Source . Source . Many of you will be familiar with Temple Grandin. She’s the autistic woman who designs slaughterhouses from the cattle’s perspective. By organizing the process in a way that’s calming to the animals it improves efficiency. Her primary contribution is the recognition that animals are highly sensitive to small symbolic details: a … Continue reading House Hunting With Temple Grandin
I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a friend down in Los Angeles about our current national circumstances. He’s frustrated with the institutional response to Covid-19 which he feels is excessive and heavy handed. He’s mystified by the popular culture and chaotic drama surrounding Black Lives Matter and the George Floyd protests. These concerns come … Continue reading The Devil’s Cleaning Lady
Blogsplaining. Is that a thing? I think it is. It’s a close cousin to Rebecca Solnit’s mansplaining. Blogsplaining is the use of logic to solve an obvious problem, but without acknowledging the cultural imperatives that make the solution impossible to implement. In other words, blogsplaining is the thankless task of solving a problem no one wants … Continue reading Blogsplaining Good Urbanism
I was included in an e-mail thread last week about a 19,000 unit master planned community on the far edge of Los Angeles County. There’s an on-going debate about whether this is part of California’s housing solution or part of the problem. Centennial is one of three proposed residential developments at Tejon Ranch. It hugs the border … Continue reading Centennial at Tejon Ranch
A recent post about the regulatory and cultural dynamics in Thousand Oaks, California was reposted on various platforms on the interwebs and elicited some very different responses. Readers on right leaning sites were incredulous that anyone would criticize the hard working and already over taxed families who were merely defending what they’ve earned. What right … Continue reading Maids’ Rooms, Garden Pavilions, Coral Vanities, and Thought Experiments
I was last in Reno, Nevada twenty years ago and I can’t say I had a strong opinion of the place. It was just another forgettable generic one night stop over on a long drive to somewhere else. But I found myself back there twice in the past month. First, a young friend was leaving … Continue reading My Reno Epiphany
I got push back from readers when I dissed some flavorless suburban condo complexes in the context of urban agriculture. My observation was meant to be simple. We’re on a trajectory of ever larger, more complex, and highly leveraged institutional “solutions” to endemic social and economic problems that don’t actually make things better. Quite the opposite. What … Continue reading Give it Another Century and We’ll See How it Goes
A friend recently expressed an interest in how some cities are reforming their land use regulations. “I mean, there are places like LA that say they’ve thrown out the code books and are rewriting their zoning.” My short response was… No. The reality is that the city plays an expensive and byzantine game of cat … Continue reading Cat and Mouse in Frogtown
I explored the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that runs for eighteen miles across the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. The Valley is a profoundly suburban city-within-a-city and home to 1.8 million people spread out over 260 square miles. Attempts to upgrade public transit by the central authorities in LA proper have … Continue reading Suburban. Comma. Transit.
My family lived in this building when I was a kid in the 1970’s. This was the door to our old apartment. It’s in a nondescript part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. There are a million places just like this all over the Southland. These beige stucco boxes are the workhorses of … Continue reading Them that’s got shall have. Them that’s not shall lose.