City Life

You Can Improve Your City by Growing Food: Try Guerrilla Grafting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city ordinances.

Guerrilla grafting is one way of making your city more hospitable to their residents without relying on official guidelines.  All you really need,  take some cuttings from fruit-bearing plants, have a few very simple tools, and provide a little tender loving care.

Why Don’t Cities Plant Fruit Trees?

The reason many cities only plant non-fruit-bearing fruits, they are much easier to care for and no one has to spend a great deal of time cleaning up after these plants dropping their fruit on public places including sidewalks.

There does not seem to be a high-in-demand for people to harvest and distribute fruit nor does anyone have the time.  Adding to that, there are places like San Francisco (hold my tongue) that consider grafting as vandalism.

What many places don’t understand, planting and taking care of plants that produce fruit is quite critical for communities in need of fresh fruit such as low-income neighborhoods where these groceries are very hard to come by.

Many of the people in these neighborhoods do not have access to a car to make extra or special trips to the store and do not have the money to spend on healthy items like fruit.  These areas, unlike other neighborhoods, are prime for grafting.

Guerrilla Grafters founder, Tara Hui, was denied by city officials when she wanted to alleviate fruit foods shortage in the Bay Area.  She decided to take it on herself, she joined with fellow agricultural activists to transform their existing trees into fruit-bearing trees and collect data to prove this really does work.

The group only splices edible plants into areas where volunteers will monitor and maintain the trees to combat problems such as insects and other pests.

If you’d like to start something in your neighborhood, all you need are some fruit tree cuttings, a sharp knife, Ziploc bags, grafting tape, rubber bands, and other household items. Visit the Guerrilla Grafters website to get a manual that you can enlarge to read or download in English, German, or Spanish.  Happy Planting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up...

City Life Tech News

Daimler & Bosch Driverless Parking Has Gotten a Thumbs Up

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without involving a human safety driver sitting behind the wheel.

This is the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be totally approved for everyday use.  The thumbs-up comes 4 years after the companies started working together on the technology end.

Bosch board member, Dr. Markus Heyn said this decision by authorities only shows that innovations like automated valet parking is now possible in Germany.

He believes that driverless parking and driving are the cornerstones for tomorrow’s automated mobility.  Automated parking shows just how far we have already come and the continued development path that lies ahead.

Look Ma No Hands!

Level 4 was designated by SAE which means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human interference.

Until now, there have been several Level 4 tests and trials in the works but they all involved people behind the wheel of the vehicle as a backup.

Bosch is considered one of the largest automotive tech and hardware suppliers in the world and they handle the infrastructure aspect of the automated parking function.

It works in collaboration with Daimler’s vehicle technology on its Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Users can easily access the independent valet service using their smartphone app.

Bosch and Daimler started developing their fully automated driverless parking back in 2015. Their initial partnership including car2go, the which is the car-sharing unit of Daimler.

They debuted their automated valet parking function back in 2017 at the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Then in 2018, after intensive testing, museum visitors ere able to test the automated parking service with one very important warning, a human safety driver must always be behind the wheel.

Using their smartphone app, visitors could reserve vehicles from the facility.  Their vehicle would arrive independently to the designated pick up place in the garage.

When the visitor is finished with the vehicle, they could deliver it to the drop off area.  The vehicle would then drive itself back to its assigned spot, guided by the garage’s infrastructure and onboard sensors.

The pilot program was limited in scope and restricted by a safety driver, but it served a valuable purpose for Bosch and Daimler and even other companies hoping to use automated driving in Germany.

That said, Germany does not have an approval process for automated driving without a human driver.

From the beginning, Bosch and Daimler brought in authorities from Stuttgart and the state of  Baden-Württemberg’s transportation ministry as well as experts from the German certification authority TUV Rheinland.

You would think the group would assess the safety of Bosch & Daimler’s parking function but it also helped regulators come up with guidelines for testing and the approval benchmark that could be applied beyond the pilot project in a parking garage in Stuttgart.

Bosch & Daimler tested lighting ideas on the vehicle’s pilot project.  They used turquoise lighting to indicate that the vehicle was in automation mode and informed others passing by along with other road users, that the vehicle was driving itself.

