The Squeeze and Wiggle

On Sunday we gathered at the home of our friends Sara and Andre for a summer barbecue. They live in a 600 square foot one bedroom apartment here in San Francisco. We talked about their housing situation and their long term trajectory. Sara has lived in this building since she first arrived in the city … Continue reading The Squeeze and Wiggle

The Apartment Complex

Garden apartment complexes do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to suburban affordable housing. Young singles, the elderly, married couples saving for their first home, recently divorced folks starting over, and people who tried but somehow failed to move on to other arrangements – these are the inhabitants of America’s low density rental … Continue reading The Apartment Complex

Betwixt and Between

A recent podcast discussion between architect/urban planner Douglas Farr and professional cranky old guy James Howard Kunstler presented two opposing schools of thought within the same general New Urbanist┬ácamp. Farr expects business as usual to persist for a very long time even as external circumstances force incremental adjustments. Kunstler just sees collapse. I’d like to … Continue reading Betwixt and Between

Church and Plate

Yesterday I enjoyed a Sunday breakfast with friends at Wat Mongkolratanaram, a Buddhist Thai Temple in Berkeley. The Temple has been serving food in their courtyard as a community event and fund raising mechanism every Sunday for years. This is the Thai version of Lutheran church basement hot dish. (I recommend the green papaya salad … Continue reading Church and Plate

The Big Move

I spent the afternoon yesterday helping my neighbors pack, clean, and complete a series of fix-it projects around their apartment. They’re moving from San Francisco to a semi-rural town of 28,000 in western Massachusetts. My neighbor bought her one bedroom apartment a decade ago for what seemed like the outrageously high price of $400,000. Today … Continue reading The Big Move