It’s Complicated

Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. The group was composed of the usual San Francisco mix: a college professor, an architect, and a collection of software engineers of various stripes. They were single-ish. Childless. Forty-ish. Well traveled. Charming. Between them they could speak eight languages. They were old enough to be semi-established … Continue reading It’s Complicated

Moving House

I spent the last week helping pack and unpack for a family as they moved to their new digs. I’ll start with the house porn since the new place was magnificently staged by real estate professionals. Then I’ll work backwards to tell this story. The new house is four stories tall and was last used … Continue reading Moving House

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

Air(bnb) Wars

Yesterday a door-to-door signature collector arrived and I chatted with him for a while, although I declined to sign anything. He was looking for local support for a ballot initiative concerning the future of home sharing services like Airbnb. I’ve also gotten plenty of pro and con literature in the mail recently. And then I … Continue reading Air(bnb) Wars

Land Use Regulations and “Social Engineering”

All forms of land use regulation are explicitly “social engineering”. Full stop. Let’s acknowledge that reality as we move forward. The question is never whether we’ll be engaging in manipulating society through land use regulations, but how and why.   The typical pejorative reference to “social engineering” includes things like government built subsidized low income … Continue reading Land Use Regulations and “Social Engineering”