Archive | Culture

Chicago’s tourism anthem. Also: Why Fort Wayne does not want a tourism anthem

Can we agree that even if Fort Wayne should seek out a tourism anthem, that it’s better to not have one than to have a cheesy one like what Chicago has cooked up? Yes? Thank you.

P.S. It’s like the Choose Chicago board read my previous post and wanted to rub my face in it.

P.P.S. Here’s betting you can’t listen to the entire five minutes. (I couldn’t.)

HT: The AV Club

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Quote: On city logotypes and slogans

I was not interested in an official city logotype or a slogan. City logotypes do little and slogans are a sign of insecurity. If your place needs a slogan, it has a problem. A brand is not just a logotype, it’s a set of values that are communicated through actions.

— Peter Saville, consultant creative director for Manchester, England

Source: The Atlantic Cities blog

 

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The suburban general store

Would our friends in Aboite or north of Dupont welcome such an idea as a general store in the neighborhood?

(W)hat if every suburban subdivision had the equivalent of a local bodega? That’s the idea behind the Suburban General Store, which would provide a central place for residents to pick up sundry items as well as recycle their bottles, drop off DVDs, and buy stamps—all within a five-minute walk.

“We began thinking about subdivisions much less as vast areas of suburbia but as towns,” says Frank Ruchala, a 31-year-old urban planner and architect. “Then we wondered whether a general store could work just as well in that context as it did in small villages a hundred years ago.”

… Under their scheme, everyday amenities would be shoehorned into an existing building such as a pool house, and an added porch would create space for socializing.

Of course, the big problem with such stores is that they’re usually illegal, thanks to zoning regulations.

But if you live in the suburbs, would a small retail establishment be handy? Would you use it? Or would you oppose it?

Photo from Allen County Photo Album

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‘Longing for the City’

Hello! If you’re here because of being invited at the “Longing for the City” talk Wednesday night, welcome!

I’ll post lists of recommended books and resources on this Web site as time permits. Plus, if you have recommendations, please leave a comment here.

Thanks for coming!

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Chesterton on the modern world

“The special mark of the modern world is not that it is skeptical, but that it is dogmatic without knowing it. It says, in mockery of old devotees, that they believed without knowing why they believed.

“But the moderns believe without knowing what they believe — and without even knowing that they do believe it. Their freedom consists in first freely assuming a creed, and then freely forgetting that they are assuming it.”

— G.K. Chesterton

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The ethics of where you live

Quote by Eric O. Jacobsen:

I believe that choosing to live in a neighbourhood that is mixed in income, mixed in use, and replete with inviting public spaces can be an important fundamental ethical decision. When we can walk from our home to the corner coffee shop or park with the realistic expectation of running into someone who is destitute in one way or another, we place ourselves in the uncomfortable realm of Christian decision making.

— From the article “Where Then Shall We Live? The traditional neighbourhood as a fundamental ethical choice” in Comment magazine

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In Defense of Fake Authenticity

Note: Just tonight, I realized that an essay that was first published elsewhere was no longer online. After some searching through the Wayback Machine, I found it again and post it here for posterity’s sake.

This essay is a response of sorts to a post on Scott Greider’s blog in which he criticizes a local Uno’s Pizzaria for looking like an old urban building but actually being a new suburban building. I agreed with Scott’s concerns, but offered a different perspective. The Uno’s in question has since closed.

wrenthamwideMy friend Scott is frustrated with a pizza place.

He enjoyed the food, he liked the prices, and he thought the service was acceptable.

But he still feels like he’s been lied to — by the building itself.

“What made this place so cool — primarily its atmosphere — was … well … inauthentic!” Scott said on his blog after his visit to Uno’s Chicago Grill in Fort Wayne.

“You see, this was a brand new building out in the sprawling suburbs on a lot surrounded by parking spaces that was intentionally trying to look and feel a hundred years old.”

He’s right, especially when he compares the Fort Wayne restaurant to the original Uno’s in Chicago.

My family and I ate at the original Uno’s last year, and while we ate deep-dish authentic Chicago pizza elbow-to-elbow around a table a bit too big for the tiny dining room, even the youngest of us knew we weren’t just taking in a pizza. We were taking in history.

Continue Reading →

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Grace for the secular city

The Gospel is a powerful testimony of grace and brokenness for the secular city.  In the fall of man, we love to build ourselves up to maximum boasts and radical displays of self-sufficiency apart from the Lord.  This display is visibly featured in the city: we love to invest in highly lucrative businesses or build up lavish homes in our cities. …

But the Gospel does not testify to self-sufficiency; it testifies to radical brokenness, real humility, rooted in grace. … But the life of the Gospel, the life of justifying faith, is the life of putting away these self-actualized achievements to the cross of Christ, in knowing a new and better life in His name.

— From “Evangelism, the Lord’s Supper, and the Self-Sufficient City” by Rick Palma

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