This is not the only Bosch & Daimler project that is in the works.  In 2017, they partnered to bring fully automated vehicles to urban roads within the next 10 years.  Last year, they announced plans to have a pilot robotaxi service in San Jose, Calif.

They are planning on using automated Mercedes-Benz S Class vehicles during the second half of 2019. There will be a geofenced area in the San Carlos and Stevens Creek corridor which is between downtown and west San Jose.

The pilot will have an on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services.  All rides will be monitored by a safety driver.

Presently, Bosch is building a $1.1 billion facility designed to assemble semiconductors used in self-driving cars, smart homes, and smart city infrastructure.

The Dresden-based chip is expected to start manufacturing silicon, commercially, in 2021 and construction is expected to be finished in 2019.

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have...

City Life Cool Stories

Urban Hacking: 5 Inexpensive and Cool City Hacks

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be adapted in order to grow.

Urban hacking is one of the most direct ways we have of shaping our city into what we want it to be, and these hacks often lead to permanent solutions. Urban hacks range from taking over disused public squares and installing seating for seniors to bringing humor and fun to everyday scenes.

What urban hacking does is turn public space and urban landscape into a huge playground where people can express their creativity and better their city. Here are 15 inexpensive and cool city hacks to be aware of!

  1. Shopping Cart Sports by Florian Riviére

Florian Riviére is a French artist and activist that has come up with many different city hacks. His project “Don’t Play, Play” encourages people to stay in the parking lot of shopping centers instead of going inside.

For this purpose, parking spots are modified with white tape to turn them into courts for sports such as tennis, hockey, basketball, etc., using shopping carts as nets or structural supports.

  1. Wanderest Chair for Seniors Attached to Light Poles

Light poles can easily become the backrest for seats with “Wanderest”, from designer Nichola Trudgen. This leaning stool can be easily attached to any octagonal or circular light pole and they’re installed in retirement areas where there’s no public seating available.

  1. Info Pillars

Info pillars can be found in Toronto and they often show advertisements instead of actually useful information for people who are exploring the city on foot.

They also block important sections of the sidewalk, making it difficult for pedestrians. That’s why the creative team known as cARTographyTO hacked 35 of these info pillars and replaced the ads with maps, sculptures, art, and chalkboards.

This got the public’s attention, of course, and it encouraged them to reconsider the use of these info pillars.

  1. Tram Track Skateboarding

In Bratislava, Slovakia, the width of the tram tracks match perfectly with the width of a standard European pallet.

When this pallet is modified with parts to keep it in place, it becomes a sort of skateboard that zooms across the city with minimum effort, guided by a map of the city.

This project from Slovakian artist Tomas Moravec is meant to serve as a new transport vehicle that changes spatial perspective of users and the life of the city as well.

  1. Urban Terrasse: Adaptive Furniture by Damien Gires

In France, designer Damien Gires takes octagonal cardboard boxes and places them in anti-parking posts on sidewalks, turning them into mini tables for adjacent cafes.

This project is known as Urban Terrasse, and it’s meant to make sidewalks more functional and to encourage cafe patrons to get more involved with their city environments because it shows them it’s in their best interest.

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t...

Category - City Life

City Life

Training Your Cat to Love the Carrier

Our world is full of tragedies and emergency situations, but we often have the tendency to think, “Yea, but that will never happen to me.” Sadly, that thought deters us from preparing for whatever may come our way.

It’s always in your best interest to think about your family and your pets in the event of an emergency. One key factor with a quick evacuation is being able to get your cat into the carrier without a fight. It’s because of this small detail that pets are so often left behind, never to find their families again when disaster strikes.

It’s so crucial to begin training your cat now to head straight to their carriers or kennels in case of emergency situations. That means it must be a place of safety and comfort to them. There are various ways to do this, depending on your cat’s preferences and personality, but there are some universally common ways that almost always work.

Get a Comfortable Carrier or Kennel

You may have to go through a few trial and errors to find a carrier that your cat likes, but it’s always best to have a hard-sided kennel even though it may not seem like the most comfortable. You can always begin the process with a cozier one, such as the Sleepypod.

Not only is the Sleepybod luxuriously comfortable, but it’s easy to clean and take apart. The top is easily removable, and the interior can be removed and placed easily in the washer. You can even add a bed warmer! Make sure that the carrier is always open and accessible so that it seems safe and protected to your cat.

