As a quick but dramatic way to visualize changes in the landscape, Texas architect Samuel Aston Williams created GIFs out of aerial maps of American cities from the past thirty years. Watch developments spiderweb, woodlands disappear, grids fill in, water sources shrink, and roads extend forever, over and over again!
As a shared thoroughfare, the city sidewalk works best when its users maintain an acute awareness of their surroundings. This should involve recognition of fellow flaneurs, nearby vehicles, and the general pace of pedestrian traffic. There is an iffy yielding system. While it seems like organized chaos, there are rules to the side of the road.
According to a Gallup poll, the city with the best well-being in all of America is Lincoln, Nebraska. With a proud composite score of 72.8 on Gallup's well-being index, Lincoln beat out the perhaps more natural choice of sunny destination city Boulder, Colorado by one-tenth of a point. Another mountain gem Burlington, Vermont followed close behind. Lincoln, on the other hand, was originally settled because of proximate salt flats and marshes.
Today, in movie news, we learn that Johnny Depp will be playing the role of notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in an upcoming film based on Bulger's life. This should not be confused with the other Whitey Bulger Boston gangster movie that Ben Affleck will be making after he makes a movie based on a Dennis Lehane novel that is also about Boston gangsters.
In 2011, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania went bankrupt. Municipally bankrupt. The city is broke, tapped, in penury, scraping by on nada. Personal bankruptcy is tragic, and corporate bankruptcy is financially significant, but there is something especially pitiful about municipal bankruptcies. An entire city of thousands, whose leadership has failed them. It's like watching a scrappy but flailing football team losing in a particularly bloody way.
The biggest demographic challenge of our times is this: how can we funnel the "Millennial" generation away from our nation's biggest and best cities and into some isolated holding area—a rural internment camp, perhaps—where they cannot do damage to all of the grown-ups, or make a lot of noise at all hours? The bad news is that we completely failed at this. Millennials have infested our nation's cities. The worse news is this: cities now do not want those Millennials to leave.
Sure, it's true, cities and counties from Alabama to California have given up and declared bankruptcy due to this ongoing Recesssion of Doom. Hell, San Bernardino just declared bankruptcy yesterday. But those cities are quitters. They've taken themselves out of contention, the losers. For an American city that is still trying to survive financially, and failing miserably, there is no better example than Scranton, PA—the jewel of Lackawanna County.
The Washington Post, having suffered years of cutbacks and foreign bureau closings, has now consolidated all of its remaining resources on its Peabody award-winning Hipness Desk. The paper's tireless hipness correspondents spend day and night fanned out across the metropolitan region in search of the elusive young, hip vibe that, according to legend, haunts the DC area.