Monthly Archives: March 2016

What’s next? Drive-through dim sum?  

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Immigrant investment has breathed life into long-declining urban neighborhoods; why shouldn’t the same happen with suburban ones? Fifty years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that foreign-born populations tended to cluster most heavily in the central cities of major metropolitan areas. At the turn of the 19th century, it often consisted of newly arrived Western Europeans: …Read more…

Sterling silver in a sandwich.

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A few weeks ago, I blogged about how, in this day and age, it’s nearly impossible for a storefront in the middle of a city block to secure a tenant. The population density usually just isn’t great enough. If the storefront is on a corner, it could work, and if it’s in the middle of …Read more…

Urban artistry comes in all forms.

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Maybe it was the bohemian misfits converging in a once-floundering SoHo that prompted this approach. Perhaps it was the rediscovery of Classical values in 15th century Florence that spurred a continent toward unprecedented economic growth after centuries of stagnance. More likely it was neither. Quite simply, people operated on an hunch (mostly unconscious) that something …Read more…

Back-of-the-envelope navigation.

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As I try to increase my volume of monthly blog posts, I owe it to both my readers and myself to bring back something I used to do regularly: a mini-post, which for me amounts to something less than 1,000 words. The fact of the matter is that I often try to write less, but …Read more…

A threadbare patch on the new urban tapestry.

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The evidence is everywhere around us: people are rediscovering long-neglected urban neighborhoods. But why? What is prompting this sea change in how we relate to cities? One could argue that recent social policies have focused on downtown revitalization, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, and the ensuing investment is finally manifest. But anyone who has …Read more…