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

The Domino Effect

There’s what exists on paper according to the authorities, and then there’s reality on the ground. The recent fires in Sonoma and Napa counties destroyed 7,000 buildings – almost all of them single family suburban homes. Entire subdivisions were wiped out overnight. This occurred in a part of the world where the gap between what … Continue reading The Domino Effect

Pretty White Girls

When you see something once you don’t notice it. When you see it three times you think… hmmmm. When you see it thirty times in seven different states you realize it’s actually a thing. In this case the “thing” is pretty white girls used in advertisements for upscale apartment complexes in transitional neighborhoods. When developers … Continue reading Pretty White Girls

A Boomer, an Xer, and a Millennial Walk Into a Bar…

I often host dinners with people from the neighborhood. Talking with them reminds me of how each generation has a different perspective and temperament. The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials each approach the challenges of life from unique angles and specific contexts. In the wake of the Great Depression and World War … Continue reading A Boomer, an Xer, and a Millennial Walk Into a Bar…

Soft Infrastructure

What do you do with an aging suburb that can’t compete with either the trendy urban core or newer upscale suburbs? This is the challenge confronting many lackluster communities all across the country. One approach is to reinvent the place with soft infrastructure – otherwise known as… people. An unadorned anonymous 1970’s concrete box turns … Continue reading Soft Infrastructure