Thursday, March 27, 2014


all cities fascinate me; washington dc amazed me.

walking in a city as well planned as washington dc, means every intersection is picturesque. having only a day to explore it's urban landscape meant every minute found me in [architectural sensory overload].  in school we studied kevin lynch's book "image of the city" which discusses "imageability" and "wayfinding," terms which identify what elements of a city make it more memorable in your mind.  walking through dc i discovered just how memorable well defined paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks make a city.  all these elements worked in perfect harmony and left me with a better appreciation for thoughtful urban planning.  i also enjoyed the sensitivity to the sense of scale. along the mall, buildings and monuments tower above you, but walkways, landscaping, patios, and seating make you feel comfortable at a more human scale.  little spots perfectly placed to interact with other people while enjoying the monumental backdrop. i could go on about how much this city surprised me; hopefully the pictures do a better job.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

perfect [strangers]

i celebrated my birthday with 10 people i had never met...and it couldn't have been more memorable.

over the past several years, i've always seemed to be in a different location for my birthday.  this year found me in washington dc attending an architecture conference.  actually, the conference had ended that afternoon and a few people from the young associates committee were staying an extra night, and kindly invited me to join them for dinner.  through various helpings of pizza and drinks, one of them mentioned their birthday had been the other day. having been silent about my own birthday, i thought it too much of a coincidence not to mention it was in fact mine that day. 

somewhere between those two facts and a single cupcake with a candle on it, we all became friends. the evening continued past dessert right into a dive bar with pool tables and cheap drinks.  conversation topics ranged from the serious, like what type of projects everyone worked on, to the more entertaining, like what movie would you'd watch if you were on a desert island and only had one to watch. we drank, played pool, shuffle board, and darts. basically conversations and activities you'd have with life long friends.

although i missed the wonderful people i call my friends and family back at home, there was something very refreshing spending a birthday with 10 complete strangers...people who i may never see again...but who are now facebook friends.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

group [shots]

in a world filled with oddly angled, out of focused, and badly cropped group "selfies", i'm still a fan of the well composed group shot.  one thing i've been trying to do more of, to the annoyance of my friends, is take more of them.  there's just something intriguing about them.  looking back over pictures i've taken the last couple of years, i always find myself enjoying the "group shots" a little more. 

trying to figure out exactly why i enjoy taking group shot, i've narrowed it down to two reasons. first, group shots tend to happen when you and your friends are enjoying an activity or event.  seeing multiple smiling faces in a picture always takes me back to that time and place.  next, they're extremely hard to organize and take.  the more people in them, the more people you have to ask to stop what they're doing, get up, move, and smile for a picture.  also, the timing for the photo, i learned you have about 10 to 15 seconds to get everyone moved and organized before people start to get annoyed.  assuming you can get everyone placed, the lighting is good and everyone fits in the frame, it really is worth it.

here are a couple of group shots of my friends, that will forever remind me of st. patricks day 2014.