At Jane Jacobs Memorial, City Planner Steals the Show, Discreetly
Jane Jacobs, the Death and Life of Great American Cities author who revolutionized city planning when she told the world why the best village was the West Village, died a year ago yesterday at 89. Last night, about two dozen hard-core Jane-ophiles (Jacobeans?) gathered to toast her at the Village’s White Horse Tavern, a favorite Jane haunt — she lived just down the block — before she moved to Toronto in 1968 to help her sons avoid the draft. The star of the evening was architect Alexandros Washburn, city planning chief Amanda Burden’s newish design czar, whose lack of press since starting his job in January is notable given that (a) he’s overseeing the Jacobs-y design aspect of most major building projects in the city and (b) he has urbane Greek good looks that had most of the female Janeheads at the pub cruising him in that discreet New Urbanist way.