Recapping this week in Manhattan

[Image: The Postopolis! closing party kicks off; photo by John Hill of Archidose].

Well, I'm back in Los Angeles, after one of the longest and most surreal days of my life, flying nearly sleepless across mountains and canyonlands mere hours after saying goodbye to everyone at the Storefront, leaving New York before the music had ended, as the print-outs of our blogs were literally blowing off the walls and whole tubs' worth of ice – emptied of at least three hundred beer bottles within minutes – melted into rivers across the sidewalk, and before it even seemed possible that Postopolis! had really come to an end – but there it was: the whole thing was over, already something from yesterday, and now last week, and so I'm in Los Angeles again with no real proof that it ever happened, except for some bookmarks and some photos and some business cards I picked up along the way and this almost painfully happy nostalgia for every aspect of it, feeling more like a ghost who invisibly revisited the east coast, passing through the neutron star of New York City, Manhattan, a now artificial island so dense with structure that it bends the lives of those around it; but there we all were for a week, hanging out and talking about space, time, and architecture in the sweat and heat together.

[Images: The Storefront for Art and Architecture; photos, top to bottom, by Nicola Twilley, Dan Hill, and BLDGBLOG].

And it was a blast.
All of which means I'll start posting again here, about Postopolis! itself – and the speakers who came through, and the city, and the people I met, and the weather systems that pass through Manhattan seemingly detached from the planet – and about regular old architectural news, from the private skyscraper of a man in India to the Italian fate of urban rubbish, soon enough.
But I just want to say a huge thanks, first of all, to my fellow Postopolitans: Dan Hill of City of Sound, Jill Fehrenbacher of Inhabitat, and Bryan Finoki of Subtopia – I already miss you! How strange to spend nearly nine hours a day with someone, for an entire week, only to leap onto an airplane... and wonder if you'll ever see them again.
All the more reason to host Postopolis! 2 next year.

[Images: (top) Jill Fehrenbacher and Dan Hill watch one of the speakers; (bottom) Bryan Finoki cools off by a fan. Photos by Nicola Twilley].

But I also owe a huge thanks to the staff of the Storefront for being there, and for setting up the place, and for slapping our logos onto the facade, and for finding us all a place to stay (more about our hotel soon – specifically the plumbing).
To my wife for the help, for the photos, and for putting up with my jangly nerves.
To everyone who attended – the audience was at least half the point of putting this thing together, and your questions, comments, complaints, flashing photo bulbs, and laughter were a huge inspiration.
To DJ /rupture and N-RON for vibrating all of southern Manhattan Saturday night with giant triangular slabs of bass blasting out and downward from the Storefront on Kenmare Street.
To all our speakers, for coming out in 1000% humidity to deliver un-air-conditioned speeches through sometimes squealing microphones as dumptrucks rattled by blowing air horns – the event would literally have been nothing without your participation! It was also great to meet so many people with whom I've been in email contact for months, if not years, and to realize that all those people out there on the internet, sending you things, are real: you can shake their hand, and have a glass of wine with them, and laugh.
And, of course, most of all, I owe a gigantic thanks to Joseph Grima, Director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, who came up with the idea for Postopolis! in the first place; who invited me and everyone else out there to New York City to attend; who made all the ends meet administratively, spatially, technically, and financially; and who put up with the goofy, adolescent nervousness I know at least I personally experienced several times each day.

[Images: (top) Joseph Grima peers out through the facade of the Storefront for Art and Architecture (photo by Nicola Twilley); (bottom) Joseph Grima, photographed by Dan Hill].

Thank you, Joseph!
Finally, thanks to the BLDGBLOG readers who didn't really care about Postopolis! and who don't live anywhere near Manhattan, yet who sat through all these more or less content-less updates while the event spun on. Regular posts will continue shortly.
More soon – but, seriously, thanks again to everybody involved with Postopolis!
I had a sleepless and amazing time, and I already miss everything.
But now I'm home.

[Image: Looking down at the desert of greater Los Angeles, with Postopolis! already far too far behind us; photo by Nicola Twilley].

(PS: If you're looking for more photos and some video feeds of the event, don't miss all the stuff up on YouTube or BLDGBLOG's Postopolis! Flickr set and the public Postopolis! Flickr pool).

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Anonymous molly said...

The French term for jet lag is "l'heure de decollage," effectively, "the hour of coming unstuck." That's precisely the feeling I have when I bolt out the door and make a cross-country (or cross-world) trip when I've left a piece of myself where I once was. It resonates because I left the Storefront after our conversation, got to Newark as fast as I could, barely checked in on time and flew to Copenhagen.

Three cheers for Postopolis. You did well and seeing the pictures of the space makes me feel homesick, too.

June 04, 2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger Rafael said...

Amazing images. Unrelated? link: HAD - Journal of Algorithm-Generated Design.

June 05, 2007 7:20 AM  
Blogger Me said...

We've been here reading, cheering, and happy for you every day. (Even if the type is too small for my old eyes.

June 05, 2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger EUSAS said...

Postopolis looks amazing. I'm so sad that i couldn't get over to NYC.

Was going to email you but it sounds on your profile that you don't respond very often.

Anyway... I am an architect at Edinburgh University and am running the lecture part of the architectural society (EUSAS) this year. We are currently organizing a
student-run lecture series for 2007/8 that aims to showcase both local and international architects and designers. (Over the last few
years we have hosted the likes of Peter Salter, Smout+Allen, Ben
Nicholson, Daniel Libeskind, Bolles Wilson etc.)

As an avid fan of bldgblog I was wondering if you ever head UK-wards. If you are, we would love to have you in Edinburgh.

Let us know.. congratulations again for what looks like an awesome event.

Sarah

June 05, 2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Molly, it's not décollage (which means take off, for a plane) but décalage horaire.
I wish I would understand what is all this fuzz about Postopolis. I haven't found a blog that describes it in a short paragraph. Help!

June 05, 2007 7:12 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Molly - Thanks! Glad you made it to your plane on time. Also glad you could be there to ask questions, and keep all of us on our toes. How's Denmark...?

Bernard, maybe check out this post for some background info on Postopolis!, then click through City of Sound's ongoing coverage.

And, EUSAS, I would love to do that - I'll be in London in January 2008, in fact, so perhaps I could make the trip north...? I'll email you - or feel free to send me an email, and we can work something out (bldgblog [at] gmail [dot] com). Thanks for thinking of me.

And thanks, me!

Finally, Rafael, rather than leave comment-spam just say you have a blog about algorithm-generated design and I'll check it out. No hard feelings.

June 06, 2007 3:28 AM  

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