Once you’ve found the carrier for you and your cat, here are some ways to make it even more appealing:

Use Treats

You know your cat better than anyone else, what it will do literally anything to get, whether it’s a delicious treat or its favorite toy. Whatever it may be, use that item to coax your cat into the carrier, and give it as a reward once he or she is in. Make sure you only make this item available within the carrier. Never trap him inside, but let him explore and get comfortable at his own pace, keeping the reinforcement positive.

Drape a Towel Across the Carrier

You know how cats absolutely love cardboard boxes? They enjoy carriers in almost the same way, so draping a towel over the carrier can help encourage your cat to go inside.

Feed Your Cat in the Carrier

This doesn’t always catch on, so don’t force it. However, when it does work, it works marvelously. Place the cat’s food towards the back of the carrier so that he has to enter to be fed.

Never Use the Carrier as Punishment

Your cat needs to only view the carrier as somewhere he is safe and comfortable, so never use it as a place to trap him when he’s behaved badly. Cats just don’t learn by punishment, and this will only result in making him afraid to go into the carrier. Therefore, the carrier will be the last place he’ll want to go in the event of an emergency – or even just to get to the vet!

You’ll be making life a lot easier for you, your family, and your cat if you use these tips to train your cat to love the carrier.

Our world is full of tragedies and emergency situations, but we often have the tendency to think, “Yea, but that will never happen to me.” Sadly, that thought deters us from preparing for whatever may come our way.

It’s always in your best interest to...

City Life

Google Maps Will Tell You About Speed Traps

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera?  Now you’ve got a speeding ticket, complete with fines and points on your license.  While posted speeds are law, we frequently treat them like suggestions and pay the price.

Google has decided to give the average driver a hand with its new feature; it displays the speed limit of any road you are on as well as just how fast you are traveling.  These guides will be shown on the lower left side of your Google map app.

Want more?  Google has devised a way of warning drivers audibly that they are approaching a speed trap, giving them time to tap the brakes and slow down before they see the flashing lights behind them.

The Google feature isn’t a new concept, but it was provided exclusively to certain locales, such as Rio De Janeiro and the San Francisco Bay areas, who have enjoyed the tech for a year.

Available In These Countries:

Mashable has researched a claim first leaked by the Android Police and can confirm that speed limit and speed traveled alerts will be available in Denmark, the US, and the UK.  Speed camera alerting will be available for drivers in India, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Russia, the US, Mexico, and the UK.

Google has historically had to rely on drivers to send speed trap alerts, but this new Maps offering will allow drivers to see them in real time while using the app.

Waze is a popular mapping app that offers speed trap alerts, making it more user-friendly than Google maps. Google took over Waze in 2013, buying the company for around $1 billion USD.   Users wished that Google maps had the feature, but for nearly five years, they didn’t seem inclined to incorporate the upgrade.

These alerts will not only save drivers from costly speeding mistakes but will also keep the roads safer for everyone.

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera?  Now you’ve got a speeding ticket, complete with fines and points on your license.  While posted speeds are...

City Life

Spend Your Valentines In The Most Romantic Cities

Valentine’s day is upon us! You may think that you have the perfect Valentine’s day celebration planned out for your partner, but you might want to reconsider your location. An exclusive list of the most romantic destinations in the world was just released by Spa Seekers, and you may be surprised to find what the top city on this list is.

In order to construct this list, Spa Seekers examined 66 famous cities around the world, rating these cities on how romantic they are. The index score on this site is a combination of five factors including the city in which you are most likely to be proposed to based on hashtags like #isaidyes #heproposed and #engage.

The site also studied the marriage rates in each of these cities, the rate of sexual activity in each city based on a study done on 450,000 adults, the scene of LGBT dating based on a global study done by Nestpick, and how many people feel romantic in these cities, based on social media updates.

Based on these metrics, Spa Seekers concluded that New York City trumps all when it comes to romance.

Highest Number Of Marriage Proposals

According to the site, New York comes out as the world’s most romantic city with an index score of 46.4 of 50. According to Instagram data, the Big Apple has seen the highest number of marriage proposals over the past six months, and it was rated 5 out of 5 as the world’s best city for LGBT dating.

