New York City residents spend six times the national average on wristwatch purchases, but 63% less on bicycles. Bostonians spend 330% more than the average on alimony, 17% less on men's underwear, and 79% less on dating services. San Diegans spends 3.6 times the national average on infants' equipment; Dallas-Fort Worth residents spend 44% less than average on charity, and San Francisco-San Jose residents spend 1.7 times the average on women's costumes. Nifty feature in the New York Times.
If you missed Mary Paley and John Romeo's documentary, The Neighborhood That Disappeared, which aired last week on WMHT, you have a couple more opportunities to watch it, including tonight—I hope.* The film traces the history of an Italian neighborhood in Albany from its settlement through its demise when the Empire State Plaza was built in the 1960s. According to the filmmakers, the project displaced 9,000 people, 3,600 households, and more than 1,500 buildings, including 350 businesses,
The good folks at the Hudson Development Corporation need business owners and creative economy participants in the City of Hudson to complete their online Business Climate Survey. The survey results will be used by HDC in its ongoing efforts to improve economic opportunities and enhance the quality of life in Hudson. Your participation may help the HDC identify and act on such needs as funding, training, insurance, networking, advertising, housing, and much more.
Need a holiday gift idea? My 101 Things I Learned® books are great for college students, experienced professionals, and general readers. Each book is handsomely packaged and has 101 illustrated lessons that will orient newcomers, provoke contemplation by old hands, and give all some unexpected insights into one of seven fields—architecture, business, culinary arts, engineering, fashion, film, and law.
You can get a look inside the 101 Things I Learned® books at the series we
Part of the enjoyment of a used book comes from discovering the history of the book itself. Recently I scooped up some good ones at the Hudson Library book sale. Right now I'm immersed in Tobias Wolff's memoir This Boy's Life. The inscriptions on the inside cover reveal that it was twice given as a Christmas gift: to Carl from Kate (who had read and enjoyed it), and to Jonathan from Mom (who also claims to have read it). Mom not only has great penmanship, but a sense of economy (and/or humor),
"Sir, you are being placed under arrest. You do not have the right to resist. Please immediately turn and face the wall with your arms behind your back, or lie face down on the ground. If you do not do so, I will use physical force to ensure your compliance. I do not wish to injure you, but if you do not comply, it will be at your own risk. You are commanded to comply with my order NOW."
Not that anyone asked me. But if the police were required to give su
St. Michael's Chapel, Northeast Philadelphia.
My calling to architecture may be rooted in this portico, which belongs to a lovely church located almost literally in my childhood backyard in Philly. Our yard abutted the church grounds, and the Catholics in our neighborhood had to cut through our yard to get to Sunday mass for several years, until a permanent church was built a mile away. It was nowhere near as nice, built as it was in the 1960s Stingy Revival Style. The church and mansion p
The complexity of the urban problem can be overwhelming. In a given neighborhood, a hundred buildings may be falling down in a thousand ways for a million different reasons. Beneath the loose bricks and rotting eaves lies more complexity: people from countless walks of life with innumerable problems and an infinite number of obstacles to solving them. Where does one begin to improve an urban community mired in poverty, despair, and dysfunction?
I had a disturbing facebook conversation with two police officers (from outside the Hudson Valley) about seven weeks ago. I have pasted it below in its entirety. I was tempted as I prepared this post to provide a running commentary alongside it; perhaps I will another time. For now, the conversation is presented as it unfolded.
All the individuals participating in this discussion are white. I have masked the names of the two officers and that of a third participant to protect their
Before the Google Maps era, cartographers occasionally inserted fictitious place names into their maps. It was a way of protecting their copyright: if a fake street or town name inserted by a mapmaker subsequently appeared on a competitor's map, the first mapmaker had evidence its competitor had plagiarized.
The fictitious town of Agloe appears on this Google map, although some sources
report that Google removed it earlier this year in the interest of accuracy.
In the 1920s or
Hudson's five wards have widely varying populations. The weighted voting system used by Common Council is designed to compensate for this, but it appears to be unconstitutional and is thought by some to give disproportionate power to 5th Ward aldermen. Below, I offer some schematic, fairly simple suggestions for achieving population balance. The percentage of the city's population living within each ward is shown in blue; they are my unofficial estimates. Where I've decreased the number of war
We've all endured the indignity of tripping in public. Chances are, you haven't had it captured by the Google streetview camera, as was the case for this unfortunate Albany pedestrian. Of course, if you fall twice in the space of a hundred feet you increase your odds of being memorialized. The sidewalks look rather devoid of other pedestrians; I hope the fellow got whatever help he needed.
The ever active Victor Mendolia will host a session on Hudson's weighted vote this Sunday at 10AM at Valley Variety, 705 Warren Street in Hudson. There does not appear to be a RSVP, so show up if you are interested and bring donuts for the rest of us.*****EDIT: Victor has informed me that the Sunday meeting is for those who would like to work directly on the weighted vote issue with Hudson Forward. Potential courses of action will be discussed and debated. It won't be an informational session pe
I was surprised to see a large (for these parts) passenger ship docked in Catskill this week. The American Star, operated by American Cruise Lines, hosts two weeklong scenery tours between Manhattan and Troy. Stops are made in Sleepy Hollow, West Point, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Catskill, and Albany to check out local attractions, including a land run over to Olana. Prices per person range from $3,440 to $5,955, which is shockingly expensive to me, but the leaf peepers on board appeared to be enj
A spaceship in the woods isn't everyone's taste, but this example near New Paltz, New York seems as well done as any you are likely to find. Currently used as a bed and breakfast, it's listed for sale by Douglas Elliman Real Estate at $1M.
Yesterday I reported that Hudson Common Council is weighing whether to establish minimum apartment sizes in the city. I erred in reporting that the minimum studio size would be 250 square feet. The correct minimum size proposed is 350 square feet.
While this alters some of the details of my post, my argument remains the same: the provision will make an entry-level apartment more expensive for some individuals on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. This runs counter to the
Hudson's Common Council will soon vote on a proposal to establish minimum apartment sizes in the city. The proposed standards are 250 square feet for a studio and 500 square feet for a one-bedroom unit. The proposal presumably aims to protect citizens at the lower end of the rental market by guaranteeing more pleasant dwelling units and limiting exploitation by landlords. But on examination, the proposal does not appear to be rationally justified, self-consistent, or helpful to renters. If enact