This site has been quiet for a while because I’ve been working flat-out as editor of California Planning and Development Report, a subscription newsletter on California land use issues. I’ll be going to contributor status at CP&DR shortly, which should leave time for other projects. Also possibly for more posts over here. For the moment I’m posting more actively on Twitter at @mbridegam and on Facebook.
I put together a quick Storify from today’s good Twitter conversation about anti-sitting spikes in public spaces and other attempts to move non-paying customers along in public space.
As you can see from background views of the viaduct support, the three signs in these pictures are all awfully close to one another. They’re along the promenade on the north side of Mission Creek. Fifteen years ago, the major residential center on the north bank of Mission Creek was a long-term informal encampment. Now the site has a branch public library, apartments, condos, joggers, people walking small delicate dogs. The only visible evidence that this is recently contested ground is in the very many signs reproaching users of this public space to Be Good Neighbors.
A long time ago, in an apartment building far, far away, we had a neighbor who was a former pizza delivery ace.
She got pretty good at it. The pizza company had regional contests for fast delivery. The winners got big bonuses — brass rings worth jumping pretty high for. So she took crazy risks getting the pizza out to the customers fast fast fast. If I remember the story right, she did win one of those bonuses. Something like $500 back when a hundred dollars was worth something, in a town where some people worked for $6.50 an hour.
One day, driving fast on her way with a pizza, she spun out. Empty road, no other drivers, no pedestrians, just herself, unhurt. Herself coming to a stop at a funny angle in the middle of the road. Sitting still in the car in the middle of that road suddenly thinking hard about what is worth how much in this life. Continue reading
I have a guest post on Failed Architecture about the uproariously tin-eared marketing campaign for San Francisco’s NEMA apartment complex.
Here it is. Editors Mark Minkjan and René Boer did a lovely job. Especially René’s choice of the opening image. Very Sirens of Titan.
In case you’re wondering, the people crossing the street outside in Santa and Christmas-tree costumes were part of last week’s Santacon pub crawl.
Closely argued urban criticism will be appearing in this space soonish. For now, here is a picture of signs on a gate that make me sad.