Amazing Cityscape Views

New York also has the 4th highest marriage rate in the world and is the 9th most sexually active city. There are several picturesque locations to go on dates like Central Park, for instance, or the Empire State Building, from where you can catch the amazing cityscape views.

Thanks to the 1,813 Instagram posts tagging it as a location, and the numerous marriage proposals over the last six months, London comes in as a close second. It is also the 4th most sexually active city in the world.

The rest of the list includes some more predictable locations like Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Miami, Melbourne, and Sydney. Once you’ve chosen your location, you could always raise the stakes by booking one of the world’s most romantic hotels, and crossing your fingers that your partner accepts your proposal!

Valentine’s day is upon us! You may think that you have the perfect Valentine’s day celebration planned out for your partner, but you might want to reconsider your location. An exclusive list of the most romantic destinations in the world was just...

City Life Uncategorized

Check It Out: 10 Surprising Elevators

A lot can happen in an elevator – or very little. Typically, it’s one of the most boring parts of your days – especially if you work in a high-rise or live in an apartment building. Sometimes you’re stuck in there alone from the first floor to the very top with nothing to do in this small, enclosed space.

Other times, you get stuck in there for such a duration with someone you know but never talk to. Welcome to five minutes of awkward silence or hesitant pleasantries.

Don’t get me wrong, the elevator is much better than walking up all those flights of stairs, but at times it can also be hugely inconvenient – if it’s one of those elevators that never seems to work – or just plain boring or awkward.

That is, until you get on one of these twenty elevators designed by some unique people who were tired of the typical elevator experience.

Check it out:

1) To keep the elderly patients from feeling anxious or, worse, running away, this long-term care facility for the elderly thought making the elevators into a mural would be a good idea.

Now, it just looks like a warm, inviting scene!

2) This designer must have been wishing for a snow day and decided to make his own. Step into a winter wonderland with evergreens and snow angels. It feels like Christmas every time you need to go up or down!

3) Wait, where are the buttons? Don’t worry; you’re not trapped. Just look down, and kick instead of pushing buttons, like any ordinary elevator would have you do.

Maybe get some of that pent up anger out while you’re at it, too!

4) This designer had emergency situations in mind. What an inventive way to take care of medical emergencies that cause one to land on the ground, unable to rise!

The alarm button located by the floor is accessible in any situation.

5) Now we’re going from winter wonderland to the tropics. Dive into this elevator that seems to take you under the sea as it’s surrounded by a giant aquarium.

I’d never take the stairs again in this German building.

6) The elevator up to the top of the World Trade Centre is one-of-a-kind.

While you’re in the clear elevator, you’re also getting a clear picture of the architectural evolution of the city as you head up.

7) If you’re self-conscious about your weight, you may want to take the stairs instead of this elevator.

The elevator provides a digital visual aid to alert its riders of how close it is to reaching its weight capacity. Smart!

8) Now this is probably my personal favorite. The button is located 30 feet away from the elevator so that, by the time you arrive at the doors, it should be ready to receive you!

Good for impatient, always-in-a-rush people like me.

9) Whether you struggle with memory loss or you can’t even remember what day it is after what just happened last night, this hotel in Ukraine has got your back.

Every morning, they change the elevator rug to let riders know what day it is.

10) Now this is a bit hilarious; I wonder what prompted the need for a “shuffle” button in an elevator.

The elderly? Indecisive people? Who knows! Definitely the first time I’ve had the option to shuffle off of an elevator without getting stuck in the doors.

A lot can happen in an elevator – or very little. Typically, it’s one of the most boring parts of your days – especially if you work in a high-rise or live in an apartment building. Sometimes you’re stuck in there alone from the first floor to the...

City Life

Vietnam’s Highly Anticipated Golden Bridge Opens

We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no – this isn’t a scene from a fantasy movie. This golden woven thread bridge held up by a colossal pair of hands overlooking the mountains is located in central Vietnam.

Nicknamed “The Hands of God”,  and nestled in the densely forested Ba Na Hills, Vietnam’s officially named Golden Bridge has attracted throngs of tourists since it opened in June this year. It seems like the purpose to design a structure to evoke the image of the giant hands of God, pulling a strip of gold out of the land was achieved when the shimmering structure, set more than 3,280 feet above sea level, was opened to the public.

