Driving About Architecture

I’m mentioned in a New York Times article today, thanks to some consulting work I’m doing on the next edition of The AIA Guide To New York City, a book I own four copies of, one of each edition.

A friend of mine and musician in the local roots scene, Fran Leadon, is co-authoring the guide with Norval White, one of the deans of NYC architecture. I built them the content management system they’re using to work on the text and the many accompanying photographs (You can read a bit more about that on my web site) and a few weeks ago I volunteered to drive the two of them around Brooklyn to see all the new buildings.

It was a testament on many levels to why I love New York City. Norval has an astounding memory, with a historical anecdote about almost any block in New York (at one point he took us a few blocks out of our way in Crown Heights to see a lovely little church tucked away on what seemed like just another residential block), and seeing the city with him is to see it entirely differently.

Beyond that, New York City makes for wonderful random connections, like meeting a world-famous architect by virtue of the fact that I play bluegrass with a guy who is an architecture professor, and I love it. Fran and I have actually been in the Times before, but via music rather than architecture. I guess it’s a twist on the old cliché: talking about architecture can come from playing music.

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