What we're up to

My friend and colleague Mark Engler (see his website Democracy Uprising for links to his many articles) just asked where we were these days. Here's the story:

We just got back to New York last week. We plan to remain here until May, when we need to be back to Carboneras, where Susana & I are building our future castle in Spain. Then back to the US in July, Argentina in August and Caracas & Mexico in September, Spain again in October & November. Kind of hectic. The trips to South America & Mexico are for our book. I actually managed to complete a chapter while we were in Spain -- well, nearly complete it; I couldn't very well do final revisions until I got home and could make print-outs. Now that chapter, "The Sacred Urbanism of the Maya," is done, and I'm on to working on the built environment in the pre-Hispanic Andes.

Now it turns out we will have to schedule another trip, to Berlin. Susana's work on memorials (Susana Torre, "Constructing Memorials" in Enwezor, Okwui et al. eds. Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation, Documenta 11, Platform 2, Hatje Cantz 2002, pp. 343-360; see also her Architectural League presentation regarding the NYC 9/11 memorial) has attracted serious attention. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had her people call her when she was in New York last fall; she had read the essay, and wanted to meet with her regarding the memorial to the disappeared they're planning for the old ESMA torture center. And yesterday some folks in Berlin called to invite her to a conference, comparing the "memorial" issue in Germany & Argentina.

Meanwhile, we've got ourselves pretty nicely integrated into Carboneras & environs. We've got as many friends there now as we do here, and (after some effort) I've got better at approximating the local way of speaking (though, if I'm not careful, people still take me for Argentinean). To keep in touch with those folks, I just inaugurated a Spanish-language blog, Lecturas y Lectores, but I don't think anybody has discovered it yet (they're not big Internet users).

I'm not even trying to do journalism these days. It's just LAU (Latin American Architecture and Urbanism, the book we're doing for Norton), completing the revision of my novel in odd moments (e.g., between LAU chapters), and advancing the Spanish project, which is a whole new adventure, in land development. Four houses and four apartments (3 substantial and one tiny, for temporary guests), right "front line" on the sea.

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