Grass Roots

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting friends and the conversation turned to the ever more visible dilemmas in the neighborhood. We focused on two specific problems: the continuing expansion of the homeless population, and the record number of vacant storefronts. We decided to contact our local city supervisor Rafael Mandelman and organize a … Continue reading Grass Roots

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 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

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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