The Marvellous Mrs Jacobs - or Five Surprising Places to find Jane...

Updated: May 7

It's not the only way to judge it (thank goodness for that!), but if you want to get a sense of the impact of Jane Jacobs on our global consciousness, check out some of the places she posthumously turns up and the ways in which she is immortalised in our cultural consciousness...


The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

In an American period comedy-drama TV series, by Amy Sherman-Palladino.

You'll have to wait until Episode 4 of Series 1 for this little gem but oh my goodness it is worth the wait (although better without this spoiler!). And in the meantime you'll get to enjoy Mrs Maisel herself, a frivolous TV delight of the highest order, whose only downside, though it's a big one, is that it's only available on Amazon Prime (I know, sorry). But if, like me, you accidentally ended up on Amazon Prime because you pressed the wrong button one time, and then you thought "Well, maybe I'll just catch a couple of box sets while I'm here", then I wholeheartedly recommend this to you for a rainy weekend.


The Tiny Jane Jacobs (part of the Tiny Activist Project) As a cut-out tiny activist doll, by Sarah Marsom (https://www.sarahmarsom.com/)

What is not to love about the efforts of a single person - the marvelous Sarah Marsom - to spread the legacy of Jane Jacobs through the creation of tiny dolls in her likeness for global distribution? I've just bought mine. She was quite expensive, especially since I think you still have to sew her yourself when she arrives. But for me, really worth it. And as I sew, I shall take that time to reflect. And then she will live with me. I really cant wait for her to arrive. I didn't mention yet that I also love tiny things. Some people do. If you're one of them I wont have to say any more.


Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City

In a graphic novel by Pierre Christin, illustrated by Olivier Balez

https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/lapl-reads/review/robert-moses-master-builder-new-york-city


Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs

In a children's book, by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Valérie Boivin

https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/06/13/walking-the-city-with-jane-jacobs/


A Marvelous Order: An Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs In an opera, written entirely about Jacobs and her legendary battles with her nemesis, Moses. Music by Judd Greenstein to a libretto by Tracy K Smith, with animation and direction by Joshua Frankel

Preview 'A Marvelous Order' here...

An opera? Surely the most bizarre - and therefore perhaps most telling - manifestation of all. But in 2016, A Marvelous Order premiered in New York, 'an unusually deep interdisciplinary collaboration', weaving together poetry, music and animation to tell the story of the now infamous battle between Robert Moses, powerful city planner, and Jane Jacobs, 'self-taught oracle of unparalleled urban insight', over the fate of 1960's New York City; a conflict that 'continues to shape built environments around the world - from small towns to global cities - and the lives of all who call them home' (https://mosesjacobsopera.com/About.html). And, a year later, in 2017, Joshua Frankel’s I LIVE HERE, a 3-minute animation from A Marvelous Order was projected onto Times Square’s electronic billboards, from 11.57 pm to midnight every night in May, the anniversary month of Jacobs' birth... (http://arts.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/i-live-here/index.aspx)



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