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Portland: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland: A Tale of Two Cities | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

"Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, and you can see folks in wheelchairs rolling themselves down the street right next to traffic. It’s the city where some longtime African-American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed."


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I don't think that Earth offers everything for everyone.  Given the situation of predetermination about birthplace and essentially upbringing, social class, and outcomes, in an infinite universe (infinite until proven otherwise), a single small planet cannot possibly offer us everything we are destined to need in the universe, let alone the towns that we are limited to.  I do not believe in choice, I believe in destiny... I do not blame people for racism or crimes, as HORRIBLE as they may be. I think that people are made into what they are by the world around them, in existential and defining ways.  Yeah, there is plenty of room for improvement and change in Oregon, but realistically, there is also more room for improvement in other areas too.  I don't really see humans as the sort of people that will ever get better without some sort of divine intervention.  I am taking the perspective of separation of paradise and purgatory that was mentioned in this article, and applying it to a different scale, but I do believe that mankind is to be condemned by the universe, due to its faults and inability to play well with others.  The world freaks out when kidnapping victims are found after a decade of abuse and captivity, but this same world breeds animals for slaughter and consumption... Earthlings clearly have been taught to not care about those that are different, whether in looks or species... I think the kidnapping situation is vile and appalling, but I also think that breeding species for slaughter (which affects more living beings) is democratically more of an issue.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 8, 2013 1:11 PM

Portland, Oregon is often discussed as a magnet for a young demographic that wants to be part of a sustainable city that supports local businesses and agriculture.  This podcast looks behind that image (which has a measure of truth to it) to see another story.  Relining, gentrification, poverty, governance and urban planning are all prominent topics in this 50 minute podcast that provides as fascinating glimpse into the poorer neighborhoods of this intriguing West Coast city.  When in cities, we often use the term sustainability to refer to the urban ecology, but here we see a strong concern for the social sustainability of their historic neighborhoods as well. 


Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic, racepovertyplace, socioeconomic.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 1:21 PM

Recently I came across a craigslist post from a gentleman who was trying to rally individuals to Portland with him for a journey on the "Michigan Trail" to Detroit. He made promise that the intention was to perform rejuvinating work in  Detroit alongside it's current residents and that there would be "no gentrification." 

Not that I found these statements or intentions to be profound or useful in anyway, but this podcast really put a nail in the coffin for me. The effects of gentrification are well known for both their positive and negative aspects. But the bottom line is this, regardless of intention the poor and diverse populations will be displaced unless it is from them that this renaissance takes place. Not Portlandia hipsters looking for some sort of "promise land."  

Portland apparentely has it's own issues with gentrification and a class of social and cultural norms that make it difficult to make the case for cities on the rise to take the same path.  

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Geography of Aspiration

Geography of Aspiration | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Try to replicate it with development schemes all you want, but you're overlooking what makes New York City—and other places of ambition—so great.

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I think that historical opportunity is what makes NYC so great... well, great as implied by the writers of this article.  Having a good history, it is only natural that it would become something so popular and draw the ambitious to it.  In contrast, a newly formed colony of humans on Mars would be potentially better- because in this hypothetical/planned colony, people would be able to benefit from the fact that they are building from the ground up, from scratch, and with the knowledge of other development schemes/trends that occurred elsewhere.  This could entirely circumvent all ill aspects of society... Sometimes to create, one must first destroy... perhaps NYC should be rebuilt to eliminate problems, before humans move on to other worlds?  I thought NY was a bit of a mess when I drove through with my cousin.  The graffiti was gorgeous, but the filth and traffic were quite triumphant, and it is not a place where my ambition would lead me.  I think true talent will be found, regardless of this subliminal advertisment brought about by the article endorsing NYC as a 'place of ambition.'  Not all of us can go to these 'meccas' of talent... but it doesn't mean we are any less extravagent as life forms.  I would ask if most people would want to make it big in places like that, or if they would rather be happier, elsewhere.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 4, 2013 11:38 PM

Part of the economic success of a city can be an overriding cultural ethos of the metropolitan area.  This elusive spirit of the city is often referred to as a sense of place, which many sound 'fluffy' to some, but can have some very tangible impacts on the urban economic development.  This article answers the question, "How does a sense of place impact urban economic development?" by using various U.S. cities such as New York City, Portland and San Francisco.  


