Straight Up Chicago 002

There are so many skyscrapers in Chicago, you can look straight up and see them on all sides.

Chicago - Lake and Michigan 001

This is what you would see if you looked up at the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Lake St. in Chicago, IL.

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Urban Photography by Thomas Birke

Amazing urban photographs by talented German photographer Thomas Birke of several metropolises such as Hong Kong, Berlin, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Stunning colors in every sinlge photo. Birke manages to make HK look gritty and glamorous, using a long-exposure Sinar film set-up. …

Straight Up Chicago 001

There are so many skyscrapers in Chicago, you can look straight up and see them on all sides.

Straight Up Chicago 004

There are so many skyscrapers in Chicago, you can look straight up and see them on all sides.


OK, so this is a documentary by the BBC from 2001 that traces the development of House from mid-1970s disco and to the 90s. It includes very interesting discussions of House music demographics and politics, as well as a few moments about dance, sex and sensuality. You get to see how House developed from black and queer spaces and how it developed incrementally, with extended examinations of Frankie Knuckles and other huge figures. You’re also introduced to the way technology facilitated the development and re-skilling of contemporary music. It also travels from the U.S. in Chicago and New York to London and other European metropolises. It’s super long, but very much worth it.

No doubt, private prejudice and suburbanites’ desire for homogenous affluent environments contributed to segregation in St. Louis and other metropolitan areas. But these explanations are too partial, and too conveniently excuse public policy from responsibility. A more powerful cause of metropolitan segregation in St. Louis and nationwide has been the explicit intents of federal, state, and local governments to create racially segregated metropolises.

Many of these explicitly segregationist governmental actions ended in the late 20thcentury but continue to determine today’s racial segregation patterns. In St. Louis these governmental policies included zoning rules that classified white neighborhoods as residential and black neighborhoods as commercial or industrial; segregated public housing projects that replaced integrated low-income areas; federal subsidies for suburban development conditioned on African American exclusion; federal and local requirements for, and enforcement of, property deeds and neighborhood agreements that prohibited resale of white-owned property to, or occupancy by, African Americans; tax favoritism for private institutions that practiced segregation; municipal boundary lines designed to separate black neighborhoods from white ones and to deny necessary services to the former; real estate, insurance, and banking regulators who tolerated and sometimes required racial segregation; and urban renewal plans whose purpose was to shift black populations from central cities like St. Louis to inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson.

Governmental actions in support of a segregated labor market supplemented these racial housing policies and prevented most African Americans from acquiring the economic strength to move to middle-class communities, even if they had been permitted to do so.

White flight certainly existed, and racial prejudice was certainly behind it, but not racial prejudice alone. Government policies turned black neighborhoods into overcrowded slums and white families came to associate African Americans with slum characteristics. White homeowners then fled when African Americans moved nearby, fearing their new neighbors would bring slum conditions with them.

That government, not mere private prejudice, was responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once conventional informed opinion. A federal appeals court declared 40 years ago that “segregated housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area was … in large measure the result of deliberate racial discrimination in the housing market by the real estate industry and by agencies of the federal, state, and local governments.” Similar observations accurately describe every other large metropolitan area. This history, however, has now largely been forgotten.

When we blame private prejudice, suburban snobbishness, and black poverty for contemporary segregation, we not only whitewash our own history but avoid considering whether new policies might instead promote an integrated community. The federal government’s response to the Ferguson “Troubles” has been to treat the town as an isolated embarrassment, not a reflection of the nation in which it is embedded. The Department of Justice is investigating the killing of teenager Michael Brown and the practices of the Ferguson police department, but aside from the president’s concern that perhaps we have militarized all police forces too much, no broader inferences from the events of August 2014 are being drawn by policymakers.

The conditions that created Ferguson cannot be addressed without remedying a century of public policies that segregated our metropolitan landscape. Remedies are unlikely if we fail to recognize these policies and how their effects have endured.

Winter Luxe By Nicholas Trobiano | Photos by Dan Austin Photography

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a few more photos of me as of late.

Although I may not live in the creative metropolises of New York or LA like some of my sartorial style mates, I realize that my home of Tampa Bay offers me unbridled inspiration every day - from style and art to food, music, architecture and culture. 

It is with great pleasure that I happily announce a new collaboration with photographer Dan Austin, Dan Austin Photography, to bring more of this region’s best sites and scenes to you.

While my focus remains style, I’ll give you a glimpse at the beautiful spaces and creative people I meet. And of course, I’ll share all the looks I wear along the way.

Sweater by Boss Orange by Hugo Boss. Jeans by AG Jeans. Watch by Rolex. Boots by Gucci.
Photographed at Curtis Hixon Park Amphitheater, Tampa.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more menswear.

Il s’ appelle Toussaint. Il me dit oui, que je peux le prendre en photo et la diffuser. Il n’a rien à cacher.
Une rupture. Une histoire de vie qui bascule dans la rue. Ça pourrait arriver à tout le monde qu’il dit. Il ne se plaint pas: il a toujours sa carte de bibliothèque: il aime tellement la BD…
Il ne demande qu’une chose : un toit, parce qu’il commence à faire froid. Le samu social a dit qu’il repasserait, mais des fois qu’il l’oublierait. Et puis ça l’aidera pour combien de temps?

Il s’appelle Toussaint et la semaine dernière, c’était pas sa fête. Pendant son sommeil y’en a des qui ont piqué sa valise. Y’avait toute sa vie dedans. Il ne comprend pas pourquoi ils ont fait ça, vu qu’il n’y avait rien de valeur dedans : toute sa vie ses ses chaussettes, ses affaires de toilette…

Il s’appelle Toussaint et il est souvent là. En bordure du parking entre l’école et le supermarché. Juste sous “ACCOMPAGNER les propriétaires dans leurs programmes de travaux” et “AMÉLIORER la performance énergétique de votre immeuble” aux beaux logos de la ville de ‪#‎Nantes‬ et de la métropole galopante… Ça c’est pas lui qui le dit, c’est moi, en partant avec difficulté. Il ne m’a rien de mandé, juste, quand je lui ai proposé un peu de bouffe a Decré, il m’a dit préférer de la monaie. Pas pour boire de l’alcool hein ! (ce qui ne m’aurait pas génée…) mais pour avoir la liberté de choisir. Un petit bout de liberté qui lui reste.

Il s’appelle Toussaint et si vous le croisez, dites-lui bonjour de ma part. Arrêtez-vous pour lui parler. Parce que ce qui lui pèse le plus, au milieu de la foule quotidienne de cette rue fréquenté, c’est la solitude.