A Matter of Perspective

Because, look – just look at the world below! The entire superstructure of a city reduced to a mere toyscape. Little toy cars moving about on little toy roads – noiselessly, aromalessly; little toy trees and little toy people. A city with a thousand years of history reduced to a view from a window. All its gates and gardens and towers; its monuments and markets, its politics, its ugliness , its many irregularities reduced to a fine palimpsest of design. This was the undeniable miracle of flight: not that it allowed you to travel great distances in small amounts of time, not the actual physics of getting 200 tonnes of metal to stay up in the air. No. It was the miracle of perspective. The fact that down there could be anywhere.

~The Pleasure Seekers, p. 214.

Planes are the Place I Think Best

I’ve been back in Toronto for a couple of hours now, and unpacking my suitcase, I’ve already realized that I’ve forgotten my indoor sandals, the base of my Krups kettle, and my USB key (at which point I abandoned unpacking and gave myself a proper scolding about being a more careful person). Now that that scolding is out of the way, today’s podcast episode is about my reflections from the flight from Vancouver to Toronto. Specifically, I’m talking about the difficulties of detaching from things,the importance of recognizing the blessings you have (and using them properly) and what landing a plane indicates about goal-setting. You can hear it here.

p.s-I had to stop the recording at one point, and the sound changed afterwards. Please excuse the audio quality!

Liveable, Walkable, Affordable

I love reading and visiting different communities and learning about how they implement different principles of city building. Today, I read about a neighbourhood in Hamburg, Germany, that is bringing together ideas of walkability, green space, mixed use and affordability to create “the neighbourhood of the future”, and it made me excited thinking about travel post graduation and learning more about the development of cities through real-world experiences and encounters.

You can read the full article here.

The Power of Video: A Beautiful Video from TEDxDubai

The theme of TEDxDubai this year is The Beauty of Small Things, and the event promo video is a time-lapse of Dubai’s growth over the past ten years. It’s a stunning watch, and a great reminder that outside of North America planning looks very different, (and it’s important to understand different contexts) and as planners, it’s important to be able to tell stories in multiple ways. We spend most of our time thinking through words and written text, but the medium of film can create space for entirely different conversations to occur (To read more about the event, their Vimeo page is here)

TEDxDubai 2011 | The Beauty of Small Things | Main Titles from METAphrenie on Vimeo.

Before a Trip, a Bit Of Alain de Botton is Most Necessary

It is always a treat to open a Alain de Botton book at random and see what it has to say. Today was no different.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves – that is brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

~Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel.

I Have a Feeling I Won’t Be Invited Up This Time Around

Yesterday I found the loveliest gem in the inbox of my old email account: a description of my very first trip to Toronto nine years ago. I’ve pretty much recycled all my papers from high school so finding it was a rare treat, and aside from reminding me of my love of random capitalisation, awkward semicolons, big words and exclamation marks, it was a great reminder that I’ve thankfully grown heaps since then, and though I have butterflies in my stomach about leaving in a few (!) days, it is only by undergoing new experiences that we increase our capacity to act and do more.  (Clearly I haven’t gotten rid of my love of run on sentences quite yet though). Enjoy this window into August 4th 2001, it definitely gave me a much needed laugh. =)

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