Read That Back

Twenty five years ago I had a program on a local talk radio station: The Steve Shultis Saturday Show. It was a whole lot of fun, but being a left wing voice on talk radio in the nineties, even in Massachusetts, was not a winning plan. They offered me a morning slot…if I would stick

Read More…

Wrong for the Wrong Reasons

Middletown, Connecticut is an awesome little city. Great Main Street. Best children’s museum I’ve ever seen. Nice housing stock close to everything. Not too expensive. Or pretentious.  Here is Middletown’s “Thorne’s Market” (That’s a quaint and cozy, disgustingly succesful retail mall created out of some older buildings in…ugggg….Northampton): These photographs were taken on a Sunday,

Read More…

Candide

A few months ago one of my readers from Chicago was planning to be in the Northeast for a few days and contacted me to ask what I might recommend he do in Springfield to get to know the place. He and his family ended up stopping by the house and we had a wonderful

Read More…

The One Eyed Man Is King

What makes one an urbanist in one place may not make one an urbanist in another. The Superstar cities have hordes of trained professionals opining on their every bike lane and subway stop. Is the font on our trolley signage consistent with the hoppiness of our most famous I.P.A.? Will the arrival of Whole Foods

Read More…

Outer Darkness

45 years ago a kid named Richard Johnson moved from this area to what I can still recall to this day was an address which ended “Oregon Side, Weiser Idaho”. It’s a memorable address. To me, the Oregon Side of Weiser, Idaho should probably be Weiser, Oregon, right? I’m sure it made sense to a

Read More…

Red in Tooth and Claw

Six years on it might be easy to lose sight of the original purpose behind the creation of this website: to address topics related to cities that aren’t Superstar cities in ways that don’t just adhere to the narrative of urban pathology, to separate mistaken perspectives from real challenges so as to confront them. I

Read More…

Urban Calvinism

One of the maps I’ve seen dividing the United States into separate regions puts Springfield into the category of “recovered” or “revitalized” Rust Belt city. The study whose data created the map is a year old, and came from data covering the years before that. The takeaway from the report was that location was by

Read More…

The Hunt for Springfield

There were two tomes I took to Brigham Young University every autumn: Clyde Smith’s New England and his Enchantment of New England photo books. The trees, the green grass, the rolling hills, and the mountains of my little corner of the world reminded me that there was life on this planet, even if very little

Read More…

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Parking

Just some precious nuggets of wisdom I was fortunate enough to overhear in the discussion regarding the future of a certain downtown parcel. Seriously. 1)Although some people say that downtown has enough parking, on some nights “the only people downtown are the ones citing visitors for parking illegally.” This is the Russian nesting doll of

Read More…

Up With the Good, Down With the bad

I was 18 and I had never flown before. My parents had taken me to over 40 of the contiguous United States, but every mile had been by car. Heck, only once had we stayed in a hotel and that was because of a hurricane which was about to strike the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In

Read More…