Urbanism as Storytelling

“The lost home that we are seeking is ourselves; it is the story we carry within ourselves” ~ Michael Meade Humans are at heart storytellers. Why are stories important to us?  Beyond simple entertainment, they are the original educational tools.  As Mr. Rogers tells us, “Frankly there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love if…

Bridges: The Repair and Maintenance of Infrastructure and Relationships

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges” – Joseph Fort Newton At least twice a week I find myself riding the bike path along the Potomac River, from Arlington VA south to Old Town Alexandria or into downtown Washington. It’s an excellent 10– mile ride, with wide vistas, closed in woods, watery marshes,…

Toward A More “Feminine” Urbanism

“A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know.”  ~Margaret Mead In a recent blog post, I explored the vision and process by which Pierre L’Enfant designed the city of Washington.  Essentially, I reported on the work of Nicholas Mann, in his book…

Café Life

“Community is about how we treat others who are like us; civility is about how we treat the stranger on the street” – David Brain A number of years ago, I started a consulting practice in Lancaster PA, out of a small unit in an apartment building I owned at the time. I had a…

Car- Free Living

Sometimes, disaster can strike and what seems like a life-changing mess turns out to be a great prize. So it was when my car was rear-ended at a stoplight this past July. Waiting patiently for the light to change, I was slammed into by a drunk driver at 45 mph and three cars were subsequently…

Jane Jacobs, Meet Joseph Campbell

“Individuation is impossible without relationship to one’s environment.” – Carl Jung Most of us have played the game of identifying famous people we’d like to invite to a dinner party. Ages ago, there was a wonderful TV show, “Meeting of the Minds,” which played this out for us. Steve Allen, the founder and original host…

Urbanism and the Deeper Materialism of Michael Stone

One year ago, during the blizzard of January 2016, I was trapped in an Air B&B for a couple of days. With the wind howling and the streets blocked, there was little to do but cook, watch the snow come down, and talk.

The Flaneur as Spiritual Seeker

“Walking can be meditative therapy – not an idyllic hike by the ocean – but simply around the city for hours in the early morning or evening” – James Hillman When I was 24 and could find no intentional plan or direction for my life, I decided to live in Brussels. Ostensibly, this was part…

Chakras and the Transect

Humans are nothing if not expert at inventing systems to make sense of their world. Thus the joke: The brain wants two things; a problem to solve, and an answer. Read more