A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Metropolis - Moses - Jacobs - Charyn
Friday, March 28, 2014



Jane Jacobs


Serendipity is particularly salient when one looks back on it. When the events that combine for that serendipity happen, the connection is not immediately obvious.

Consider that in October 1995 I traveled to New York City to interview and photograph a favourite author, Jerome Charyn in his Greenwich Village apartment. A month later I received a phone call from Vancouver Magazine columnist Sean Rossiter who told me:


“Jane Jacobs is in town. I strongly recommend you take her picture. Let me arrange this for you, if you are interested."

I was.

The soft-spoken urbanologist knocked on my door and stepped in. She faced my camera and said, 

"Don't try to soften up my face, this is who I am."

What would be the connection between these two, the urbanologist who in her later years resided in Toronto and Charyn the Bronx novelist? 


Back that October I went to a lovely bookstore, Posman Books in Rockefeller Centre and found a 1986 book by Charyn, Metropolis – New York as Myth, Marketplace, and Magical Land. I paid $20.00 for the first edition. I do not remember if Charyn told me about the book and where I could find it. The book has a dedication by Charyn to me. I remember little else.

But on page 147 (Chapter 7 – The Pharaoh and the Unicorn) of this non fiction memoir of Charyn’s relationship with New York (especially with the Bronx of his childhood he writes:

The Arsenal is a nineteenth-century fort in Central Park that Robert Moses had seized during his long rule of the City’s parks, playgrounds, and beaches. Moses had been a hurly-burly man. The Parks Department was only a tiny portion of his empire. He’d ruled bridges, tunnels, highways, dams and state parks. New York, city and state, had had fifty years of Robert Moses, and for a while it seemed like he was the most powerful son of a bitch on earth. He feuded with Franklin Roosevelt and won. He hoodwinked La Guardia half a dozen times. He established is own mayoralty under the Triborough Bridge. He destroyed the Bronx with one of his expressways. And he would have destroyed Greenwich Village too, declared it a slum and barreled a highway under Washington Square Park. If Jane Jacobs and thousands of other people hadn’t screamed their heads off. He’d become an ogre, an imperial wizard who couldn’t be reached. But there wouldn’t have been much of a Parks Department without Robert Moses. He was an authentic New York creature, the worst and best of men. But powerful as he was, the City has buried him under layers of dust and sand. He’d become another ancient baron, half remembered.

What does Charyn write of Jane Jacobs in Metropolis?

Chapter Two - Land of the Spider Lady

In 1961 Jane Jacobs, a forty-five-year-old editor at Architectural Forum, published her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and our sense of the city has never been the same. Until Jane Jacobs, we had Lewis Mumford, a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, who’d been predicting the death of New York since 1938. “Each great capital sits like a spider in the midst of its transportation web, “Mumford told us. New York had little more to give than “shapeless giantism” and “megalopolitan growth.” It was a “Plutonian world in which living forms became frozen in metal.” Mumford offered us an entire schema, “A Brief Outline of Hell,” from the birth of cities through their decline as Parasitopolis and Pathopolis until their final state as “Nekropolis, city of the dead.” …and there were few dissenters until Jane Jacobs along. “I like dense cities best and care about them most,” she said.

That October/November serendipity closed in 2007 when the Rockefeller Foundation created the Jane Jacobs Medal and paid me good money for the photograph you see here. 

Jane Jacobs Medal

Jane Jacobs and Viveca Lindfors  


Malamud, Singer, Roth, Bellows, Doctorow & That Bronx Gypsy

  



     

Previous Posts
I Am A Manichee

Joel Adria, 23, Floor Director - Helen Lawrence

Pascal's Wager, Prayer & Buster Crabbe

J. Robert Janes, Jerome Charyn & A Messerschmitt K...

Holly McCrea - Model - Poet - Creation Conduit.

Malamud, Singer, Roth, Bellows, Doctorow & That Br...

I Am Abraham & Mileage On Twitter With Old Photogr...

Tit for Tat - Me & My Sensitive Nipples

Helen Lawrence A One Take Film & Larry Campbells'...