Tags: urban, economic, place, neighborhood.

Dean Haakenson's comment, June 6, 2013 11:30 AM
Very cool.
Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:53 PM

This reminds me of the production method idea you taught us where even though you may be able to produce 2 products better than a third world country it is for the best if you have them do what they excel at while you do your thing. (You made a lebron james reference in class). the reason why im connecting this is because every city has its own thing to offer with San fran being the arts portland with the mom and pop shops and new york with the enterainment. if you can excel at what you do then your city can blossom.

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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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Mapping Rocky's Run

Mapping Rocky's Run | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

"As a kid, I grew up watching the Rocky movies, shadow boxing with my brothers and doing push-ups during the workout montages.  One on my favorite scenes was in Rocky II when Rocky runs through the whole city of Philadelphia, thronged by adoring fans as he runs to the top of the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and yes, of course I re-enacted that scene when I was there)."


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

My family and I have watched the Rocky series a handful of times, and a month or two ago, my grandmother called our house all frantically to let us know that "Rocky" was on TV, in case we wanted to watch it.  I used to be big into going for long walks across a few towns every night, and this article reminded me of some of the walks that I had been on, and have actually mapped out.  The expression "walking around in circles" does not fully apply to many places, because they have semi-straight roads and often have 90 degree intersections with other roads, which would make it walking in rectangular patterns.  I have walked well over 20 miles in a single night, and found myself exploring side roads and looking them up later on an online map of the area.  In this article, Rocky runs in a "circular" pattern, but from his house to the final steps that he runs up at a museum, rather than returning to his house.  In this map with the article, Rocky is shown as covering a large area on his run, without overlapping the same areas all that often.  "Rocky" is a series about achieving dreams and defying odds- actions that are different with different characters and different outcomes in every movie.  It makes sense that Rocky covers a little bit of the same ground twice, metaphorically in the movies, and literally on the map, but also that he achieves his destination after going the long and difficult distance rather than a bee-line to the destination, that would defeat the depth of the story.  Rocky's run is symbolic as a journey mentally, physically, and spiritually, and is enforced by the route that he was found to have run, as analyzed by this article and its links.  While I found myself walking 15 miles to a place, and back in the same night, I was merely part of a cycle.  Rocky is a hero because he went the distance.

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Expert's comment, September 25, 2013 10:08 PM
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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 24, 2013 8:14 PM

I too loved this movie growing up. Everytime Rocky was brought up you always remebered the part when Rocky ran up the stairs to the statue after his long training run. Just from his run you see the type of community they lived in. His town was very rundown, but you still got a sense of community by the way people yelled and cheered for Rocky as he ran by. They may not have had much as a community, but they supported each other and took pride in their city. You were able to get all of this just from the different landmarks you saw Rocky pass by on his run. You may not think about it at the time, but the location and scenary really paints a picture of the type of lifestlye and culture Rocky grew up in, and what makes him the man that he is. That is all just from simply paying attention to the landmarks that he runs by. Location really effects a person and you can see that in this movie. Rocky was a fighter who never gave up. His community was the same way. And looking at the map I don't think I was would ever want to run that far. It appeared a lot shorter in the movie than it actually is!

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Street Art Project Maps Rap Lyric Shout Outs Around NYC

Street Art Project Maps Rap Lyric Shout Outs Around NYC | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
If a NYC location got a shout out in some rap lyrics, Jay Shells has probably made a sign out of them and placed it at that specific location for his amazing new project.

