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

24 / 58

Many readers are familiar with the 8/80 urban planning meme. It’s a simple concept. Can an eight year old and an eighty year old each meet their daily needs on foot, possibly with the extension of a bicycle or a little public transport from time to time? Most North American communities fail this test. To … Continue reading 24 / 58

Obstacle Course

I was in Atlanta last month and was encouraged to poke around by the people who invited me. For my entire life the greater Atlanta metroplex has grown in population, geographic size, economic importance, and cultural relevance. As the locals like to remind everyone, Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in North America.¬†Half the people I … Continue reading Obstacle Course