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
In the early days of the auto industry Detroit was a dynamic machine churning out huge numbers of cars with integrated supply chains clustered tightly together around Ford’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn or General Motors’ assembly plant in Hamtramck. But over time the industry spread out across the landscape, first to nearby states, then … Continue reading Bozeman: A Blessing and a Curse
Mangia: the Italian verb “to eat.” Apocalypse: the complete final destruction of the world. Push them together and you get the Mangiapocalypse. This portmanteau was suggested by a friend who was describing the philosophy of preparing for disaster in a way that’s abundant, fun, productive, and oriented toward a better overall quality of everyday life. … Continue reading The Mangiapocalypse
I got a phone call a few months back from a woman in Arizona who sought my advice. Her town was receiving an influx of new residents from out of state and it was obvious the trend was accelerating. The resulting growth and economic distortions caused by an expanding population, more traffic congestion, less open … Continue reading The Californians Are Coming!
Each time I visit freinds in suburbia I’m confronted with the reality that there is no public realm. All space is private – if not legally or physically then certainly culturally. I’m reminded of my transgressions when I don’t follow the rules. The space in front of each house is de facto an extension of … Continue reading Get Off My Lawn You Rotten Kids!
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
Here’s a spot in Santa Ana, California – although it could be just about anywhere. Every town in North America has a string of used car lots along the sides of its aging eight lane suburban arterials. In this location land values and market demand for housing are so incredibly high even the obscene regulatory … Continue reading The Platypus