Category Archives: Cities

Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (1972)

Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (1972) from Repazzo on Vimeo.

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Urban possibility

What anti-urbanists seem to forget is that most of the great creations of humanity were not solitary, but socially constructed, and that such things require the development of relationships, the in-person interaction even in (or, perhaps, especially in) a digitally-mediated … Continue reading

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Reflecting on Finals Exams

Finals day is tough for students, but it is tough in an entirely different way for those who, like me, teach. I do not mean the grueling hours of early mornings and lengthy grading days that come after finals—though to … Continue reading

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Vancouver: the similitudes of the past, and those of the future

I have not been to Vancouver, in any meaningful sense, in five years. By Vancouver I mean the real one, the one that in the states (and only in the states) we append with “B.C.” in order to distinguish it … Continue reading

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What does it mean to be “from” somewhere?

In Oregon, I have this silly game I play regarding license plates. In 1960, the state issued its first and only slogan-bearing license plate. Yellow letters, blue background, and along the lower edge the phrase “Pacific Wonderland.” They lasted but … Continue reading

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Nervousness

Portland has the socially nervous, self-conscious awkwardness of a younger sibling. From an objective view, the city is as culturally rich as San Francisco but, more importantly, it is denser with that culture. The neighborhoods of Portland sprawl out more … Continue reading

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Cultural Landscapes Defined

So just what are cultural landscape studies? As the study of them plays a significant role in my academic work, I get asked this question a lot, so I felt I should try and answer it here. Consider this, then, the most cursory of … Continue reading

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This Place is Big

The Bay Area is big. It sprawls. People here like to look down their noses as Los Angeles, like to sneer about how auto-oriented they are, and yet for all the public transit here the Bay Area is a truly … Continue reading

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I am from Maine

There are times, living in the Bay Area, that I feel like I am not from Portland, Oregon, but Portland, Maine. Sitting in bars with ears wide open, holding conversations with others at the university, or talking with California colleagues, … Continue reading

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Historic Preservation, Unusual Artifacts, and the Big Preservation Question

Historic preservation is difficult under even the most ideal conditions, but it is all the more difficult when the subject is—important or not—odd or obscure. Thus we have the case of the last dual gauge streetcar track in Portland. Its … Continue reading

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