As I contemplate driving 500 miles or so this weekend – more than I’ve driven in a month so far this year, I believe – my mind meanders back to cartographic matters. A random roundup of mappy clippings:
I. The Globe Corner Bookstore has a Blog.
I’ve been an unrepentant fan of GCB for as long as I’ve known about it. One of my first luxury purchases after a period of difficult cashflow was a globe from Globe Corner. When they closed I mourned, when they reopened, I rejoiced. The Globe Corner Blog delivers book reviews, travel tips, and news on a near-daily basis. It’s not as marvelous and awesome as Strange Maps, but it’s pretty cool.
IIa. WBUR’s Charles River flickr Group
I picked up this item via the ever-alert crew at Universalhub: WBUR’s Boston Radio is doing a show on the Charles River, and set up a flickr group for people to post their river pics and geocode them. That’s my kind of thing, so I dusted off some Charles-y pics from last month and uploaded and tagged them. Listen to the podcast and check out the photo map.
I continue to wonder if there’s a way to handle geotagging for pictures that are of a line rather than a point in space. For example, my Acela collages. I wonder if I can rig up a useful way to take similar photos as I drive this weekend without being too much of a traffic hazard.
IIb. On Point Radio: How the States Got Their Shapes
For a double dose of WBUR, I was listening in the background as I often do, and suddenly I was hearing a caller ask about an event in the early ’90s when Connecticut Governor John Rowland made an April fools day joke of annexing the small bit of Massachusetts that pokes down into Connecticut so that Mass might then be free to slide into the sea. I was in college in Connecticut at the time and thought that was pretty funny. On Point was doing an entire show on the origins of the peculiarities of the borders of the states. Good stuff. Here’s a pic from wikipedia showing the Southwick Jog aka Granby Notch.
IV. Liminal Spaces Between Cambridge and Somerville
This weekend I was hanging out with LKB and BEM at their Cambridge lair swilling excellent margaritas, and they asked me if I had ever resolved my Somerville parking ticket. I had in fact, not yet heard from the parking authorities of Somerville, but that didn’t stop us from speculating about various kinds of installation art that might be done if we could locate a strip of land claimed by neither Cambridge nor Somerville. I’ll summarize the discussion with “Smallest. Casino. Ever.”
Thanks for the shout and say hello to all in Wdstk! Keep us posted. How funny, we bought a globe too from Globe Corner when they announced they were closing. No globes at the new place, but glad it’s back!
Have to check out that On Point.
Read about Gordon Matta Clark’s “Fake Estates” here, http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/mattaclark.htm
Gordon Matta-Clark and Fake Estates
In the early 1970s, Matta-Clark discovered that the City of New York periodically auctioned off “gutterspace”—unusably small slivers of land sliced from the city grid through anomalies in surveying, zoning, and public-works expansion. He purchased fifteen of these lots, fourteen in Queens and one in Staten Island. Over the next years, he collected the maps, deeds, and other bureaucratic documentation attached to the slivers; photographed, spoke, and wrote about them; and considered using them as sites for his unique brand of “anarchitectural” intervention into urban space. Matta-Clark died in 1978 at the age of 35 without realizing his plans for Fake Estates, and ownership of the properties reverted to the city. The archival material that he had assembled went into storage and was not rediscovered until the early 1990s, when it was assembled into exhibitable collages. Thus, the Fake Estates have emerged not only as a mordant commentary on issues surrounding property, materiality, and disappearance that marked the whole of Matta-Clark’s career, but as artifacts of his own estate, reminders of the powers of absence and presence that govern our relationship to the past.
Thanks for the note on our new blog, and your nice comments about our store! Just to clarify, we do have globes for sale at the new(ish) location at 90 Mt. Auburn St. in Harvard Square.
The Globe Corner Bookstores
Thanks Kate. I’ve updated the post with proof of your globe-selling capability!
Thanks for listening…and participating in the Charles River Flickr Group. Your Charles River photographs our impressive as is the map. Thanks.
I am very fortunate to have “discovered your blog. Nice work all around (especially like the Word of the Day!)
Consider me among your regular readers now.