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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Books on Cities: M. Nolan Gray, Arbitrary Lines

We all assume that zoning is good, but it’s actually bad. Before I go any further, perhaps that we needs clarification. It certainly doesn’t include me, nor does it include most of the urbanists now out there writing about cities in books, in publications, and on social media. In that particular sphere, we know full […]

Books on Cities: Juan Villoro, Horizontal Vertigo

It doesn’t hurt to keep in mind a list of the cities to which you could relocate should everything fall apart where you are. That list need not be expansive: mine has only two columns, the Asia one headed by Osaka and the America one by Mexico City. (It has no Europe column as yet, […]

New Yorker: the cracked wisdom of Dril

Benjamin Franklin’s admirers have to acknowledge certain embarrassing truths about the man, not least that, were he alive in the twenty-first century, he would almost certainly be big on Twitter. As the dulcet narration of Ken Burns’s two-part documentary “Benjamin Franklin” explains, Franklin’s achievement of “such remarkable success” that would lead him to be “handed […]

콜린의 한국 팟캐스트: <도시를 바꾸는 공간기획> 저자 이원제 교수님

<콜린의 한국> 팟캐스트 시즌 2 시작! 최신 저서인 <도시를 바꾸는 공강기획>에서 상명대학교에서 커뮤니케이션디자인을 가르치시는 이원제 교수님께서 한국과 일본에 있는 삶의 질을 향상시키는 여러 색다른 도시 공간을 다루신다. 도시 공간들을 묘사하길 뿐만 하니라 설계자와 건축가를 인터뷰하기도 하신다. 여기나 애플 팟캐스트를 통해 다운받을 수 있다. 유튜브에서도 스트리밍할 수 있다.

Korea Blog: Hwang Sok-yong’s memoir The Prisoner

The reunification of Germany has long been a topic of interest among South Koreans invested in relations with the North. When the Berlin Wall fell, Hwang Sok-yong was one of the few such South Koreans actually there to witness it. Though known primarily as a novelist, Hwang split his energies between writing and political agitation […]

Korea Blog: Before There Were Korean TV Dramas, There Was Lee Hyeong-pyo’s Under the Sky of Seoul

More literally translated, the original Korean title of Under the Sky of Seoul (서울의 지붕밑) would be “Under the Roof of Seoul.” Whatever it lacks in mellifluousness, that version hardly seems inapt during the film’s opening sequence, which offers a series of views of the South Korean capital as it looked in the early 1960s. A near-total […]

New Yorker: D.J. Waldie’s Becoming Los Angeles

In 1993, five years after Joan Didion left California for New York, an assignment for The New Yorker brought her back to her home state. Her subject was the Spur Posse, a group of young men in the Los Angeles suburb of Lakewood, who had received national attention after being accused of sexually assaulting underage girls. The resulting […]

Books on Cities: Tom Vanderbilt, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) (2008)

Malcolm Gladwell once described his typical reader as “a 45-year-old guy with three kids who’s an engineer at some company outside of Atlanta.” That same guy, I would wager, is the typical reader of Traffic, which was published between Gladwell’s Blinkand Outliers and adheres to the same mid-2000s publishing trends exemplified by those books. It has the minimalist design, […]

Korea Blog: Stroll through the Real Cities of Korea with YouTube’s Seoul Walker

In recent weeks, Seoul looked about to get back to how it used to be. Or at least it looked about to resemble how it used to be, with an impending relaxation of certain restrictions — on the size of gatherings, on the hours of bars and restaurants — implemented at the height of the […]

Open Culture Posts on Korea

Since 2012 I’ve written about all manner of topics at Open Culture, and you can find a selection of some of my favorite posts over the years in the Open Culture section of my essays page. Sometimes write there about things Korean — South Korea being the country in which I live, and about which I regularly write on the […]