Currently I’m geeking out on Grand Designs on Netflix. It evokes latent feelings of getting your hands dirty, sometimes literally, on designing your own space. As the synopsis suggests, “Host Kevin McCloud presents people who take self-building houses to a new level, following every step of their ambitious plans from beginning to end.” I may be late to the Grand Designs party and am partly disappointed that there are only two seasons on Netflix, I’m savoring every episode. I’m beginning to appreciate the United Kingdom countryside that’s reminiscent of Enid Blyton books from my childhood.
As any architect or even urban planner knows, the outcome is the easiest part but at the same time, the process is just as joyful and in fact more interesting. Check it out if you haven’t already.
My family and I spent 4 wonderful days in Yosemite National Park in mid-July. Marred initially by a wildfire that filled the park with a smoky haze for the first couple of days, it cleared quickly revealing us the great natural beauty of the valley. We had a lovely time hiking several of its trails feasting our eyes on the wonderful vistas and being astounded by the sheer granite mountains and the deep valleys.
It also renewed my faith in the power of conservation of our natural resources and wilderness. National Parks are one of the best ideas that have come from America and I hope the powers to be continue to add to this promise.
I hope you enjoy these select photos from our trip. Feel free to download and use our itinerary.
One of the points made by William Fischel in his writings about zoning and NIMBYism is that the impetus for this behavior comes from homeowners trying to safeguard the value of their investment. Per Fischel, since most homeowners’ entire savings are locked up in one risky asset, they are risk-averse when it comes to any neighborhood change, leading to NIMBYism. Renters are more flexible.
Source: Pedestrian Observations
Austin is the only major growing city in the United States that is losing African Americans. Eric Tang, associate professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, was intrigued by this fact, as well as the ways in which Jim Crow segregation and neo-liberal gentrification converge here in what he describes as a “unique and intense” way. As he explains in an interview with Caroline Pinkston for an upcoming episode of the Humanities Media Project podcast Life of the Mind:
Source: Life & Letters Magazine