Power Station

A friend and I recently explored an old waterfront industrial zone here in San Francisco. First we poked around on our own as urban adventurers trying to access the city’s forgotten fringes. There were polite interactions with private security along the way. Then we returned a week later to attend a community engagement event organized … Continue reading Power Station

The Stockton Sandwich

I just spent a few days in Stockton, California visiting old family friends. They’re a recently retired Lutheran pastor and his wife who relocated from Southern California and returned to their hometown. Being lifelong members of the church has many benefits, but making lots of money isn’t one of them. They run a lean operation … Continue reading The Stockton Sandwich

Hialeah

In keeping with recent posts I’m following the trajectory my family took over the generations. This path isn’t unique. In fact, it’s merely one version of what the overwhelming majority of the American population experienced at the time. My grandmother became a young widow when my grandfather died of multiple sclerosis. She left Brooklyn and … Continue reading Hialeah

The Olde Country

My great grandparents arrived in America over a century ago from Sicily. They were dirt poor, uneducated, swarthy, and considered undesirable by the ruling Protestant standard of the day. Sicilians weren’t much liked by other Italians to the north back home either. They wandered the country from Alabama to Chicago and eventually settled in Boerum … Continue reading The Olde Country

Levittown

My great uncles returned to Brooklyn after military service in World War II and quickly discovered American cities were in a terrible state of disrepair. No one had money for maintenance in the decade long Great Depression of the 1930s. The war years of the 1940s saw rationing and shortages of every kind including a … Continue reading Levittown

Riding the Wave

The economy has a rhythm. There are several overlapping cycles that play out over time. The pattern is erratic and irregular, but it persists over the centuries. Ray Dalio narrates a cartoon video that describes these cycles. There’s a short term debt cycle that includes booms and busts from decade to decade. And there’s a … Continue reading Riding the Wave