The bridge is 150-meters long and passes through a picturesque mountside. It is held up by two weathered hands which although appear to be stone, are in fact made from a combination of steel mesh, concrete and covered with fiberglass.

The scenic Ba Na Hills was first established by French colonists in 1919 and is located near Danang on Vietnam’s central coast. At one point in time, it boasted some 200 villas, but only a few ruins remain today. The Hills are renown for its cobbled streets, a Fantasy Park, and a French-style village, and attracted 2.7 million visitors last year alone according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The walkway extends over the treetops from the edge of a leafy cliff face and offers visitors uninterrupted views of the landscape beneath.

According to the BBC, plans are in the works to build an adjoining silver bride that would resemble God’s strand of hair. The area was formerly the site of an American base during the Vietnam War and is now a vacation hot spot. The unique mix of city, beach, and mountains draw many tourists to the area: China Beach for fresh seafood and good waves; Marble Mountains for exploring temples and caves; and the city itself for a burgeoning culinary scene.

The bridge is reported to have cost the Vietnamese government a titanic USD $2 billion and was designed by TA Landscape Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City.

We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no – this isn’t a scene from a fantasy movie. This golden woven thread bridge held up by a colossal pair of hands overlooking the mountains is located in central Vietnam.
Nicknamed “The...

City Life

Must Watch: World’s Biggest Underground Bike Parking

Bikes are the future. Actually, they are the present in many places around the globe. One problem all bike owners still have is bike parking. They get too full, too quick and then go figure where to secure your bike. Watch the video below.

In Holland, improvements are being made for bike owners.The world’s biggest underground bike parking opened at a Dutch city called Utrecht. This underground parking center provides security for bike owners.

The parking center has three floors and it can cater up to 6000 bikes(!!!). Utrecht authorities keep expanding the parking lot and they promised that by the end of the year (2018) it would be able to house up to 12500 bikes.

This is the rent-by-hour bike service, also located in the new underground bike parking. The bikes are being readied for their underground journey to their new rent center.

Take a look at this massive bike rack. 

Like a car park, but smaller, healthier and cooler.

This parking center is open 24/7, so people can come at any time to park their bike here. For the first 24 hours parking is free for those people who are the users of public transport chip.

We want to be better…So if you found a mistake in this article, please let us know

Bikes are the future. Actually, they are the present in many places around the globe. One problem all bike owners still have is bike parking. They get too full, too quick and then go figure where to secure your bike. Watch the video below.
In Holland...

City Life

The Hoover Dam Miracle

As one of the most impressive engineering feats of its day, the Hoover Dam has long been one of the most important structures of its kind. A powerful solution for producing power and managing the city resources, the Hoover dam plays a huge role in the region. However, it’s power is something that few people can appreciate. A whopping 1200ft tall, the Hoover dam is a monolithic creation that is truly one of the most impressive dams in the world. It holds back the Colorado River and uses its power to help create a much more manageable water flow.

However, when people go to visit dams, it’s rarely to just admire their architectural marvel – there’s usually a little more to it. People love to experiment with them, to see what they are like when you do anything from throw a ball down to pour some water in.

Creative Experiments

For Leslie Hutchings, the aim was to go to the top of the Hoover Dam and then drop some water out of a bottle all the way down. When she opened the bottle, though, the water didn’t float down as you would expect – it floated upwards, towards the sky, defying any kind of conventional gravitational knowledge that we have.

Trying again and again, the water continued to just flow upward, not down – a freak of nature, surely unrepeatable, right?

Against Nature

Many videos exist of people doing this unique trick, with everyone failing to see the water flow down where it should. All that happens is that the pourer gets hit in the face with a nice spray of water – good to cool you down, I guess! No matter what people seemed to be using, from a bottle of water to a construction hat, the same thing would happen each and every time.

According to scientists, it’s because of the curvature of the dam that creates an upward drift thanks to the wind and air hitting the face of the dam. Despite the fact you cannot feel the draft yourself, it’s enough to force the water back towards you instead of down as you would expect.

If you ever wind up at the Hoover Dam, and you should definitely try to go look at it, take a look at what happens when you try it yourself. If you get the water to go down the way, we’ll be pretty damn impressed!