Jerome Charyn's White House & Teddy's Desk



Archives
1/15/06 - 1/22/06

1/22/06 - 1/29/06

1/29/06 - 2/5/06

2/5/06 - 2/12/06

2/12/06 - 2/19/06

2/19/06 - 2/26/06

2/26/06 - 3/5/06

3/5/06 - 3/12/06

3/12/06 - 3/19/06

3/19/06 - 3/26/06

3/26/06 - 4/2/06

4/2/06 - 4/9/06

4/9/06 - 4/16/06

4/16/06 - 4/23/06

4/23/06 - 4/30/06

4/30/06 - 5/7/06

5/7/06 - 5/14/06

5/14/06 - 5/21/06

5/21/06 - 5/28/06

5/28/06 - 6/4/06

6/4/06 - 6/11/06

6/11/06 - 6/18/06

6/18/06 - 6/25/06

6/25/06 - 7/2/06

7/2/06 - 7/9/06

7/9/06 - 7/16/06

7/16/06 - 7/23/06

7/23/06 - 7/30/06

7/30/06 - 8/6/06

8/6/06 - 8/13/06

8/13/06 - 8/20/06

8/20/06 - 8/27/06

8/27/06 - 9/3/06

9/3/06 - 9/10/06

9/10/06 - 9/17/06

9/17/06 - 9/24/06

9/24/06 - 10/1/06

10/1/06 - 10/8/06

10/8/06 - 10/15/06

10/15/06 - 10/22/06

10/22/06 - 10/29/06

10/29/06 - 11/5/06

11/5/06 - 11/12/06

11/12/06 - 11/19/06

11/19/06 - 11/26/06

11/26/06 - 12/3/06

12/3/06 - 12/10/06

12/10/06 - 12/17/06

12/17/06 - 12/24/06

12/24/06 - 12/31/06

12/31/06 - 1/7/07

1/7/07 - 1/14/07

1/14/07 - 1/21/07

1/21/07 - 1/28/07

1/28/07 - 2/4/07

2/4/07 - 2/11/07

2/11/07 - 2/18/07

2/18/07 - 2/25/07

2/25/07 - 3/4/07

3/4/07 - 3/11/07

3/11/07 - 3/18/07

3/18/07 - 3/25/07

3/25/07 - 4/1/07

4/1/07 - 4/8/07

4/8/07 - 4/15/07

4/15/07 - 4/22/07

4/22/07 - 4/29/07

4/29/07 - 5/6/07

5/6/07 - 5/13/07

5/13/07 - 5/20/07

5/20/07 - 5/27/07

5/27/07 - 6/3/07

6/3/07 - 6/10/07

6/10/07 - 6/17/07

6/17/07 - 6/24/07

6/24/07 - 7/1/07

7/1/07 - 7/8/07

7/8/07 - 7/15/07

7/15/07 - 7/22/07

7/22/07 - 7/29/07

7/29/07 - 8/5/07

8/5/07 - 8/12/07

8/12/07 - 8/19/07

8/19/07 - 8/26/07

8/26/07 - 9/2/07

9/2/07 - 9/9/07

9/9/07 - 9/16/07

9/16/07 - 9/23/07

9/23/07 - 9/30/07

9/30/07 - 10/7/07

10/7/07 - 10/14/07

10/14/07 - 10/21/07

10/21/07 - 10/28/07

10/28/07 - 11/4/07

11/4/07 - 11/11/07

11/11/07 - 11/18/07

11/18/07 - 11/25/07

11/25/07 - 12/2/07

12/2/07 - 12/9/07

12/9/07 - 12/16/07

12/16/07 - 12/23/07

12/23/07 - 12/30/07

12/30/07 - 1/6/08

1/6/08 - 1/13/08

1/13/08 - 1/20/08

1/20/08 - 1/27/08

1/27/08 - 2/3/08

2/3/08 - 2/10/08

2/10/08 - 2/17/08

2/17/08 - 2/24/08

2/24/08 - 3/2/08

3/2/08 - 3/9/08

3/9/08 - 3/16/08

3/16/08 - 3/23/08

3/23/08 - 3/30/08

3/30/08 - 4/6/08

4/6/08 - 4/13/08

4/13/08 - 4/20/08

4/20/08 - 4/27/08

4/27/08 - 5/4/08

5/4/08 - 5/11/08

5/11/08 - 5/18/08

5/18/08 - 5/25/08

5/25/08 - 6/1/08

6/1/08 - 6/8/08

6/8/08 - 6/15/08

6/15/08 - 6/22/08

6/22/08 - 6/29/08

6/29/08 - 7/6/08

