Day: March 19, 2016

People (and Dog) Watching in Rome

Saturday was a picture perfect day in Rome.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Mid-60s temperature.  Our windows were open all day to let in the fresh air and sunshine.  It was a day that called us to go outside. And we did just that, heading over to the largest landscaped public park in Rome, located nearby the Academy in Monteverde on the Janiculum.  While we walked, talked, and enjoyed the sunshine, we primarily engaged in the age-old past-time of people watching.  Thankfully, we were rewarded in this beehive of activity.  Children playing football. Teenagers in love. Older couples holding hands, both to show affection and to steady their partner. Picnics on the grass. Danish architect Jan Gehl has said that – in the past 50 years – architects, landscape architects and planners… “…have gotten confused about scale. They constantly confuse car scale with people scale. Sometimes they make a mix, but most of the time they make car scale and say, look, there’s a sidewalk, people can walk here. What’s the problem? That is …

To Be An Artist

Yesterday the Fellows Walk took us to the opposite side of Rome, where the city grew outside the walls in the 19th century.  It was a different take, focused on unification, industrialization, and city planning. The tour ended in the Quartiere Coppedè (the Coppedè Quarter) designed by architect Gino Coppedè. A small enclave of apartments and houses from the early 20th century, the buildings exhibit a riot of every Italian architectural influence imaginable.  Wild historical eclecticism – one short-lived response to modernism of the early 20th century. Following the end of the tour, Candice and I roamed the neighborhood with Jeff Cody from the Getty, taking photographs and finding new elements to view on every wall.  Over a coffee, Jeff pulled out a small sketch book to show us some drawings he had made from earlier visits to Italy, and it was then that I regretted not having taken any sketching classes in my life. Just look at these possibilities in the Quartiere Coppedè:         It was the second time in two …