Because of several visits over the years to Boston and New York City, I have become increasingly interested in the work of Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted is the first American landscape architect and responsible for many park designs, including Central Park. If you are not familiar with Olmsted, here’s a nice video to introduce him to you:
This past January I was in the Bay Area. Our youngest son, Chris, was looking into PhD programs at both University of California, Berkeley and Stanford. I just had to take him to Pebble Beach Country Club and Carmel. He was quite willing to go. Imagine this place when all the effects of sin are lifted!
The great suburban build-out is over….We shall have to live with its consequences for a long time. The chief consequence is that the living arrangement most Americans think of as “normal” is bankrupting us both personally and at every level of government…A further consequence is that two generations have grown up and matured in America without experiencing what it is like to live in a human habitat of quality. We have lost so much culture in the sense of how to build things well. Bodies of knowledge and sets of skills that took centuries to develop were tossed into the garbage, and we will not get them back easily. The culture of architecture was lost to Modernism and its dogmas. The culture of town planning was handed over to lawyers and bureaucrats, with pockets of resistance mopped up by the automobile, highway, and real estate interests.
You might say the overall consequence is that we have lost our sense of consequence. Living in places where nothing is connected properly, we have forgotten that connections are important.
Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), 245-46.
According to the Haggadah (the book which gives the order of the Passover seder), the four most beautiful women (character and physical looks) were: Sarah, Esther, Abigail, and Rahab. Interesting to see who is here and who is omitted.