The Meaning of the Blues

We've all had that moment of panic, and despair, as the screen on our computer suddenly goes blue. Marooned. Computer hell. And pretty common. The geeks have an acronym for this condition - BSOD - the Blue Screen Of Death. It might look like this: When this blueness shows up, your situation is suddenly very problematic. You are … Continue reading The Meaning of the Blues

The Paradox of Thrift

The North Sea. Photo by Captain Tim. Spend? Save? It turns out that economist John Maynard Keynes came up with a name for the quandary I am in about saving, spending, and an economy we are watching slip beneath the waves faster than a melting glacier. He called it the Paradox of Thrift. The Paradox goes … Continue reading The Paradox of Thrift

Some Thoughts for the New Plumber-In-Chief

Announced just over a week ago, your new infrastructure fund is now gone, Mr. President. It’s all been spent already, several times over, by politicians, constructors, lobbyists, trade associations. Get your staff to try googling “Obama infrastructure plan,” and up pop hundreds of thousands of web sites, and nearly every newspaper, magazine, financial analyst, and … Continue reading Some Thoughts for the New Plumber-In-Chief

Careful What You Wish For

Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.  Dan Rather In the last post here, we found ourselves wondering what it would be like if our city, Washington, D.C., were much more dense than it is today. We wondered if a greater density of people, and uses, would create a more walkable, sustainable, … Continue reading Careful What You Wish For

Vernacular Urbanism, Part IV: Density and Use

Lisbon, Cadiz, Casablanca - some of our recent destinations. In each of these cities there is at least one district, or urban quarter, that is dense, rich, bustling with activity, alive, completely walkable, and as ever, fragile.  Each faces pressure from gentrification, adjacent development, cars. (Only the Old Medina is so dense that cars are excluded, … Continue reading Vernacular Urbanism, Part IV: Density and Use