SLIDESHOW: Finding Stillness in Jackson Heights

A collection of photos from a recent visit to Transhistoria, an edition of the Guggenheim’s stillspotting nyc designed by architects at Solid Objectives–Idenburg Liu.

Credit: Claire Hamilton

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

We moved recently from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another. The idea of “home” is on our minds, so it seemed the perfect moment to visit Transhistoria, an edition of the Guggenheim Museum’s stillspotting nyc, a project examining disparate experiences in New York City, designed by architects at Solid Objectives–Idenburg Liu.

Transhistoria is a self-guided two-hour walk through spots of stillness (called “stillspots”) in Jackson Heights, Queens. Each stillspot features somebody reciting stories from Queens-based writers. Though these stories address urbanity’s darker aspects, they’re consistently frank when it comes to celebrating the architecture we all practice: homebuilding.

Home can be a major source of calm and joy. In its boundaries (whether a room, an apartment, a city) we feel saner; external nuisances don’t touch us. Transhistoria leads attendees across one of the world’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods. We encountered living communities and saw their homes.

Conceived by David van der Leer, curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, stillspotting nyc is a two-year multidisciplinary project that will stage exhibits in all five boroughs. Transhistoria follows To a Great City (Manhattan) and Sanatorium (Brooklyn). A new edition opens this July in Staten Island.

Here is a slideshow documenting our Transhistoria visit. Under hazy skies we heard at least a dozen of Jackson Heights’s 138 languages. By the time we left the neighborhood we felt stronger connections with life’s ceaseless flux, with the human capacity to build, rebuild, then build again.

Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton have done projects for the BMW Guggenheim Lab, The Believer, and The Hairpin. Cotner is coauthor of Ten Walks/Two Talks. This summer Cotner and Hamilton will lead 12-hour nocturnal Fire Island walks. Follow them here.

Click here to see more photos from this slideshow.

Gallery: Transhistoria

Photos by Claire Hamilton

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Tags: new york city

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1103 other sustainers such as:

  • Marceline at $5/Month
  • Anonymous at $5/Year
  • Brian at $60/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