors Who Make Christmas for New York City | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Street Vendors Who Make Christmas for New York City

With COVID Bearing Down, Gotham’s Neighborhood Tree Sellers May Be More Important Than Ever

It’s hard to imagine New York without Christmas, but what will Christmas look like in a city gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic? Gotham’s Christmas streetscapes are legendary: the towering 75-foot …

How Horace Greeley Invented the Persona of the Crusading Journalist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Horace Greeley Invented the Persona of the Crusading Journalist

The 19th-Century Publisher Made Reform-Minded, Opinion-Driven Journalism Commercially Viable

December 3, 1840, a Thursday. A bank president in New Jersey goes missing in broad daylight, leaving his office in New Brunswick around 10 a.m. He is never again seen …

How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Turned New York Into the Center of the World | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture Turned New York Into the Center of the World

Though the Wisconsin-Born Architect Called the City a ‘Pig Pile’ and ‘Incongruous Mantrap,’ It Made Him a Superstar

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is architecture as sculpture—a smooth, creamy-colored, curved form that deliberately defies its square, gray urban context, and succeeds by harnessing the pure abstraction …

Why Broadway Meanders up Manhattan’s Grid

New York's Most Iconic Street Grew Organically From Colonial Cowpath Into an Allegorical Strand

I first saw Broadway from the air. It was 1990 and I was flying with my architecture class from the University of Florida up to Boston so we could learn …

The German-American Family Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge

In Creating an Icon, Washington Roebling and His Kin Realized Dreams That Europe Never Could Fulfill

The Brooklyn Bridge was truly an American project embodying a certain American ideal. And people celebrated that fact from the start.

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge—after 14 years of …