Tag Archives: Black and White

You are beautiful

A reminder of a lost nighttime fabric

By now we’ve all heard of the You Are Beautiful graffiti campaign in Birmingham, inspired by the Chicago-based art outfit You Are Beautiful. The Downtown Bromberg’s store (ironically no longer used as a retail outlet) is one of the few downtown retailers still actively doing thoughtful, catchy window displays; the above nighttime view shows how the graffiti campaign has caught on in a sort of meta-advertising theme.

A stroll at night through downtown even 40 years ago meant lit storefront after storefront, advertising wares in a visually appealing and constantly changing way: window-shopping. This unsung but crucial aspect of urban life–part of the common “fabric” of a street vs. the more iconic “object” buildings–is the subject of a great essay (in Black & White) by one of the authors of The Heaviest Corner, an excellent local blog on urbanism.  It’s worth a read.

The bulldozers are coming

The way it's usually done

Over in one of our alternative papers, Black and White, associate editor David Pelfry has an editorial exploring the relationship of developers, municipalities, and citizens—and the large imbalance often inherent in this relationship which can lead to the loss of green space, beauty, and community values in the name of tax revenue. Whether you are concerned about the current Chick-Fil-A and Walgreen’s projects in the City, or recent shopping center, mega-subivision, and other developments in the greater Metro, it’s a very interesting read.

[thanks to Robert Burnham for the aerial pic]