As one of the most impressive engineering feats of its day, the Hoover Dam has long been one of the most important structures of its kind. A powerful solution for producing power and managing the city resources, the Hoover dam plays a huge role in the region...

City Life

Want To Live in America and Enjoy Canada’s Universal Health Insurance? Buy This House!

A property with entrances both from the American and Canadian side is up for sale. Customs officials and border police allow tenants to move freely inside the house as long as they stay inside or in the yard. What happens if you want to go outside?

Most people who live in a number of countries simultaneously usually have a lot of miles of their frequent flier card. Yet, there is one place on the border between the Us and Canada that enables tenants to live in both countries simultaneously, without leaving the comfort of your home.

The house is located between Beebe Plain, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec and is now up for sale. The property, built in 1782 is 3,010 square feet is currently divided into five different units.

A Merchant’s House

The property known in the area as “Old Stone Store” was built by a merchant who wanted to sell agricultural product in Vermont and Quebec. The current owners who are in their 70’s inherited it 40 years ago. They have a dual Canadian and American citizenship and are hoping to sell the property and move to Ontario and be closer to their grandchildren.

The property is listed for $109,000 (USD) but needs about $600,000 invested in renovation. But, as the owners found out, it isn’t easy to sell a house situated on the border of two countries. Even if they are very close and friendly neighbors like the US and Canada.

Life on the Border

According to the residents, Brian and Joan DuMoulin who have grown accustomed to living on the border says that it used to be something natural and normal, but the days of crossing the border without being noticed are over. DuMoulin states 9/11 as the cause for change.

The house has two entrances, one from the Canadian side of the border and one from the American. Customs officials and border patrol officers have learnt to recognize the tenants and allow them to move freely inside the house and the yard, but limitations start when tenants try to leave the property. The rear gate (to America) is now locked for security reasons dictated by the Americans. “That’s the awkwardness” DuMoulin says “you can’t just go this way or this way, you’ve got to go through (the ports of entry) and then back through.”

Having said all that, Rosemary Lalime, the couple’s realtor said that the house has been shown to over 10 potential buyers and another six more recently. Except for one prospector, all of them were American. With the property now going viral, we expect the property to be sold in no time!

A property with entrances both from the American and Canadian side is up for sale. Customs officials and border police allow tenants to move freely inside the house as long as they stay inside or in the yard. What happens if you want to go outside?
Most...

City Life

Finally, Sagrada Familia in its Final Stages of Construction

Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, will soon be finished.

Let me elaborate on that though. It will be finished, but not very soon. If you’re looking forward to schedule your Barcelona trip to see its full grandeur, you may have to wait for another ten years. The construction is entering the final phase, and it’s scheduled to be completed in 2026.

Considering that it’s been more than a century since the construction have started, it’ll be a wonderful feat to be in this generation to see when it is completed. The administration said that it’s currently in schedule for Antoni Gaudi’s centennial death anniversary on 2026. According the records, the first stone for La Sagrada Familia was started way back in 1882. Unknown to most, Antoni Gaudi wasn’t the first architect. He started working on the huge basilica a year after the construction began and it’s been his life’s work, until he died in 1926.

Europe’s Tallest Religious Building

Once the basilica is finished, it will have six new towers. The central spire, called Tower of Jesus Christ, will stand as the tallest religious tower in the continent, rising at 172.5 meters.

The current architect of the entire project is Jordi Fauli, who have been working on it since 2012. In over a decade ago, the inner part of the basilica had no roof. Now, they revealed a new inner chamber with a small amphitheatre with stained glass windows and arch ceilings that look so surreal with light.

Walking towards it in Barcelona, it’s not hard to miss this impressive structure. The nativity façade and spires makes it look like someone made a huge sand castle from afar. But with a closer look, it reveals astounding details in the form of art and complex sculptures. Many say that it’s part late Gothic with mix of art nouveau.

sagrada-familia-cathedral-1147942_640

It was never intended to be a cathedral, because Gaudi’s design deviated from traditional church architecture. There even used to be a school there, now it’s an exhibition gallery. However the whole structure was known before as a cathedral, until Pope Benedict XVI declared it as a basilica in 2010. It has several chapels and one of them is the home of Antoni Gaudi’s tomb.

