Killing What Works

On a Saturday evening almost everything is closed downtown; banks, offices, stores, museums. There is one block, one, where there is some life: The Shean Block. There is a small restaurant open, a barber shop (with a handful of people actually inside getting their hair cut), a convenience store, and a clothing boutique. Here is

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Programming

The downtown of my city looks so much better now than it did when I first came to know it in the seventies. The “greatest generation” may have made it through the Great Depression and defeated Hitler, but they were terrible stewards of the public infrastructure they inherited from their parents. The great Olmsted park

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Never Having to Say You’re Nimby

The only thing I don’t want in my backyard is a NIMBY. For the uninitiated, a Nimby is someone who doesn’t want something in their “backyard”. With the exception of parking, and that because parking is nothing and not something, I can think of nothing that I don’t want in my urban backyard. In the

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Never Having to Say You're Nimby

The only thing I don’t want in my backyard is a NIMBY. For the uninitiated, a Nimby is someone who doesn’t want something in their “backyard”. With the exception of parking, and that because parking is nothing and not something, I can think of nothing that I don’t want in my urban backyard. In the

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Not to Anyone, Anywhere

Amid the anger and the frustration expressed in the media over the horrible murders in Newtown the one sentiment expressed most often seemed to be that no one ever thought that “this” could happen “here”. The truth is that events such as this, as awful as they are, as unthinkable as they seem to be,

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The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

I’m not an absolutist. I may come across as strident, extreme, and (I hope) very passionate, but I am not an absolutist. As I mentioned in the podcast on race and class, I don’t live in a city specifically because of its diversity. I have always wanted to live in the center of my hometown,

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Yes, Parking. Again.

(This is *most* of the rough draft of a letter I’m sending out regarding the proposal to gut a building at my hometown’s most important intersection to replace it with *gulp* parking.) Dear Councilor, I am writing to you because I am very concerned about the proposed development of the Court Square Building (13-31 Elm

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The Ancient Athens in All of Us

In some circles the Richard Florida “creative class” argument for why certain cities prosper and others fail has been the flavor of the month for years. In the end I think he confuses cause and effect, but in spite of that many of the issues he takes on regarding making places for “creatives” are valid

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Walking Around

It’s important to revisit the primary purpose of this blog from time to time in a very focused way in order to understand the broader purpose of what is written here. There is a lack of choice for the middle class in this country in terms of living arrangements. This lack of choice is in

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Place

I found the central axioms of my life expressed in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In his essay Self Reliance Emerson wrote: “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so.” In his “A

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