The other night I was walking on Warren Street, trying to decide where to eat. A woman came out of a building as I passed.
"Hi," she said. I turned around, already ten feet past her.
"It's Jane," she said, except she used her real name. I had seen her around town many times but we had never spoken. My first memory of her is from a community meeting, in which I made a suggestion that she didn't like. She rolled her eyes and screwed up her face as if
A couple Sundays ago (April 11) I went running, as I do a few times a week. As I paused to stretch at the top of Warren Street, I noticed a New York State Police vehicle in the lot of Todd Farrell's garage. I figured the trooper inside the well marked SUV was looking to nab drivers who failed to stop fully at the three-way intersection.
A Tesla appeared and rolled through the stop sign. The cop didn't budge. A Mercedes followed and also rolled through. Still no reaction from the tr
When you're trying to create something truly original, your ego dies a thousand times. And it's not the "bad" ego that repeatedly dies. It's not the part of you that is self important. It's the part of you that is trying hard to do the right thing. And right there is the problem: you're trying hard...which means that at some level and in some way you are seeking control. Which means your ego is in the way after all: you're putting your need to create the work ahead of the work's own de
Friendly Neighborhood Economist Tom Masterson sent me a link to some old home movies, made in Hudson in 1939 and 1966 by Jozef Cipkowski. A lot of the filming was done on an unfamiliar looking South Front Street, whose long-gone west side was extant at the time. But you'll recognize a few buildings in the background of several parades and a surprisingly well-attended soap box derby race.
Found wedged behind steam radiator: movie stub ($6 admission for two), Shur-Fine
matches, Hello Kitty pencil sharpener, Henry and the Paper Route. Not pictured: one
pair men's white briefs, one pair of women's panties. We have been here over four
years, so we apparently need to deep clean more often. We are, however, more
conscientious than the previous tenants, as the $3 movie price, not to mention the
condition of the underwear, suggests these items landed there p
The first film in the Rights to the City Film Series at City University of New York's Center for Place, Culture and Politics is tomorrow, Tuesday February 17. The series looks to be terrific. It examines inequitable development patterns in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Newark, Detroit and Istanbul. Each film will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and CUNY faculty and students. I plan to see several, and hopefully all five films. If anyone from Hudson is interested in joining me, shoot me a not
In the spirit of Radical Urbanism, I'm extending an offer to my readers who are or would like to be small business owners: I will provide a free one-time, and possibly two-time, architectural consultation on your business space. If you have an existing store, workshop, restaurant, or office that needs reorganization, an image upgrade, improved lighting, a new color scheme, smarter signage, or a not-quite-sure-what change, e-mail me via the link on the lower right of this page. Ditto if you
The electronic age has helped me manage the paper overload on my desk, but only a little. Yesterday, at the bottom of a long neglected stack of newspaper and magazine clippings, I came across an article in the Albany Times Union from a few years ago. Entitled "Long walk home," it cited a poll that found that 58 percent of Americans would like to live in neighborhoods with stores within walking distance. "So why haven't they been built?" asks the article by the always dependab
A very nice article today from Columbia Economic Development Corporation details the entrepreneurial endeavors of Hudson business owner Selha Graham Cora. Her Sip n' Suds on State Street exemplifies everything an urban business should be: human-scaled, locally responsive, multi-faceted, and infinitely flexible.
In addition to a self-serve laundry, Cora provides wash-dry-fold service, baked goods, U-Haul pick-up and drop-off, and even rooms for rent. She recently added a "Swash&
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?