Capturing the Eye

As a city Springfield hits the high and the low, but not the middle. We’ve got it here and there, but there are gaps in between. The region in general and the downtown in particular have almost everything they need to become a first choice destination for visitors. The missed connections, the weak linkages, and

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Seeing the “Vote Yes” on MGM signs all along Main Street in the South End is very entertaining, especially given the claims that MGM’s $800,000,000 development will destroy local businesses. I took a walk around the block to survey the lawn signs and placards for and against the casino development, only venturing down Maple, State,

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Horizontal Development and Democracy

The American people no longer share the same space. On the rare occasions and in the rare circumstances that the middle class and the poor do meet, it is usually in a privately mediated space like a mall or an amusement park where money acts as a great leveler giving, as the Supreme Court has

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Cruel to be Brutal?

I hope I can be forgiven for being brief today, I am working on a masterpiece, an essay of such significance and profundity that it will alter the way people in the future understand the words growth and development. Absolutely. Watch this space! (I might be exaggerating a little.) In the meantime I have a

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Drive II

John Oliver on “The Daily Show” insists that you can tell an American from a foreigner by simply asking the question: “Walk or drive?” My wife and I shared a night out with her sister and her husband and met at a local restaurant which has another outlet very close to where they live in

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Freaky Facts

I was re-reading the opinion piece in which Stanford professor Sean F. Reardon said “It may seem counterintuitive, but schools don’t seem to produce much of the disparity in test scores between high- and low-income students”, and I was thinking of some of the other references to data which make the same claim. So I

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Drive

I drive to work. I confess this at the outset because, to me, it is without doubt the single thing I would most like to change about my life. It is a “reverse commute”, which is to say I drive 11 miles into suburbia to teach high school while suburbanites come toward the city to

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No Place to Hide

This is beautiful: But for decades people have been complaining about the nefarious deeds which were taking place under cover of the bushes. Years ago I recommended that the bushes be removed or cut so low that they could not provide cover to anyone except perhaps a garden gnome. Finally, the mega-bushes have been removed

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Sitting on the Bench

The beautiful, though empty, Court Square. Boutique cities can be idealistic. Northampton has been in the throes of a debate about the removal of benches from their Main Street. The benches were removed because they had become less an amenity for visitors, and more a home to the homeless. After a little political wrangling and

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Knucklehead on Knucklehead

My cousin posted a meme on Facebook which entailed a graphic of an American Flag beside the Union Jack with the numbers of “Violent Crimes per 100,000 People” listed as United States: 466, and Britain: 2034. It turns out the numbers are slightly skewed by differences which exist in the categorization of crimes between the

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