The spires have sculptures of angels, and traditional symbols of saints. There are three facades on the church; nativity, passion and glory facades. Each one has its own unique set of scultures depicting the theme. For instance, the nativity facades has all sorts of symbols of life and nature. There are sculptures of or turtles at the bottom of the columns, and ornate scenes of people all over.

spain-1349569_640

Currently La Sagrada Basilica is around 70% complete. Even in its unfinished stage, this basilica is one of the most magnificent structures in Spain and in the world. It’s a major UNESCO heritage and tourist site with over 3.2 million visitors in 2014. With that amount of people, the entrance fees are used to fund the rest of the construction and maintenance.

Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, will soon be finished.
Let me elaborate on that though. It will be finished, but not very soon. If you’re looking forward to schedule your Barcelona trip to see its full grandeur, you...

City Life

FREE Museum Passes on Smithsonian Museum Day Live! Sept. 24

exhibition-1659447_1280

Mark the calendar or set your app reminder for this Saturday September 24, 2016. Fans of art and history can enjoy a free treat on the 12th Annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live! You can visit their website, pick a museum and download two passes for FREE!

When Smithsonian started this annual event, there were only 200 who opened their doors. Now you can choose over 1200 participating museums all over United States! Among the new participants is the newest one in D.C., the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Read more about this new museum from our post.

Unsure where to go? Here are some of the amazing art museums you can visit.

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York – Spend the afternoon with modern and contemporary art exhibits in this historical museum. Since 1862, this gallery housed a wide variety of art collections ranging from pop art, abstract expressionism and impressionistic styles.
  • Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, Massachusetts – Do you want to see something different other than framed artworks? This museum continued the tradition of stamp collecting for the past 56 years.
  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas – Also known as The Modern, this museum maintains permanent and new collections from artworks of 1970’s and beyond. This includes sculptures, paintings, cartoons, photographs and videos.    
  • Museum of the City of New York – Visiting New York this weekend? Know more about the city’s distinct character by exploring local artworks in Museum of the City of New York. Exhibits connect the diverse culture around the city from its past, present and towards its future. Take a look at the current exhibits in their website.
  • Aerospace Museum of California – Want to see something different, get your Smithsonian Museum Day Live passes for the best aviation exhibit in Sacramento. This isn’t just for nerds and adults, as there are exhibits ranging from small scale models to full scale jet fighters and Top Gun’ F-14.Kids and adults can also attend a short Flight Zone laboratory session, wherein you can hands-on flight simulation.
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York – This Smithsonian institution has an amazing collection that spans more than three centuries of history. You can find almost every imaginable thing you’ll expect from a museum, and more. The exhibits fo from the weird and exotic, old and new, fragile and precious. There are collections from US and other countries, prototypes from designers and architects from both the past and present.

Click here to be directed to Smithsonian Museum Day Live. You need to fill up the form with your name, email and then select the museum you want free passes with. Some museums may require you printout the tickets, some can allow access by showing the ticket in your mobile. Check the individual museum pages for more info on their opening times and current exhibits.

Mark the calendar or set your app reminder for this Saturday September 24, 2016. Fans of art and history can enjoy a free treat on the 12th Annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live! You can visit their website, pick a museum and download two passes for FREE!
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City Life

Art Events to See in New York

 Here’s the list of some shows around New York that you should visit.

Film on View: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard? (Too Late to Love) at Museum of Modern Arts 

It is a magnificent black-and-white movie by director Henri Decoin which confronts absurdity and heartache. “A happy-go-lucky photojournalist” who subsequently “falls in love with a lawyer” who is having a little secret, not willing to share it. MoMA’s “Gaumont: Cinéma pour tout le monde” series will be on view till September 7.

Location: 11 West 53rd Street, New York
Price: adults $12, seniors $10, students $8.
Time: 7:00 p.m.

 

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Outdoor Cinema: “Embrace of the Serpent” at Socrates Sculpture Park

This is the film by Colombian director Ciro Guerra which will be on view in this week’s edition of the Socrates Sculpture Park’s Outdoor Cinema program. It is also nominated for an Academy Award in Best Foreign Language Film. “Embrace of the Serpent” tells the great story of two scientists and the havoc they inadvertently wreak on a community in the Amazonian area.

Location: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard
Price: Free
Time: 7:00 p.m.

