I want to compare the restrictions on mobility imposed by local control of zoning in the US with the top-down system used in China – rather remarkably, the natural whims of homeowners in Marin County and the Upper West Side have come to align with the technocrats at the CCP.
Why did the Chinese government seek to grow rich by shrinking its population?
Regarding a recent NY Times piece on how precarity interacts with a new slice of the housing market, which itself is old as time.
I’m in the middle of the rightly much-lauded How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr – expect a review shortly. Importantly, although Immerwahr has unimpeachable credentials when it comes to academic history, Hide an Empire is not meant to overturn our understanding of belle-epoque American imperialism; it’s a popular work, briskly written, with at … Continue reading Notes Towards a Biography of Martin Van Buren →
Fighting for the people that keep Hollywood running was a tough gig in the 1930s – what can we learn about labor history from two buildings built for crew unions?
Happily, I got to go to Dodger Stadium yesterday to watch my Nationals lose the third of a three-game series and slink back east, well and truly swept. The loss didn’t bug me too much though, as going to Dodger Stadium means going downtown and going to downtown Los Angeles means getting to see some … Continue reading Local Notes No. 3 – The Brock & Co Jewelers Building in Downtown Los Angeles →
On one unseasonably warm day in December 1975, two candidates vying for the mayoralty of Clyde Hill, WA, a 3200-strong suburb sandwiched between Seattle and Bellevue, met in the office of the King County Superintendent of Elections. Against all odds, the normal course of count and recount in the scheduled November election had exhausted itself … Continue reading Local Notes No. 2: Clyde Hill, WA’s Coin-Flip Mayor →
The builders have picked up their shovels in Maryland. Cajoled, at long last, by the recent bounding pace of economic growth in the state between D.C. and Baltimore, these planners, developers, architects and contractors have brought something not seen in quite some time to the Old Line State – a renovation of the built environment, new neighborhoods, lecture halls, office parks, and glitzy, pedestrian shopping centers presenting a bold vision of what a suburban built environment ought to be. And now this rolling stone of bricks and draft plans presents me, whose vision of Central Maryland was frozen in the lows of recessionary apathy, with a jarring experience of coming home again.
He was sat in an obscure corner of the world, In Memphis (of late), and left alone to read Obscure histories, of the fishing of sea-bream, And grouper, of the proper ecological relations, Of sponge, tortoise, and the sunlight which scatters Thru the unlanc’d emeraldry of sea-skin, Their holy bilayer. This curriculum Like most, went … Continue reading After “Vor dem Gesetz,” At Home, Oct ’20 →
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