I’m very sad to share that my graduate advisor, Prof. Charles B. Harris, passed away yesterday. He discovered the quadruple bond and he taught me how to be a scientist and a mentor. Charles was always so proud of the achievements of his students; we spoke last year after I received tenure and I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell him that he could add yet another successful faculty member to his list of accomplishments. I miss him.
Looking at this picture from the mossy hills of the Bay Area on a misty morning, I’m reminded of his house in hills of Orinda.
The absolute enormity of Manhattan’s buildings is sometimes inaccurately portrayed by their steep, vertical faces. The great wings of Westfield World Trade Center leave little doubt in the mind. Look at those two tiny people at the bottom of the image.
Given the catastrophic cost of real estate at the southern end of Manhattan, a look at the use of rooftop space reveals a sharp contrast: roofs are either lush garden spaces or barren mechanical utility areas. I had expected to see more “in between” spaces among the penthouses—casually or informally used rooftops. I guess nothing spends more than a few hours on a New York rooftop without a reason to be there.
On this bright Sunday morning, I finally photographed the mighty Manhattan skyline from high above its (mostly) rectilinear grid. This is my favorite kind of photograph: The expanse of cloud-dappled space stretches all the way to tree-covered hills at the horizon and the cityscape seems to offer infinite detail down at the level of individual windows.
One of Trinity College’s oldest buildings (Clement Hall, home to the Chemistry Department where I got my bachelor’s) is across from one of its newest (Raether Library and IT Center). From inside the modern surfaces and behind the modern windows, Clement looks even more Hogwartsian than it does typically.
Brittany Village is, perhaps unsurprisingly, just around the corner from Berkeley’s Normandy Village where I last lived in California. It has plenty of quaint eurocharm, but I think the “original” copy of a European village in Berkeley remains the best.
Houses stacked onto the hillsides of Berkeley, California have a weird tiered geometry and features like picture windows at the corners of rooms. Living there long enough, they become everyday and ordinary… But they’re a bit surprising when first encountered.