More Moi...

I posted this piece about American Vertigo and Bernard-Henri Lévy last week. His descriptions of Buffalo are way off and wrong. More than one person has told me that it seems like he may have just done a "fly-over."

Princeton University has a program called University Channel, tons of lectures available on-line. Here's a podcast of BHL's latest appearence with Francis Fukuyama and William Kristol at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The show appeared on January 24, 2006. Bernard-Henri Lévy missed the mark on several points:
  • There are no boarded-up office buildings in Buffalo, NY - BHL writes "boarded-up office buildings, disintegrating or about to be torn down"
  • There are dozens of cool restaurants - BHL writes "not one good restaurant to dine in"
  • Robert Coles just designed a significant new library BHL writes "The library is on the verge of financial collapse"
  • The most significant architectural feature of the Central Terminal is the clock tower! BHL writes "an enormous abandoned sugarloaf"
I recieved the following e-mail from David Steele, a Chicago based architect and frequent contributer to Buffalo Rising.

Here is what I have to say about the French guy. I have seen some blogs on this book in the past and have read the entire Buffalo segment and some of the Detroit segment. Though some of what he says certainly can be found in Buffalo I get a distinct sense form the story that he never set foot in Buffalo or is perhaps mixing Buffalo up with Detroit. Part of his article talks about walking through abandoned mills at Bethlehem Steel. (mills thathave been torn down for over 15 years) He describes the train station as a sugar loaf. This description is more descriptive of Detroit's abandond train station. His description of the abandond office buildings is also more akin to somthing you would see in Detroit. In the Detroit segment he talks about the Wright houses. Huh? In Detroit? I do not know if there are any Wright houses in Detroit but I do know that Detroit is not known for its collection of FL Wright buildings. Finally, Buffalo is not a bastion of activity and the streets of downtown can look very deserted but I can come up with a list of at least 25 decent restaurants within a few block area.
David also just let me know that Bernard-Henri Lévy will be a guest on Chicago Public Radio tomorrow, 2/8/06 around noon. They stream, right here... http://www.wbez.org/ I called the program director to see about getting a call in to BHL. Too late, it was taped last week.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

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