Monday, May 02, 2005

Ding dong! Here comes the shit wagon!

One of my favorite commentators is James Kunstler, who writes about urban design, and generally trashes everything that has been built in America since 1945. Now, I don't agree with everything he writes, but he's pretty funny even when I disagree with him. Anyway, every month on his website he posts an "eyesore of the month" and this month's one reminds me of the title of this posting (which may be familiar to some readers). In any event, check it out...pretty funny.


At 1:09 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

Wow... he is pretty hardcore. His eyesores are funny though. Would he have us all move into kibbutzs?

Mass transportation = communism

At 1:12 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

This is REALLY funny. And unfortunately very true. Some friends of ours in Miami purchased a home that is WAY beyond their means, but through the creative financing that is going on with mortgage brokers these days somehow they were able to afford it. I can't help but think that in a few years they're going to have to cash in their chips and sell the place.

I see several major trends / events / stories that are apt to severely affect "normal" American life in the years ahead. One is the financial mess that lies under the immense and rickety credit structure that two decades of relative world stability has allowed us to erect. I saw the whole gruesome picture in microcosm illustrated in four commercials that played during a half-hour segment of CNN when I was visiting Atlanta to write a chapter for my next book. First commercial was for the DiTech "125 percent Dream Loan." People could finance a new house plus get a premium amounting to 25 percent of the mortgage, and use the extra money to buy furniture, or a bass boat, or go to Vegas and play the slots, if that's what they liked. The second commercial was for a debt consolidation service. The third was for bankruptcy lawyers. And the fourth was for a local bail bondsman "because bad things even happen to good people."

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

I hope that you are kidding about mass transportation! Cars = Capitalism = environmental and urban decline. Check out this new book:

At 9:36 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I was just kidding about the mass transportation (sort of). I think the idea of "new urbanism" (at least that is what I think it's called) is a great thing; however, it seems that everywhere it is implemented it is tremendously expensive. I would love to live EVEN closer to downtown and in some of these combination commercial/residential buildings, but they are way too expensive.

Ultimately what it comes down to (for me at least) is that the people's transportation, while much cheaper takes longer. And time is money so...

I think Miami has a pretty good public transportation system. It really only extends south from downtown, but they are working on rectifying that.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

A couple of points:
1) the reason New Urbanist areas cost so much is because there are so few of them and they are really great, so demand far exceeds supply, thus expensive. If we actually made them standard, they would be reasonably priced and life would be great again.
2) Similarly, the reason public transportation is so slow is because we have built our cities for cars, thus everything is spread out (and unwalkable). Think about NYC - cars are slower than the subway (and too expensive to keep). Also, public transportation is notoriously underfunded. You should read Kunstler's book - the Geography of Nowhere, and Duany and Plater-Zybeck's work on New Urbanism.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker