The Omnibus Roundup – Hallowmeet-up, alt-energy theme parks, p.U.M.p, airport living, Performa, urban golf

Image by Michael Loverich, from his Urban Omnibus feature, East River Power

Psyched for our meet-up tomorrow? You should be. It will be awesome. And no, costumes are not required, but feel free. Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone, there will be more than enough to go around. But if you do, please download the Museum of the Phantom City app from the iTunes store beforehand.

Remember when we posed some unanswered questions about the potential of tidal power in the East River? Well now it seems the project is going from a boutique alternative energy production plan to a… theme park? We got wind of this one from the excellent Fresh Kills Park blog, where we also read about Inhabitat’s run-down of crowd-sourced iniatitives to create a more livable New York, including omni-faves OASIS and the Open Planning Project.

The Post reports that the Design Trust for Public Space and the Bronx Museum of the Arts have announced the winner of Intersections: The Grand Concourse Beyond 100, their international ideas competition about the future of the boulevard. The honor goes to Dongsei Kim and Jamieson Fajardo for p.U.M.p, the Purifying Urban Modular Parasite, which, as the competition website summarizes, “envisions the future of the Grand Concourse as an innovative sustainable neighborhood transformed by multiple productive landscapes. We propose the ‘rebirth’ of manufacturing by injecting green industries that produce the PUMP, a purifying urban modular parasite, which mitigates air pollution, a critical problem prevalent in the South Bronx, today.” Check out p.U.M.p, and all of the other finalists, at the Intersections exhibition, opening at the Bronx Museum on Sunday. (via Curbed)

Last month, with the news that London’s Heathrow Airport had contracted Alain de Botton to spend a week in Terminal 5 and write it up as the airport’s first writer-in-residence, we mused about what an analogous project might look like for JFK or LaGuardia. Well, Dan Hill, aka City of Sound, likes the book. Check out his thoughtful review.

Meanwhile, the Times Square Alliance is up to more than just arranging lounge chairs. They are proud supporters of Performa ’09, which includes a bunch of cool, free art events, starting with a screening of a new video by Guy Ben-Ner on the Clear Channel Spectacolor HD screen at 47th & Broadway this sunday at 7:45, followed by a dancing procession, SOMEWHERE I READ, by Arto Lindsey in Duffy Square at 47th Broadway. This “multidisciplinary arts parade” features over 50 performers marching through the streets, using cell phones as musical instruments and carrying large screens that will receive projections invisible to the naked eye, in an inventive re-thinking of the standard parade format. The procession will continue down the Broadway plazas to 42nd Street. Both projects are Performa Commissions.

If you never made it to Bushwick this summer to play some vacant lot putt-putt, how about some urban golf before it gets too cold? Pruned takes a look at the game, describing it as “guerrilla theater with the requisite social commentary,” and goes on to imagine how to take the fun to another level by creating a complex system of strategically-placed sensors, maps, and location-aware notifications in the form of, naturally, an iPhone app. Who needs private clubs when you can find imaginary outlines of golf courses wherever you go?

And, for those of you who have asked, the answer is yes: we will definitely be issuing prizes for the best Urban Omnibus-themed Halloween costume. Send us a photo of yourself dressed as a New York City building, park, bridge, street, etc.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.