 

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Launch of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “in Harlem” 

This is about four artists and four uptown parks. The Studio Museum in Harlem will open a show of public works by Kevin Beasley in Morningside Park, Simone Leigh in Marcus Garvey Park, Kori Newkirk in St. Nicholas Park, and Rudy Shepherd in Jackie Robinson Park.

Visitors will be able to see some installations, including Beasley’s sculptures called “acoustic mirrors”. Leigh’s works is influenced by the architecture of the Shona-speaking people of Zimbabwe. Newkirk’s first appearance with public sculptures will show us some reflective fringe curtains. Shepherd’s “negative energy absorbers” are the sculptures that intend to “to dispel people’s feelings of racial prejudice, violence or ordinary disdain by opening them to more compassionate aspects of their personalities.”

Location: Four Harlem Parks
Price: Free
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m. opening celebration at Marcus Garvey Park

 

 Cao Fei at Muesum of Modern Arts PS1: Exhibition Walkthrough with Xin Wang

Cao Fei’s first museum appearance in the United States will end on August 30. Before it happens, the art historian Xin Wang will lead a guided tour to explain some of the exhibition’s finer details. The work of Cao includes photography, video and installation. It engages with a dystopian modern condition. If we’re to borrow Kathleen Massara’s words, it is: “For the artist, there is always a way out, even if it is an imaginary one.”

 Location: 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Price: $10 adult
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

 

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Films To Come: Moholy-Nagy and the Moving Image at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

During the last weekend of the summer movie program that focuses on Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus, visitors will see the magnificent screening of the 1936 sci-fi film called “Things To Come”. It is directed by William Cameron Menzies and it’s based on H.G. Wells’ novel which carries the same title. For this special occasion, Moholy-Nagy had to create some special effects.

Location: 1071 5th Avenue, New York (between 88th & 89th Street)
Price: adults $25, students and seniors $18
Time: 11:00 a.m.

 Here’s the list of some shows around New York that you should visit.
Film on View: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard? (Too Late to Love) at Museum of Modern Arts 
It is a magnificent black-and-white movie by director Henri Decoin which confronts absurdity...

City Life

Talks in the Cuban Art

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and private level, while she’s looking for the project’s next phases.

She talked about activities scheduled for the Havana group in Miami this spring, and gave an explanation of a studio visit.

They made a visit with Maria Martinez-Canas. Ceredijo claims that she is one of the most important artists in Miami. She has numerous awards that were given to her by galleries and museums all around the world. Her work is deeply connected with Cuban history, and whose cultural identity is profoundly Cuban American.

They had a merging of various narratives that everyone shared, in different ways though. There was a common interest to everyone, artists and cultural producers but also as Cubans.

María provided a highly, well-organized presentation about her work and progress. She showed her collage negatives from which she printed out much of her famous work from the 1990s, like the Totems.

She also showed some materials from the Jose Gomez Sicre collection, which she is in the process of documenting. There were also some photographs and letters that fascinated the group.

Her typical day goes about something like this: The bus would wait for the group outside the hotel at 9 a.m. sharp. She claims that even though gathering people can be fun it can also be really stressful. Sometimes their work would last until late in the night.

She gave one day as an example. There was a tour that was led by Cesar Trasobares that included visits to public art works that have become highly popular in Miami, such as Ed Ruscha permanent installation at the main library that is situated in downtown of Miami and Claes Oldenburg that is also in the same area. Cesar is an ex executive director of Metro Dade’s Art in Public Places Program, and he would talk to the group about the inside stuff that happens in the program, where do funds come from, and discussed the political and logistical issues that happen.

After downtown Miami, they would go to Little Havana and have lunch at a traditional Cuban cafe, El Rey de las Fritas (Many didn’t now what a frita was it’s part of Cuban exile cuisine.).

And then they would end up at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard. Cesar talked about Ana Mendieta’s work that is carved on one of the boulevard’s ceiba trees, he would also put her in work in the context of the politically filled space in which it’s situated. Casa del Preso Politico is close to the boulevard we were next to, that’s the place where Afro-Cubans leave their offerings- at the base of that very ceiba tree, or the statue of a Virgin that is not that far away from the tree. That particular area witnesses Cuban painful political history.

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and...