True Green Cities / Celebrating Five Years – A Tribute to Prince

It’s been five years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. Many people are finding new ways to integrate historic preservation and green building practices, which makes my venture a delightful and intellectually inspiring one. This is blog FIVE of my fifth anniversary week.

Prince died yesterday at the age of 57.  I was sad that David Bowie and Glenn Frey died earlier this year, but Prince was my coming of age musician, just a few years older than me.  I saw the news when I sat down in my seat on the train back to Buffalo yesterday and spent the next eight hours listening to “Purple Rain” again and again.  I had intended this blog to be about something else – architecture, preservation and sustainability of course – but I think I will honor this genius instead.

My Prince Story

Next week's New Yorker cover by Bob Staake.

Next week’s New Yorker cover by Bob Staake.

In 2007 I was in LA for meetings and I stayed at my favorite LA hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt. It turned out Prince was doing two nights of shows at the Roosevelt. My last night there I was awakened at 2 am by the loudest rendition of “Purple Rain” ever. After the official concert he moved into the ballroom and gave an impromptu concert for two hours. My bed was directly over the ballroom. At first I was going to call down to complain, then I came to my senses and said “you can sleep every other night in your life, how often can you have a private concert from Prince?” I walked out into the hall in my pajamas and ran into other guests in theirs. We talked about going downstairs but I slunk back to my room and listened from there. I don’t remember what my meetings were that next day but I’ll never forget “When Doves Cry” shaking my room.

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.  So I suggest perhaps you listen to Prince’s “Planet Earth” album from 2007.  I will continue to play his music today and honor the vegan artist who made social justice issues – from environmental consciousness to providing access to reading and books to disadvantaged youth – part of his life.  He showed us all that you could live life on your own terms and make the earth a better place.

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