Grass Roots

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting friends and the conversation turned to the ever more visible dilemmas in the neighborhood. We focused on two specific problems: the continuing expansion of the homeless population, and the record number of vacant storefronts. We decided to contact our local city supervisor Rafael Mandelman and organize a … Continue reading Grass Roots

The Apple Street Market

Back in 2014 a crowdfunding campaign was started to create a grocery store in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. House after house displayed signs proclaiming the inhabitants had made a financial contribution to the effort. I was one of them since I owned a nearby property at the time. The plan was to refurbish … Continue reading The Apple Street Market

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Many readers are familiar with the 8/80 urban planning meme. It’s a simple concept. Can an eight year old and an eighty year old each meet their daily needs on foot, possibly with the extension of a bicycle or a little public transport from time to time? Most North American communities fail this test. To … Continue reading 24 / 58

Marsupial Urbanism

Does this landscape look familiar? There are places like this all over the country. Half forgotten neighborhoods populated by vacant parking lots and semi abandoned buildings can be found everywhere. The tide of history has left them behind. People don’t want to live here. Folks with resources can afford to be elsewhere. The more property … Continue reading Marsupial Urbanism

Church and Plate

Yesterday I enjoyed a Sunday breakfast with friends at Wat Mongkolratanaram, a Buddhist Thai Temple in Berkeley. The Temple has been serving food in their courtyard as a community event and fund raising mechanism every Sunday for years. This is the Thai version of Lutheran church basement hot dish. (I recommend the green papaya salad … Continue reading Church and Plate

Maids’ Rooms, Garden Pavilions, Coral Vanities, and Thought Experiments

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

Thousand Oaks

This weekend I attended the graduation of my niece from California Lutheran University. Since I was in the area for a few days and there was a lot of down time between events I wandered around the neighborhood with my camera as I am want to do. My niece rents a room in a single … Continue reading Thousand Oaks

The Mangiapocalypse

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