The Woo

Every once in a while I stumble on a building and scratch my head. What were these people thinking when they built this place? When resources are scarce or people are under the yoke of oppressive circumstances it’s obvious. They make do. But a law firm in Massachusetts? In this case I think I understand … Continue reading The Woo

High Holy Days

During high religious holidays like Easter I often find myself asking why rituals are structured the way there are. For example, Lent – a period of forty days of fasting, penance, and almsgiving – coincides precisely with the six week stretch of the year when food is at its most scarce in traditional agricultural societies. … Continue reading High Holy Days

The Jungle

Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle was intended to inform the larger American public of the miserable working environment and sub survival wages of Chicago’s meat packing employees. The popular response was huge and lead to new government agencies and protections, but not the kind Sinclair had hoped for. By describing the dangerous and unhealthy … Continue reading The Jungle

Big Box Jesus

. One of my cousins recently attended an event at a suburban church and I tagged along. I’m amoral and omnivorous. I’ll go to any house of worship on the odd chance I might actually learn something useful – and I often do. And I meet a lot of really nice people along the way. … Continue reading Big Box Jesus

The Shape of Things to Come

After several years of traveling around the country in the presence of city planners, economic development officials, elected representatives, engineers, production home builders, professional consultants, and groups of concerned citizens I’ve come to my own personal unified theory of America’s land use future. The short version is that we’ve got the built environment that we … Continue reading The Shape of Things to Come