7/6/08 - 7/13/08

7/13/08 - 7/20/08

7/20/08 - 7/27/08

7/27/08 - 8/3/08

8/3/08 - 8/10/08

8/10/08 - 8/17/08

8/17/08 - 8/24/08

8/24/08 - 8/31/08

8/31/08 - 9/7/08

9/7/08 - 9/14/08

9/14/08 - 9/21/08

9/21/08 - 9/28/08

9/28/08 - 10/5/08

10/5/08 - 10/12/08

10/12/08 - 10/19/08

10/19/08 - 10/26/08

10/26/08 - 11/2/08

11/2/08 - 11/9/08

11/9/08 - 11/16/08

11/16/08 - 11/23/08

11/23/08 - 11/30/08

11/30/08 - 12/7/08

12/7/08 - 12/14/08

12/14/08 - 12/21/08

12/21/08 - 12/28/08

12/28/08 - 1/4/09

1/4/09 - 1/11/09

1/11/09 - 1/18/09

1/18/09 - 1/25/09

1/25/09 - 2/1/09

2/1/09 - 2/8/09

2/8/09 - 2/15/09

2/15/09 - 2/22/09

2/22/09 - 3/1/09

3/1/09 - 3/8/09

3/8/09 - 3/15/09

3/15/09 - 3/22/09

3/22/09 - 3/29/09

3/29/09 - 4/5/09

4/5/09 - 4/12/09

4/12/09 - 4/19/09

4/19/09 - 4/26/09

4/26/09 - 5/3/09

5/3/09 - 5/10/09

5/10/09 - 5/17/09

5/17/09 - 5/24/09

5/24/09 - 5/31/09

5/31/09 - 6/7/09

6/7/09 - 6/14/09

6/14/09 - 6/21/09

6/21/09 - 6/28/09

6/28/09 - 7/5/09

7/5/09 - 7/12/09

7/12/09 - 7/19/09

7/19/09 - 7/26/09

7/26/09 - 8/2/09

8/2/09 - 8/9/09

8/9/09 - 8/16/09

8/16/09 - 8/23/09

8/23/09 - 8/30/09

8/30/09 - 9/6/09

9/6/09 - 9/13/09

9/13/09 - 9/20/09

9/20/09 - 9/27/09

9/27/09 - 10/4/09

10/4/09 - 10/11/09

10/11/09 - 10/18/09

10/18/09 - 10/25/09

10/25/09 - 11/1/09

11/1/09 - 11/8/09

11/8/09 - 11/15/09

11/15/09 - 11/22/09

11/22/09 - 11/29/09

11/29/09 - 12/6/09

12/6/09 - 12/13/09

12/13/09 - 12/20/09

12/20/09 - 12/27/09

12/27/09 - 1/3/10

1/3/10 - 1/10/10

1/10/10 - 1/17/10

1/17/10 - 1/24/10

1/24/10 - 1/31/10

1/31/10 - 2/7/10

2/7/10 - 2/14/10

2/14/10 - 2/21/10

2/21/10 - 2/28/10

2/28/10 - 3/7/10

3/7/10 - 3/14/10

3/14/10 - 3/21/10

3/21/10 - 3/28/10

3/28/10 - 4/4/10

4/4/10 - 4/11/10

4/11/10 - 4/18/10

4/18/10 - 4/25/10

4/25/10 - 5/2/10

5/2/10 - 5/9/10

5/9/10 - 5/16/10

5/16/10 - 5/23/10

5/23/10 - 5/30/10

5/30/10 - 6/6/10

6/6/10 - 6/13/10

6/13/10 - 6/20/10

6/20/10 - 6/27/10

6/27/10 - 7/4/10

7/4/10 - 7/11/10

7/11/10 - 7/18/10

7/18/10 - 7/25/10

7/25/10 - 8/1/10

8/1/10 - 8/8/10

8/8/10 - 8/15/10

8/15/10 - 8/22/10

8/22/10 - 8/29/10

8/29/10 - 9/5/10

9/5/10 - 9/12/10

9/12/10 - 9/19/10

9/19/10 - 9/26/10

9/26/10 - 10/3/10

10/3/10 - 10/10/10

10/10/10 - 10/17/10

10/17/10 - 10/24/10

10/24/10 - 10/31/10

10/31/10 - 11/7/10

11/7/10 - 11/14/10

11/14/10 - 11/21/10

11/21/10 - 11/28/10

11/28/10 - 12/5/10

12/5/10 - 12/12/10

12/12/10 - 12/19/10

12/19/10 - 12/26/10

12/26/10 - 1/2/11

1/2/11 - 1/9/11

