“[Jane Jacobs’] name still summons an entire city vision—the much watched corner, the mixed-use neighborhood—and her holy tale is all the stronger for including a nemesis of equal stature: Robert Moses, the Sauron of the street corner. The New York planning dictator wanted to drive an expressway through lower Manhattan, and was defeated, the legend runs, by this ordinary mom.” — Adam Gopnik*
Robert Moses—the “master builder” of New York’s expressways who dreamed of leveling Soho—met his match in Jane Jacobs, author of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES.** This 20th century battle—the forces of suburbanization vs. middle-class New Yorkers who did not want to destroy their city to save it—is the focus of CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY, the new documentary by Matt Tyrnauer screening this week at USC.
CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY, Monday, April 24 at 7 pm. Free with reservation:
BROCCOLI THEATRE, USC SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS, Los Angeles.
CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY opens at the Nuart on Friday, April 28.
NUART THEATRE, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles.
This summer, the RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL in Lower Manhattan will feature excerpts from A MARVELOUS ORDER, a new opera about Jacobs and Moses. Written, composed, and designed by Joshua Frankel, Judd Greenstein, Will Rawls, and Tracy K. Smith, the work will be performed in the transit/shopping hub Fulton Center.
A MARVELOUS ORDER, June 15–18.
RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL, FULTON CENTER, 200 Broadway, Manhattan.
*Adam Gopnik, “Jane Jacobs’ Street Smarts,” The New Yorker, September 26, 2016.
Jane Jacobs, 1961.
Image credit: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection