In an article in The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman pays tribute to the long and commendable career of Ada Louise Huxtable who started writing on architecture for The New York Times in 1963 becoming the first full-time critic writing on architecture for an American newspaper. She was critical of "trophy" buildings by "signature" architects which are the result of a money-driven culture where status is all-important. Huxtable saw buildings as something more than giant monuments sticking up in the sky. She was interested in the roles that buildings play in the lives of those on the curbs and the corners of the city.
This versatile writer enjoyed what she was doing and had her own special mission to fulfill: "When so much seems to conspire to reduce life and feeling to the most deprived and demeaning bottom line, it becomes more important than ever that we receive that extra dimension of dignity or delight and the elevated sense of self that the art of a building can provide through the nature of the places where we live and work. What counts more than style is whether architecture improves our experience of the built world, whether it makes us wonder why we never noticed places in quite this way before."
The lure of city life, for Huxtable, was pleasure. In 1978 she wrote, "There is so much more to see, to experience, to understand, to enjoy."
That could be a motto for the spiritual practice of zeal which is a celebration of the rich adventure and variety of life!