La que peca por la paga

My wife and I were playing a game of “cop, not a cop” yesterday as we tried to figure out whether we were dealing with dueling prostitutes at the corner of Maple and Union streets, or if one was a police officer and the other, whom we had seen before, was authentic. The city has

Read More…

The 0% Solution

I can’t help but view the world through the Kunstlerian lens of resource depletion and eventual petrocollapse. I try to keep myself in balance with a more standard issue Weltanschauung using various means, one of which is the guilty pleasure of listening to Bax and O’Brien in the morning on Rock 102 in Springfield. They

Read More…

Together Again, for the Second Time

From the 1978 “It’s Time for Springfield”: If memory serves, it was the late 70’s when local officials and the Dukakis administration attempted to link the Quadrangle to the Riverfront using the Heritage Park template. The renovation and de facto expansion of Court Square was by far the most successful element of the plan with

Read More…

Neutron Boom

Out my front windows I see no fewer than 10 structures being renovated from top to bottom, all of them magnificently historic, with sidewalk and lighting improvements included. The various renovations are for residential, educational, institutional, and commercial use. Out the back windows I can see the sprawling MGM project, Park Street Lofts, the Caring

Read More…

A Little Light Writing

Life turns inward as the weather gets colder, and the built environment takes on a greater significance. If you’ve ever experienced the transition from a frigid wind beating on your face to the embrace of a warm indoor space then you’ll know what these places can mean as the ground freezes underfoot. The combination of

Read More…

The Bike McCycle Version

When I was 12 or maybe 13 my foster brother Bob purchased a 1971 Mustang Mach 1, that’s “Mach” as in the speed of sound not “mock” as in to brutally make fun of something, which is important because Bob knew he was very mock-able, and I’m sure that he hoped that this amazing black

Read More…

My Auto-Divorce

When I was 12 or maybe 13 my foster brother Bob purchased a 1971 Mustang Mach 1, that’s “Mach” as in the speed of sound not “mock” as in to brutally make fun of something, which is important because Bob knew he was very mock-able, and I’m sure that he hoped that this amazing black

Read More…

Sweet Home Massachusetts

A map inspired by John Michael Greer’s Ecotopia: I was listening to a YouTube version of a podcast called Diet Soap with James Howard Kunstler and, when questioned about his “allergy to conspiracy theory” and the acknowledged collusion of Firestone, General Motors, and Standard Oil to destroy streetcar systems all over the United States, he

Read More…

Post-Potemkin

From the film Blazing Saddles: Whatever the truth behind the legend of Grigory Potemkin’s efforts to deceive the empress Catherine the Great with pop up villages and dolled up peasants on her tour along the Dnieper River in the Crimea, the idea of the Potemkin Village is well understood. Whether the ruse involves Russian royalty

Read More…

Don’t Go to Memphis

I did feel a moment of near rage at the Curbside Chat in Northampton last week. It was when Chuck Marohn recommended to the auditorium full of Smithies that, if they really wanted to go somewhere and make a difference, they “should go to Memphis or Detroit”. Maybe if they were floating above the nation

Read More…