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Some places make you happy, just to be in them!

[Originally posted on October 2, 2010.]

Have you ever been in a place that made you so happy you just had to do a cartwheel? Where was it? The images above are from a film about the 1964 New York World's Fair. When a family enters one of the pavilions, their daughter is so happy she just has to do a cartwheel as the narrator says, "Some places make you happy, just to be in them!" It got me thinking about our goal of creating places that stimulate the intellect, touch the emotions and engage the senses for our clients and our desire to make meaningful places. How do you create a place that makes someone happy, just to be in it?

A place that makes me happy simply being there is Rizzoli's Bookstore in New York. Is it the architecture books, the art books, the music, or just the fact that I know that I am going to discover something new in there each time I visit?

Another place for me is the Strip District in Pittsburgh. In this case the source of happiness is a blend of happy memories of my college days and my pilgrimages there on each return trip to Pittsburgh. The Strip is an authentic marketplace with unique 'mom + pop' shops, international foods, and local flavors. In this time of national franchises, the Strip District passes the Skin Horse test (from the Velveteen Rabbit); it is real.

And of course, home, is a place that I am happy just to be in, especially after a long day.

Images of Worlds Fair from To the Fair Via the Prelinger Archives.

Rizzoli image from

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