Category Archives: Cities

Book Launch Tour for Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon

It’s celebration time! It’s been a few months since the release of The Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon: The Architectural Legacy of Henry Villard. Because things have been busy, I’ve had little time to mark the occasion. At the end … Continue reading

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Golden Gate in Red

It’s an apartment living problem—or perhaps more specifically an urban problem. To live in a building such as mine—built around 1915, three stories, 14 units—in a neighborhood filled with such buildings, is to live in a dense “community.” If my … Continue reading

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Quotes: On Being “Off Modern”

Has Art itself become a mere outtake, a long footnote to the human history? In the United States it is technology, not culture, that is regarded to be a space for innovations. Art, it seems, has overstayed its welcome. But … Continue reading

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Is this a New “City Beautiful?”

Alain de Botton believes that some cities are beautiful, and some are not, and that there are six ways to make the latter into the former: Order and Variety Visible Life Compact[ness] Orientation and Mystery Scale Local[ism] Kristin Hohenadel. “Why … Continue reading

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Quotes: Outsiders vs. Authenticity of Place

Can a place be potent enough that its character can survive the influx of newcomers? Craig Damrauer thinks so: The question, then, is whether too many people will come down to New Orleans, like me, and settle here. Enough people … Continue reading

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Quotes: The Tweeness of Renaming Neighborhoods

Plenty of others could see the changes in our neighborhood. To some, these changes spelled opportunity. Actually, they spelled “NOBE.” In the fall of 2012, local real estate agents attempted to brand our area “North Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville.” One agent produced a … Continue reading

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Quotes: Restrooms, Technology, and the Need for People

Getting here via toilet. One of my American Studies students, Chris Grant, complains of high-tech, self-cleaning toilets in San Francisco that do not work. In the end they’ve become poorly maintained, run-of-the-mill public restrooms — requiring city employees to maintain, clean, and … Continue reading

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Crisis in Levittown

From https://archive.org/details/crisis_in_levittown_1957.

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Quote: Hyper-specific Businesses

Jerry Seinfeld: “What if everyone just did what they liked? Would the world work?” Fred Armisen:  “Boy, that’s a good question.” Jerry Seinfeld: “Isn’t that Portland? Isn’t everyone in Portland doing just what they want?” Fred Armisen: “Yes. There’s a … Continue reading

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Quote: Frasier on Gentrification

Frasier Crane: The whole area is undergoing what they call a ‘revitalization.’ Of course, they’ll probably just tear it down and put up a Benetton… a Bath and Body Works… a Sunglass Hut. Niles Crane: Actually… I sort of like … Continue reading

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