For many observers Covid-19 has vindicating the view that cities are unhealthy doomed places. Dense urban centers, they insist, will be abandoned for sensible suburban and rural alternatives. Downtown office towers have already depopulated as companies switch – permanently – to telecommuting. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and public accommodations of all kinds will continue to founder … Continue reading What if You’re Right?
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
A reader recently made a comment I took seriously: “I am certainly not here to try and refute much of what you have brought to light, only to suggest that your comments are not in the least bit constructive on the whole. That is why I have decided to pin you with the prestigious “Captain … Continue reading The Captain Hindsight Award
I was at a friend’s house when she got a delivery of groceries. The boxes arrived at her door from one of the many new services that allow customers to shop online. Fresh fruit, veggies, meat, wine, eggs, cheese, milk, Christmas wreathes, and fresh cut flowers. She just pushed a few buttons and voila! I … Continue reading The New Retail: Gird Your Loins
I’ve been asked by the Strong Towns folks to write about Black Friday parking. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which signals the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This general consumer feeding frenzy is responsible for the largest single chunk of many retailers’ sales and profits for the entire year. Even if … Continue reading Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Parking Past