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I just got back at two in the morning from a road trip with one of my cousins to see her sister in Maryland.  It was a fabulous time, and I'd like to point out that we did drive through New York, and caught some glimpses of NYC across the way.  My whole experience on the trip was illuminated by different forms of cultural exposure.  I rarely travel, and it was quite fascinating to see the different locations on the way.  One thing that I noticed was a large presence of graffiti, that completely varied in styles and colors in every city and every state.  It was as if these different people from different places all had different things to say.  The rap lyrics on signs are interesting as well, because these rap lines are not intended to be written on signs, contrasted from graffiti, which is meant to be seen publicly.  The culture in New York is one that includes art and appreciation of art, and these rap lyric signs are both catchy and artsy.  Poetry has long been a way to teach people to remember things- such as in nursery rhymes.  It seems to me that it would be sufficiently easier for a person to remember what avenue they are supposed to meet someone on, by quoting existing rap lyrics that are also present on signs in the area.  These aesthetic embellishments also demonstrate a striving towards a revival of a human blend of Platonic cultural ideas with the presenece of art and poetry in public, and the human imperfection that accompanies rap music with the stigma of sex, drugs, and violence. 

         One of the bad things about the trip was the traffic in New York, but if I had rap lyric signs to read, I really would not have been that bad off.  Some people like to read books or magazines while using the bathroom, and it is becoming increasingly clear that there must be a similar level of tolerance/inclination towards people wanting to read rap lyrics on signs in New York that indicate the areas referred to in song.  There really are very few problems with this, and I am often more offended by the billboards in cities that tell me what religious ideas are right for me to believe, such as the Christ-Supremacist group billboards that tell me Jesus will save me.  I think Kanye West is a slightly more contemporary savior that might be to the liking of the citizens of New York City... At least, in this particular place, during this particular time.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 26, 2013 1:51 PM

Street art has a subtle, but powerful connection with place.  How does an art installation alter a neighborhood's sense of place?  How does a place alter the meaning(s) of an art installation?


Tags: art, mapping, NYC, culture, landscape, place, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

bancoideas's curator insight, April 24, 2013 7:59 AM

¿que tal esta idea de arte callejero? Letras de rap y señaléticas de tránsito

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The Body in Public Space

The Body in Public Space | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

Here are some seemingly eclectic topics.  All of them center around the appropriateness of the body being displayed publicly and the cultural norms that shape how we think about the issue.  I've included a sensational restroom, public nursing, top-free protests, and of course, the Kate Middleton scandal.

 

Tags: culture, popular culture, gender, place, space.


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I think the men who prohibit public breast-feeding of babies should be starved.  I have a baby cousin, whom I love dearly, and I would hate to delay his lunch as much as anyone else would hate to have their own lunches delayed.  To prohibit public-breastfeeding is cruel, discriminatory, and hypocritical, as these prohibitors were likely publicly breastfed at some point in their infant days.  A message overall about other people acting 'scandelously'- get over it.  Grow up.  I don't like having to hear from or about you, and it takes away from my definition of a perfect world when I see people starving my baby cousin.  Culture should accomodate to the entirety of the population, not a majority.  After all, as for babies- we've all been there, and as for old people- we'd be lucky to live that long, but we'll llikely be there too.  I don't think we should be governed by someone that some people elect and other people don't vote for, because it's really not fair... it would be better and a compromise to not be governed at all!  So don't be critical, be understanding... Peace and Love!

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melissa stjean's comment, September 20, 2012 1:54 AM
Thousands of women each year sun bathe topless around the world.. Do we make a major scandal about those women? No. But when Kate Middleton does it, its a recipe for disaster. How is it different from a woman nursing her child in public? Well, Kate was sabotaged by paparazzi on their private honeymoon while women openly chose to nurse in the public.
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 26, 2012 10:11 AM
Hilarious! The breasts of women are human parts of a woman which should be respected because it is where a human being feeds. It is a symbol of life.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 30, 2012 8:07 PM
This cartoon clearly shows how breast are sexually marketed in our society and how we will can accept the fashionably sexual display of breast in public yet consider breast feeding offensive. In many ways this cartoon seems to show how some social norms seem to interfere with common sense as we should be more critical of the sexual advertisement of breast while breast feeding on the other hand should at the very least be tolerated.