On Memorial Day weekend I finished an urban walking trilogy. One morning in 2017 I set out to walk 19 miles from the heart of downtown out east to the top of Stone Mountain. I had toyed with the idea for a while, and figured one morning, what the heck. Why not? As soon as I finished, I thought about where else I might go. In 2018, it was 23 miles out northwest to Kennesaw Mountain’s summit. This year, I did a little morning 13-miler down to the airport.
Most of the time on these walks, it’s not really enjoyable. The streets and highways aren’t friendly for pedestrians. The sun bears down on you. Hard sidewalks (when they exist) make my feet hurt. I walk past industrial parks, encampments for those with no other place to sleep, empty lots, next to 4-lane highways, underneath interstate overpasses, past strip malls, past front porches. I feel kinda scummy and outcast, especially when just starting out. But eventually there’s a sense of place I develop, connecting the pieces, filling in the gaps, that I don’t get in other ways. And there’s a satisfaction of looking back to where I came from, and knowing what’s in between.
Like most dumb Type 2 fun I do, I’m… not exactly sure… why? But when I get ideas, and wonder what-ifs, and they don’t go away, it’s usually best to try to give them life.
Cities get the types of crime their design calls for.
Excited for Manaugh’s book to hit my mailbox in a few days.
How Aerial Surveillance Has Changed Policing — and Crime — in Los Angeles
BLDGBLOG: Ghost Streets of Los Angeles.
I love the idea that the buildings seen here take their form from a lost street—that an old throughway since scrubbed from the surface of Los Angeles has reappeared in the form of contemporary architectural space. That is, someone’s living room is actually shaped the way it is not because of something peculiar to architectural history, but because of a ghost street, or the wall of perhaps your very own bedroom takes its angle from a right of way that, for whatever reason, long ago disappeared.
Mapped: How hard it is to get across U.S. cities using only bike lanes – The Washington Post.
We’d never build a street grid that looks like this and expect drivers to navigate the city through it.
Authenticity is seductive; we embrace it because it makes us feel exclusive. Hating Bourbon Street has valuable social currency, and it’s an easy step toward assuming co-ownership of “real” New Orleans culture. But declaring something to be inauthentic positions the critic in the dubious position of arbitrating reality. […] Worse, inauthenticity rests on the troubling supposition that not all human beings or human endeavors contribute equally to this thing we call culture.
Hating Bourbon Street – Places: Design Observer
Why Hollywood Will Never Look the Same Again on Film: LEDs Hit the Streets of LA & NY « No Film School.
In a sense, every night exterior LA-shot film previous to this change is rendered a sort of anthropological artifact, an historical document of obsolete urban infrastructure.
Now I want to give Collateral another shot.
Saying Good-bye As the Braves Leave Atlanta for ‘Atlanta’ – Grantland.
Nothing in this message is a lie, or even exaggerated, once you realize who the audience is. This message isn’t directed toward the Atlanta city-dweller. The “you, our fans” is not targeted at a person who lives in the city of Atlanta. It’s targeted at everyone in that dark-red blot that lives in the city’s northern suburbs. If you’re a fan who lives in these suburban areas, today is a great day. It has long been a hassle to get to Turner Field — because it involves going all the way to Atlanta to see the Atlanta Braves.
Drift Compatible – Geek Empire. In which L. Rhodes uses Pacific Rim as a pivot to talk about kaiju films as manifestations of urban anxiety, and issues that come out of genre and fandom in general. Good reminder that I can learn from bad movies, too.
When a fanboy defends Pacific Rim to those audience members by saying, “What did you expect?” the underlying issue is genre. An astute viewer will learn to expect certain things from movies that fall into certain genres. A clever filmmaker will learn how to use those expectations to advantage. A fair-minded critic will keep those expectations in mind when judging a genre film. Things are rarely so simple. For one thing, genres carry their own history implicitly, and that often makes it difficult to understand just what’s at stake…
New York’s Hometown Paper Doesn’t Get How New York City Streets Work | Streetsblog New York City.
Spatial footprint of bikes, cars, and buses: In a city where street space is limited, you need to prioritize the most spatially efficient modes of travel, or else streets don’t work well for anyone.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a bike.
In the country you have to drive when you want to go anywhere; in a big, dense city people get around on foot and via public transport. Suburbs are in this respect in-between. And in other respects too. Which is why, I suppose, suburbs are never perceived as either divine or demonic. “Nothing too much,” the suburb seems to say, which means that, though its human dramas exist, and are as meaningful as they are anywhere else in the cosmos, they remain largely inaccessible to our myths.
City Meditations: 7 | The American Conservative
If there is one thing history has consistently taught us it is that pitting groups against each other makes for great news and lousy cities.
Who Needs a Loser to Win? :: Boxcar Grocer
In the 1950s, the South, the Northeast and the Midwest each had about the same number of people. Today the region is almost as populous as the Northeast and the Midwest combined.
I did not know that, along with a lot of the other family and economic trends mentioned in the article. Filed under: the South.
How The South Will Rise To Power Again | Newgeography.com
What happens when your neighbor is a multimillion dollar shrine to sports
Thomas Wheatley bringin’ truth to the people.
The stadium effect | Creative Loafing Atlanta
The hillbilly figure allows middle-class white people to offload the venality and sin of the nation onto some other constituency, people who live somewhere—anywhere—else. The hillbilly’s backwardness highlights the progress more upstanding Americans in the cities or the suburbs have made. These fools haven’t crawled out of the muck, the story goes, because they don’t want to.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the history of the hillbilly in America. – Slate Magazine
Choice commuters want a transit solution that seems modern, even if it’s actually old school. Really, they want a transportation choice that feels made for people just like them.
Race, Class, and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America
Atlanta = number 5 in musical artists per capita, behind Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Nashville, and Boston. Eat it, cities not in the top 5! (via)
See also evidence for Atlanta listeners being the among the most influential. We run this.
What is the most musical city in the United States?