Check out these photos and try to guess where they were taken. If you thought Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, or a dozen other Rustbelt towns you’d be mistaken, although your confusion is completely understandable. It’s actually Portland, Oregon – that bastion of liberal, crunchy, hippie, yuppie, hipster, eco-friendliness. Go figure. I’m not putting … Continue reading The “Inner Cleveland” of Trendy Cities
Urbanophile.com Growing up I remember the adults talking about the old neighborhood in Brooklyn where my grandparents lived during the Great Depression and World War II. In spite of the hardships of the era it was described as a great place full of life and colorful characters and extended family all on the same block. … Continue reading Voting With Your Feet: Aaron Renn’s New Donut
I tend to fixate on certain places – sometimes because I love them, other times because I can’t help but stare at twisted wreckage. Lancaster, California has always been 30/70 leaning toward wreckage, although it does show signs of ongoing reinvention so I keep going back. Lancaster is highly representative of most places in … Continue reading The Other Side of the Tracks
This story was edited by Kirsten Dirksen of faircompanies.com One of the challenges faced by individual households and municipal governments alike in our current economic predicament is the need to become more efficient and to generate additional revenue without taking on new debt or obligations. The city of Lancaster, California recently changed its building and … Continue reading Garage Apartment Conversion, Lancaster, California
This video was edited by my friend Kirsten Dirksen of faircompanies.com This is a tale of how a hard core liberal achieved her goals by adopting a seriously conservative economic approach once she realized the usual government bureaucracies weren’t getting the job done. In 1980 Lois Arkin began her quest to build permanently affordable housing … Continue reading The Hippie Guide to Conservative Economics
I recently stumbled on a cluster of half built McMansions in a failed subdivision while visiting relatives in a distant suburb of Los Angeles. I found myself drawn to the structures and engaged in a bit of impromptu archeology. At the top of the market circa 2006 homes like these sold at a premium to … Continue reading The American Dream – Architectural Vivisection
Here’s the short version. The planning department in Lancaster, California did something that made property values increase by 9% this year while property values outside the project zone decreased by an average of 1% during the same period. This was in an economic environment where real estate hasn’t yet properly recovered from the 2008 crash. … Continue reading Adding Value and Building a Strong Town: Lancaster Blvd.