1/9/11 - 1/16/11

1/16/11 - 1/23/11

1/23/11 - 1/30/11

1/30/11 - 2/6/11

2/6/11 - 2/13/11

2/13/11 - 2/20/11

2/20/11 - 2/27/11

2/27/11 - 3/6/11

3/6/11 - 3/13/11

3/13/11 - 3/20/11

3/20/11 - 3/27/11

3/27/11 - 4/3/11

4/3/11 - 4/10/11

4/10/11 - 4/17/11

4/17/11 - 4/24/11

4/24/11 - 5/1/11

5/1/11 - 5/8/11

5/8/11 - 5/15/11

5/15/11 - 5/22/11

5/22/11 - 5/29/11

5/29/11 - 6/5/11

6/5/11 - 6/12/11

6/12/11 - 6/19/11

6/19/11 - 6/26/11

6/26/11 - 7/3/11

7/3/11 - 7/10/11

7/10/11 - 7/17/11

7/17/11 - 7/24/11

7/24/11 - 7/31/11

7/31/11 - 8/7/11

8/7/11 - 8/14/11

8/14/11 - 8/21/11

8/21/11 - 8/28/11

8/28/11 - 9/4/11

9/4/11 - 9/11/11

9/11/11 - 9/18/11

9/18/11 - 9/25/11

9/25/11 - 10/2/11

10/2/11 - 10/9/11

10/9/11 - 10/16/11

10/16/11 - 10/23/11

10/23/11 - 10/30/11

10/30/11 - 11/6/11

11/6/11 - 11/13/11

11/13/11 - 11/20/11

11/20/11 - 11/27/11

11/27/11 - 12/4/11

12/4/11 - 12/11/11

12/11/11 - 12/18/11

12/18/11 - 12/25/11

12/25/11 - 1/1/12

1/1/12 - 1/8/12

1/8/12 - 1/15/12

1/15/12 - 1/22/12

1/22/12 - 1/29/12

1/29/12 - 2/5/12

2/5/12 - 2/12/12

2/12/12 - 2/19/12

2/19/12 - 2/26/12

2/26/12 - 3/4/12

3/4/12 - 3/11/12

3/11/12 - 3/18/12

3/18/12 - 3/25/12

3/25/12 - 4/1/12

4/1/12 - 4/8/12

4/8/12 - 4/15/12

4/15/12 - 4/22/12

4/22/12 - 4/29/12

4/29/12 - 5/6/12

5/6/12 - 5/13/12

5/13/12 - 5/20/12

5/20/12 - 5/27/12

5/27/12 - 6/3/12

6/3/12 - 6/10/12

6/10/12 - 6/17/12

6/17/12 - 6/24/12

6/24/12 - 7/1/12

7/1/12 - 7/8/12

7/8/12 - 7/15/12

7/15/12 - 7/22/12

7/22/12 - 7/29/12

7/29/12 - 8/5/12

8/5/12 - 8/12/12

8/12/12 - 8/19/12

8/19/12 - 8/26/12

8/26/12 - 9/2/12

9/2/12 - 9/9/12

9/9/12 - 9/16/12

9/16/12 - 9/23/12

9/23/12 - 9/30/12

9/30/12 - 10/7/12

10/7/12 - 10/14/12

10/14/12 - 10/21/12

10/21/12 - 10/28/12

10/28/12 - 11/4/12

11/4/12 - 11/11/12

11/11/12 - 11/18/12

11/18/12 - 11/25/12

11/25/12 - 12/2/12

12/2/12 - 12/9/12

12/9/12 - 12/16/12

12/16/12 - 12/23/12

12/23/12 - 12/30/12

12/30/12 - 1/6/13

1/6/13 - 1/13/13

1/13/13 - 1/20/13

1/20/13 - 1/27/13

1/27/13 - 2/3/13

2/3/13 - 2/10/13

2/10/13 - 2/17/13

2/17/13 - 2/24/13

2/24/13 - 3/3/13

3/3/13 - 3/10/13

3/10/13 - 3/17/13

3/17/13 - 3/24/13

3/24/13 - 3/31/13

3/31/13 - 4/7/13

4/7/13 - 4/14/13

4/14/13 - 4/21/13

4/21/13 - 4/28/13

4/28/13 - 5/5/13

5/5/13 - 5/12/13

5/12/13 - 5/19/13

5/19/13 - 5/26/13

5/26/13 - 6/2/13

6/2/13 - 6/9/13

6/9/13 - 6/16/13

6/16/13 - 6/23/13

6/23/13 - 6/30/13

6/30/13 - 7/7/13

7/7/13 - 7/14/13

7/14/13 - 7/21/13

7/21/13 - 7/28/13

