Sidewalk Babble

Meandering through the urban maze


Why this blog

I’m Naomi Wittes Reichstein, and I’ve spent a lifetime fascinated by cities – how they’re built, how they work, how they shape and are shaped by human lives. I’m always observing the urban environments around me, thinking about ways to preserve what we love about them while helping them become more responsive to people’s needs. So I decided to start blogging about that. The experience of living in a variety of cities myself has fed my fascination with their contrasts. Raised in New York, I’ve spent time in the Boston and Washington, D.C. areas. Several years ago, I moved to the Pacific Northwest, first to Portland, Oregon and then to Vancouver, Canada, which is now my home.

Recently I was on Roundhouse Radio’s “Sense of Place” with Minelle Mahtani, talking about the demolitions of old buildings in our city, about why historic conservation matters so much, and about how the Vancouver Heritage Register is about to change.

Did you miss the radio interview? Now you can hear it on this link!

The interview came out of an article I wrote on this blog about the topic. Please check it out!

My day job

I’m a writer, editor and communications professional and an advocate for cities and cultural heritage and now a graduate student. I’m also a writing teacher and mentor, coaching adults and students in university and secondary and elementary school on how to get the most out of their writing and enjoy it too. As a speaker, I’ve presented on subjects ranging from publishing and communications to urban space, historic preservation and sustainability.

Starting in September 2017, I’ll be joining the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at the University of British Columbia as a Master in Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) candidate. In support of this study, I’ve had the privilege of being granted a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Please contact me about the blog or any possible work projects. I’d love to hear from you.

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