Posts Tagged ‘city life’

Escalators: Walk or Stand?

March 18, 2019

JR East, the East Japan Railway Company, wants Tokyo commuters to stand on both sides of station escalators instead of reserving one side for impatient people who want to walk. A study found that most escalator accidents happen when walkers stumble over luggage or run and slip, so the all-standing policy is safer and more efficient.

Good luck with that. The policy was tried in Hong KongLondon’s underground and DC’s Metro, but it didn’t go over well. Standing to one side on escalators and walking on the other is too firmly embedded in urban behavior. In Washington, there’s even a song about it:

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Displacement is not community development.

November 13, 2018

One reaction to Amazon’s pending HQ2/2 project in New York’s Long Island City.

More:

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not thrilled about Amazon coming to Queens,” Melissa Locker, Fast Company

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Philly has murals.

September 27, 2017

The city of Philadelphia thought it was getting an anti-graffiti  program. What it got was art. Phil Edwards of Vox explains.

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SoDoSoPa: City Living

March 29, 2016

South Park takes on the hip New Urbanism.

More:

“The SoHo Effect,” 99% Invisible

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Backyard Chickens Spread Salmonella

September 29, 2014

Backyard Chickens Spread Salmonella

Backyard chickens rule the roost at local regulation hearings, and designer coops and exotic chickens are the new status symbols. The media and Web may abound with pictures of cute kids cuddling hens, but pet family fowls are not an unmixed blessing:

“As of September 23, 2014, a total of 344 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, or Salmonella Hadar have been reported from 42 states and Puerto Rico.

31% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.

78% of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.”

— “Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More:

“Backyard Chickens: Cute, Trendy Spreaders Of Salmonella,” Nancy Shute, NPR

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Image from the National Nursery Book

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The Price of Pizza

March 6, 2014

The Price of Pizza

How much does a cheese pizza cost in various neighborhoods of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC?

Quoctrung Bui at NPR crunched the numbers, if not the crusts:

The Price Of A Pizza In 237 U.S. Neighborhoods,” Quoctrung Bui, NPR Planet Money

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here.  Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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NYC Xmas Trees

December 11, 2013

NYC Xmas Trees

“Each stand in the city makes do with whatever space is available, whether it’s under the F train or in the shadow of the projects. As diverse as the locations are, each Christmas tree vendor is even more unique. It’s a New York subculture that paints a diverse and ambitious picture of the New York the city struggles to be.”

— “NYC’s Incredible Christmas Tree Seller Subculture” (photo essay), Nick Stango, Gizmodo

It’s a tough racket …

“While most New Yorkers are drawn to the glitter and nostalgia of the Christmas tree business, few see it for what it is: an exacting, complex and bitterly competitive industry. Vendors wage bidding wars each year over plots of land in city-owned parks and ink deals with local shopkeepers or property owners to construct their tree stands on the busiest sidewalks.”

— “Hidden Malcontents: New York’s Christmas Tree Industry,” Adam McCauley, City Beats

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Metro Shuttle Buses

November 4, 2013

Metro Shuttle Buses

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority closed the Smithsonian, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, and Capitol South subway stations for construction work on tracks and station platforms this past weekend. Metro buses were used to bridge the rail line gaps. Since subway trains can haul 1,000 to 1,400 passengers and a bus fits only about 75, it took lots of buses. The logistics reminded us of the Berlin Airlift (June 27, 1948 to May 12, 1949) when British and U.S. airplanes flew food and coal into West Berlin, which had been blockaded by the Soviets.

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Your City is Watching You

October 15, 2013

Your City is Watching You
“From the first known use of closed-circuit television cameras to monitor crowds in London’s Trafalgar Square during a state visit by the king and queen of Thailand in 1960, urban video surveillance has come a long way. The Brookings Institution calculates that today it would cost $300 million in storage capacity to capture a year’s worth of footage from Chongqinq’s vast camera network. But by 2020, thanks to the steady decline of cost for digital storage devices, that figure could be just $3 million per year. ‘For the first time ever,’ they warn, ‘it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders — every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.’ What’s worse is the active involvement of American firms like Cisco, which is supplying the city with network technology optimized for video transmission for an undisclosed sum.”

— “Your city is spying on you: From iPhones to cameras, you are being watched right now,” Anthony M. Townsend, Salon [links added]

More:

“Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Governments,” John Villasenor, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution

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Image (“Grand Frère à Paris, after Caillebotte”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cupcakes Are Sooo OVER.

April 19, 2013

Cupcakes Are Sooo OVER.

Gourmet cupcake shops infest America’s cities, proffering paper-wrapped pastries top-heavy with icing, selling single servings for the price of whole supermarket pies. The trend has been rising with yeasty vigor for over a decade — until now.

The cupcake fad is officially over. “The icing is coming off America’s cupcake craze,” says the Wall Street Journal, noting the collapse of share prices in Crumbs Bake Shop Inc.:

“After trading at more than $13 a share in mid-2011, Crumbs has sunk to $1.70. It dropped 34% last Friday, in the wake of Crumbs saying that sales for the full year would be down by 22% from earlier projections, and the stock slipped further this week.”

—  “Forget Gold, the Gourmet-Cupcake Market Is Crashing,” Emily Maltby and Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal

More:

“The cupcake bubble has finally burst,” Carmel Lobello, The Week

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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