NYC –> Shanghai, 23 days: “Enough is as Good as a Feast”

August 17th, 2013. 23 days.

2013-08-18 12.23.33I came across this ridiculously lovely scene earlier today in the East Village and I swear it had the same effect on me as seeing those now ubiquitous photos of gut-wrenchingly cute kittens and puppies (and any other small animal, really) on Facebook. But besides being all sorts of cute with its mismatched chairs and bird house wind chime, I was struck by how industrious a space this was. It’s no secret that space is at a premium in dense cities like New York. Being creative with what little you have is essentially a prerequisite for (happily) living here. While this particular nexus between private and public space – or specifically, “semi-private” space – tows the line between shabby chic and homely, it just works. I can just imagine two little old ladies sitting, having a chat, enjoying the fresh air, maybe even engaging in pleasantries with familiar neighborhood faces and other passersby. As an urban designer, these spaces are not just an example of making lemons out of lemonade, they are priceless additions to residential neighborhoods. They are engaging, charming, key parts of successful places.

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