MGM Year One: Retail

It’s been a year since MGM Springfield first opened its doors and, given that, it is entirely appropriate to assess the impact it has had on the neighborhood. This isn’t about a global critique of casinos, the political decisions that legalized the gaming industry in Massachusetts, or the process which brought a $960 million resort

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Afternoons in the Garden of Guilt

Earlier in the summer I came very close to writing a post about a Catch 22 connected to my backyard. For many of my neighbors the only semi-private outdoor area they have access to is a glorified fire escape. When the weather starts to warm they start spending a great deal of time outside. On

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Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

I was standing at the edge of the Saint Lawrence in Montreal waiting for L’International des Feux Loto (fireworks) to begin and as a friend began to explain to me what the various landmarks were I realized how eerily similar it all seemed. There was a city to be sure, and a river with a

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Barry Kingston

There’s an infantile instinct which I’ve never been able to shake. I can remember very distinctly, and therefore probably erroneously, its earliest manifestation. I remember watching the most popular boy in the 5th grade at Washington Street School riding his bike with Lynn (Linda?) D’Agostino on the handlebars up Tiffany Street. Lynn (Lisa?) said hello

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Ayuh

Education popped back onto my radar this week, propelled by two separate online sources. An article at CityLab failed, crashed, burned, and then disintegrated as it took claims made in a report by an equity in education think tank and, in essence, unknowingly made the case that every claim which the report made was refuted

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Notes From Underground

The attorneys who sold me their building ran nine window unit air conditioners to keep the offices cool during the summer. I know because they left me all of them. After 4 years of running between 3 and 6 of those units my wife and I made the decision to try something different. We had

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Looking Backward

Some quick shot updates and observations to start this week’s contribution. Kids are doing wheelies in areas with heavy concentrations of pedestrians in places other than Springfield as it turns out. Commercial Street in Provincetown is the finest example of a shared space corridor that I have seen anywhere. For cars and delivery trucks it

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The 2nd 1st Impression

A few years ago my wife and I had spent a little time in Albany during the Rational Urbanism Summer Stalking Tour; we went to a movie in Bellows Falls (KMO), drove through Jim Kunstler’s home town, and spent a few nights at a B&B in Troy (Duncan Crary). I was unimpressed. Like Hartford it

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La paradoja

The key question in poetic analysis is why is this poem a poem? That is to say, what is it about the expression of this idea as a poem that makes more more effective than if it had been expressed as an essay, a short story, or a novel. It’s a conceit, of course, but

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Hypocrisy is the Mother of Detention (Centers)

I was buying radishes at the farmers’ market yesterday when this pretentious ass, you know the type, the kind who buys his veggies at a farmers’ market, tells me I’m cutting in front of the people standing beside me. Now, it turns out that there were two different lines depending on method of payment and

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