Last year I was looking at property in the Cincinnati area. I realized that many of the old forlorn city neighborhoods were rapidly coming back to life and this was a good time to buy and improve property. I found a small historic building with a shop on the ground floor and three apartments upstairs. … Continue reading Who Really Controls Which House You Buy?
This is what it’s like to drive along Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma counties to the north of San Francisco. I do it frequently enough to know it’s miserable. And there really isn’t any alternative. The highway receives continuous upgrades year after year. Road improvements are a state religion. A few million dollars here… … Continue reading SMART ? That Depends…
I have a peculiar theory about where the next generation of counter culture folks are going to set up shop. You know… artists, musicians, small scale entrepreneurs, gays, refugees, and whatever passes for the political and economic fringe in the future. When I look back at these locations from the past there’s a clear pattern. … Continue reading The Future of Unlikely Places
I occasionally stumble on a property like this one. Its trajectory over the decades is clear. It started as a comfortable middle class home. You can still see the outlines of the kidney shaped pool in the back yard. It’s obvious that the road out front was widened. And widened again. And widened again. High … Continue reading Pave. Fail. Pave. Fail. Repeat.
Triage is the process of prioritizing care in a resource constrained environment. The French first developed this technique on the battlefield when medics were overwhelmed and couldn’t provide sufficient help to every soldier who needed it. Triage separates the wounded into three groups: those who can be saved with immediate attention, those who are stable … Continue reading Urban Triage
Two nights ago I attended a presentation at Mission Dolores Church sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle called “A Changing Mission”. The discussion was based on a newspaper article and associated short film about the neighborhood. It’s well worth a quick look here. Next week I’ll be in Lancaster, California to attend a similar … Continue reading Two Sides of the Same Coin: Decline and Gentrification
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