26 February 2010

3-Days, yes 3-Days people.

actually - 69 hours.

Bring It On!

"Piranesi 1741"
Even Piranesi gave in to Graffiti
Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli Italy

20 February 2010


Recently, I have been feeling a bit stuck:

Between my thesis's continual slow crawl and the frequent reminders of things abroad.
Between my need to keep working and accomplishing and the lack of general enlightening conversation with actual, living people.
Between academia and the real word.
Between the past and the future.

All in all, sometimes it just gets a bit confusing late at night when the words start to blur together.
I know this all has to be leading somewhere.  Hopefully I'm climbing a staircase and I am sure the view will be worth it when I reach the top.

[10 bonus points to anyone who can name both images]

By the way, if you ever find yourself in Florence, have some time and are feeling a little hungry:  Find the Piazza di Santa Croce, face the Basilica di Santa Croce, look for Dante [of Inferno fame] - he will be standing to the Left.  Walk down the via behind him, there will be a little place on the left [seriously, these were the directions that a very friendly local gave us at our hotel when we asked for a good place to eat - he was right]  It is pretty fantastic - and you just have to try the wild boar, it will change your life.  Don't forget the house wine, it makes everything brilliant.

18 February 2010

This is a little gem from Wilson's 20th century class last year, enjoy the architectural knowledge I have just bestowed on you. Mies van der Rohe was a leading figure of the architectural world in the United States and pretty much invented what we think of as the modern skyscraper.

For all those diligently working towards the March 1st deadline [you know who you are], keep going and good luck. I am right there with ya'll (and yes I just typed ya'll)!

Euine Fay Jones:

“Architecture is invention – is innovation – but it is also remembering.”

16 February 2010

Happy Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday has come again and I thought I would post a couple of photographs - colored especially for the occasion. Purple, Gold and Green being the most prominent color pallet of the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans.

In other matters, the Thesis deadline is fast approaching. I think I am to the point where I can fully focus on writing until the March 1st deadline. The problem is I keep finding new and interesting tangents of research. I need to stop worrying and just write for a couple of day solid, then I think I will feel better about the whole thing.

I also wanted to post that the Thomas Jefferson Student Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians had its first meeting of the semester yesterday. I am glad that we finally were able to all meet, regardless of bad weather. Some of the proposed lectures this semester, including Jesus Escobar are going to be fantastic. I can't wait to hear some of these exciting speakers. I have put a link to our chapter of SAH if anyone is interested in more info regarding the group or our upcoming events.

As a final note, I found these really interesting mini-documentaries on several well known modern architectural sites including structures by KoolHaas, Renzo Piano and Meier. These short films have all been produced under the auspices of a film series known as Living Architectures. You can find out more about this project at this site: http://www.living-architectures.com/html/filmseries.html. These look fantastic, and the trailers are amazing!


14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

So, I have been back in the states for quite a while now. I thought I would finish up some of the loose ends from England, and post an update about some interesting happenings in Charlottesville.

Thanks to my good friend Sarah and all my other friends at the Courtauld, the last week of my stay in England was fantastic. As a last hurrah, several of my classmates traveled from London to Bath to meet up with Sarah. We all got a personalized tour of Bath and had a wonderful time meeting Sarah’s family. The town was lovely, even though it was cold and rainy. I have already been to Bath earlier in the semester, but it was great to see Bath through the eyes of a local, especially all the lovely residential areas that a normal tourist wouldn’t even know about. I was also fortunate enough to stay the night with Sarah and her family in their lovely home. Being the architecture geek that I am, staying a night in one of the famous Bath crescents was too good an opportunity to pass up, even without the added benefit of a night with a good friend.

Wolf, Kaitlyn and Sarah in Bath (I really love this picture because of the Gothic arch over Sarah's head)

Sarah enjoying the architecture of Bath

Wolf and Kaitlyn

Sarah at Lansdown Cemetery and Beckford's Tower

This is an older picture from our Hampstead Heath day, but still great

The next day, I traveled back to London by train and meet up with another good friend of mine, Rachel. She had been kind enough to put me up in France for couple of fun filled days, so I returned the favor as a personal tour guide. We went all over the city, ate, drank and were generally merry for several days. This included a night out at the theatre and an all around great time taking photographs, drinking tea and shopping. Sadly, Rachel had to leave in time to spend Christmas with another group of English friends. After Rachel’s departure, and a few more days spend Christmas shopping and doing some last minute sightseeing and museum visiting, it was time to head to Heathrow for my flight. It was a sad moment, sitting in a Chili’s in the Heathrow international departure lounge, nursing a cider and thinking about all the stuff I was going to miss. [I have to say though, the burger was pretty fantastic] But, it was wonderful to be home for Christmas, especially since my gifts for everyone were pretty much the best, if I do say so myself.

Rachel, enjoying the cold in London

After spending Christmas and New Years with the family, I headed to Memphis a couple of times to see Brian and Virginia. The first trip, it was dinner and Christmas gifts in Mid-town. The second trip was a Razorback fans dream, including attending the Liberty Bowl and some wonderful fun with Virginia and her family. The game was in the evening and the temperature was about 17° Fahrenheit [-10° C] without the wind-chill. Needless to say, it was pretty chilly, but we both survived and had a fun time cheering for the Razorbacks.

The U of A Band marching the traditional "A"

After several weeks at home, it was time to head back to the state of Virginia [not to be confused with my best friend, also named Virginia. Living in a state with her name has made for some pretty funny and confusing conversations.] As it happens, I got to Virginia just in time for school and the biggest snowstorm I have ever witnessed. It did look pretty, and it is interesting to have snow to play in for a couple of days, but really, I am just done with it. 20+ inches is just not fun. I haven’t been able to move my car in over a week [stupid front wheel drive].

Anyway, on the academic front, 2 weeks and counting till my Thesis draft is due. Although I am busy working, I keep coming up with new stuff to write about and I hope I can pull it all together by March 1st.

Section, Bella Vista Chapel [Cooper Memorial Chapel]