One of the many smart young people who orbit my kitchen table at dinner time explained what he was doing at his last job. It involved “peak shaving.” No. It had nothing to do with a barber shop. Instead, it was a tech gig that managed energy consumption for private clients. California’s state energy policy … Continue reading Peak Shaving
There’s no end to the smart shiny young people who pass through my kitchen at dinner time. I’m a kind of scratch and dent uncle to everyone in the neighborhood. I learn more from them about economics, demographics, technology, and realpolitik than a graduate level university program ever could. Over the years I’ve seen the … Continue reading Rent Boy
They say you can see a bubble in the economy by looking at the skyline. I was in Los Angeles in the 1980s when a tsunami of Japanese money poured over the city. Back then Library Tower (now US Bank Tower) was under construction. It topped out in 1989 just in time for the market … Continue reading Boom
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring small towns and big cities from Michigan to Texas, Illinois to Kentucky, Georgia to California – often in the company of city officials, professional consultants, and sharp people trying to figure out how to make things work better. I keep refining my understanding of the forces at play … Continue reading Let’s Cut the Crap and Embrace Reality
I’ve lived in this neighborhood for so long that I’ve grown used to tech start ups beta testing their schemes on my doorstep. I remember the first time I saw a car drive by with a huge furry pink mustache strapped to the front grill between the headlights. That was the start of Lyft. I … Continue reading Meet Marble
As a landlord I’ve long struggled with how to balance ethical and economic choices. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash I bought a sad little 1941 vintage fixer upper on a half acre in Sonoma County. I could never have afforded property in the wine country under normal circumstances, but 2008 wasn’t normal. … Continue reading The Not-So-Invisible Hand
These are highly educated well paid workers at a San Francisco tech company. They’re mostly young. Some are single. Some are newly coupled. Some are married with young children. There are exceptions, but they tend to want to live in a vibrant urban neighborhood with a short commute rather than a distant suburb. Some enjoy … Continue reading Finally! Great New Affordable Bay Area Housing!