If you do not know Olmsted, sir, you are a heathen
- Frederick Law Olmsted saved my life four times. In the winters at
McGill in Montreal I would climb Mount Royal, his park. In Chicago I'd
walk along the lake in Hyde Park, Olmsted's scenery "improved." In New
York feeling dismal or just too damn hot I walk in Central Park,
Olmsted's masterpiece. Olmsted was a landscape architect avant le
fait. Recently I have lived on Staten Island cut off from the
vibrant communities of Manhattan until -- in a little park of improved
nature designed by Mr O, who actually himself lived on Staten Island,
I spotted birders! Birders are sociable nerds and anytime I want,
thanks to Olmsted, I can now find intelligent chat.
Olmsted is my Savior. If you do not know Olmsted, sir, you are a heathen.
--- In email@example.com, ezra s abrams <ezracolbert@...> wrote:
> Middlebrow it may have been, but I loved it as a kid (cf Ford Maddox
> Ford on Captain Marryatt)
> To pick a point, with the general american public, I don't think
> characterizing Olmstead as unkown is that off base..
> but cite some polling data and prove me wrong
> mandreox wrote:
> > American Heritage has suspended publication. It was lavish and utterly
> > middlebrow. By coincidence I picked up a couple copies just before the
> > suspension was announced.
> > The one featured Walter Raleigh. The article was dumb, a
> > recapitulation of Raleigh's Roanoke adventure; but the color plates
> > were great. I looked up Raleigh's poetry in the Norton anthology. Then
> > I read in the Fairie Queen; Raleigh helped get it published and
> > Spenser's letter to Raleigh is as important to that poem as Dante's to
> > Della Scala. And then I read some Donne in the Grierson edition;
> > there's a new biography of Donne. Ann Donne, for whom John sacrificed
> > all, died at 33.
> > The other American Heritage featured Frederick Olmstead whom the
> > magazine characterizes, laughably, as unknown. Olmstead designed the
> > great parks of the great North American cities. The World for a
> > Shilling by Michael Leapman credits the gigantic greenhouse which was
> > essentially London's Great Exhibition of 1851 for foretelling
> > Olmstead. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson details the
> > struggle by David Burnham to engage Olmstead as designer for the
> > grounds of Chicago's Columbian Exhibition of 1892. Olmstead alone,
> > of course, made the great American cities bearable.
> > Will the wonderful American Heritage Dictionaries continue? The title
> > is owned by Forbes. I am disappointed that with age and some money I
> > have come to read Forbes with almost the attention I pay The New
> > Yorker. In 1988 I published in Unmuzzled OX an interview with Imamu
> > Amiri Baraka by David Remick. I regret having made fun of Remick. Of
> > course, he now edits The New Yorker.
> Ezra S Abrams
> 4 Colbert Rd
> Newton MA 02465
> cell 617 817 4211
> home 617 527 6413