Day 49 :: Hiatus

Two depictions of Sao Paulo – the international hub of culture, commerce, and metropolitan life; and the layer of working-class poverty beneath (and around). And finally, one (temporarily) last sketch.

Good news and bad news today. First with the bad: to ensure a problem free trek through Africa and avoid diplomatic issues in, say, Namibia or some other remote land, my plans have changed for the time being. Instead of departing Sao Paulo tonight for my trans-Atlantic flight to Cape Town, South Africa, I will be returning to Chicago. The hiccup in traveling comes at a good time; allowing me to amend new pages to my full passport aside, general exhaustion from a somewhat insane schedule and the need to pickup more of my end of things with regards to Perspecta will make my ‘break from a break’ much needed. Not to mention, traveling with an undisclosed amount of currency for my eventual return to Iran (all forms of Western banking are strictly forbidden there and so travelers need to arrive with cash) has kept me more on edge than necessary.

As for the good news: a week before moving to Vienna and marking the beginning of the first leg of my travels (Eastern Europe) associated with the gracious endowment of the William Wirt Winchester Fellowship by the Yale School of Architecture, I was contacted by a junior staff member at Cynthia Davidson’s ANY Corp. to write a critique on Ben van Berkel and Zaha Hadid’s new additions to Chicago’s Millennium Park. Native to the city’s southside and generally interested in the intellectual well-being of the development of Chicago’s architectural discourse I accepted the challenge. I called upon a close friend, previous classmate, and overtly-eager-to-get-published vagabond Alexander Maymind to assist in the development of the article. Though there were times we swore never to work with one another again, in the end I’d like to think we had a good time struggling through the material we aimed to discuss.  For general background about the publication, an exerpt from ANY Corp’s website:

Log is a journal of writing about contemporary architecture, cities, and the built environment, published by the Anyone Corporation. A forum for observations, speculations and ideas about all things current, Log examines the present with an architectural bent, an historical perspective, and a critical eye. It embodies its name; a log of events, a series of mono-logs becoming a kind of dia-log; Log is a reading of our spaces in and for our time.”

And a link to the Winter 2010 (LOG 18) installment (with a list of other contributors) can be found here: http://www.anycorp.com/log/log.php?id=41 .

29 cities, 90 cab rides, 30 train rides, 12 buses, 19 flights traversing 17,000 nautical miles (approximately 130 more miles on foot), 4 hotels, 10 hostels, and 10,753 hits to my blog later, I return to Chicago exactly 7 weeks after my departure.

As they say, we only part to meet again.

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