7/28/13 - 8/4/13

8/4/13 - 8/11/13

8/11/13 - 8/18/13

8/18/13 - 8/25/13

8/25/13 - 9/1/13

9/1/13 - 9/8/13

9/8/13 - 9/15/13

9/15/13 - 9/22/13

9/22/13 - 9/29/13

9/29/13 - 10/6/13

10/6/13 - 10/13/13

10/13/13 - 10/20/13

10/20/13 - 10/27/13

10/27/13 - 11/3/13

11/3/13 - 11/10/13

11/10/13 - 11/17/13

11/17/13 - 11/24/13

11/24/13 - 12/1/13

12/1/13 - 12/8/13

12/8/13 - 12/15/13

12/15/13 - 12/22/13

12/22/13 - 12/29/13

12/29/13 - 1/5/14

1/5/14 - 1/12/14

1/12/14 - 1/19/14

1/19/14 - 1/26/14

1/26/14 - 2/2/14

2/2/14 - 2/9/14

2/9/14 - 2/16/14

2/16/14 - 2/23/14

2/23/14 - 3/2/14

3/2/14 - 3/9/14

3/9/14 - 3/16/14

3/16/14 - 3/23/14

3/23/14 - 3/30/14

3/30/14 - 4/6/14

4/6/14 - 4/13/14

4/13/14 - 4/20/14

4/20/14 - 4/27/14

4/27/14 - 5/4/14

5/4/14 - 5/11/14

5/11/14 - 5/18/14

5/18/14 - 5/25/14

5/25/14 - 6/1/14

6/1/14 - 6/8/14

6/8/14 - 6/15/14

6/15/14 - 6/22/14

6/22/14 - 6/29/14

6/29/14 - 7/6/14

7/6/14 - 7/13/14

7/13/14 - 7/20/14

7/20/14 - 7/27/14

7/27/14 - 8/3/14

8/3/14 - 8/10/14

8/10/14 - 8/17/14

8/17/14 - 8/24/14

8/24/14 - 8/31/14

8/31/14 - 9/7/14

9/7/14 - 9/14/14

9/14/14 - 9/21/14

9/21/14 - 9/28/14

9/28/14 - 10/5/14

10/5/14 - 10/12/14

10/12/14 - 10/19/14

10/19/14 - 10/26/14

10/26/14 - 11/2/14

11/2/14 - 11/9/14

11/9/14 - 11/16/14

11/16/14 - 11/23/14

11/23/14 - 11/30/14

11/30/14 - 12/7/14

12/7/14 - 12/14/14

12/14/14 - 12/21/14

12/21/14 - 12/28/14

12/28/14 - 1/4/15

1/4/15 - 1/11/15

1/11/15 - 1/18/15

1/18/15 - 1/25/15

1/25/15 - 2/1/15

2/1/15 - 2/8/15

2/8/15 - 2/15/15

2/15/15 - 2/22/15

2/22/15 - 3/1/15

3/1/15 - 3/8/15

3/8/15 - 3/15/15

3/15/15 - 3/22/15

3/22/15 - 3/29/15

3/29/15 - 4/5/15

4/5/15 - 4/12/15

4/12/15 - 4/19/15

4/19/15 - 4/26/15

4/26/15 - 5/3/15

5/3/15 - 5/10/15

5/10/15 - 5/17/15

5/17/15 - 5/24/15

5/24/15 - 5/31/15

5/31/15 - 6/7/15

6/7/15 - 6/14/15

6/14/15 - 6/21/15

6/21/15 - 6/28/15

6/28/15 - 7/5/15

7/5/15 - 7/12/15

7/12/15 - 7/19/15

7/19/15 - 7/26/15

7/26/15 - 8/2/15

8/2/15 - 8/9/15

8/9/15 - 8/16/15

8/16/15 - 8/23/15

8/23/15 - 8/30/15

8/30/15 - 9/6/15

9/6/15 - 9/13/15

9/13/15 - 9/20/15

9/20/15 - 9/27/15

9/27/15 - 10/4/15

10/4/15 - 10/11/15

10/18/15 - 10/25/15

10/25/15 - 11/1/15

11/1/15 - 11/8/15

11/8/15 - 11/15/15

11/15/15 - 11/22/15

11/22/15 - 11/29/15

11/29/15 - 12/6/15

12/6/15 - 12/13/15

12/13/15 - 12/20/15

12/20/15 - 12/27/15

12/27/15 - 1/3/16

1/3/16 - 1/10/16

1/10/16 - 1/17/16

1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17