Jersey City: Cheaper, Yes, But Also a Real Sense of Community - Nona Willis Aronowitz - The Atlantic Cities -
Real estate prices in downtown Jersey City, which has experienced rapid development over the past few years, can rival yuppie Brooklyn’s, but residential neighborhoods like Jersey City Heights are starting to entice young people with actual cheap rent, laid-back bars, and a cornucopia of inexpensive ethnic restaurants. One Jersey City twentysomething described the Heights as having the melting pot feel of Queens—except maybe closer to your downtown job.
The Long Goodbye - NYTimes.com -
Lately, the “Goodbye” essay has found renewed life, as a new generation of writers works out its love-hate relationship with the city in public fashion. Recently, opinion-makers like Andrew Sullivan and David Byrne have scribbled much-discussed New York-is-over essays; literary-minded Generation Y writers have bid not-so-fond farewells to the city on blogs like Gawker and The Cut; and a dozen-plus writers, including Dani Shapiro and Maggie Estep, published elegies to their ambivalence toward New York in “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York,” an anthology published last month.
There’s another piece about this book, and leaving New York, here.
New Orleans Restaurant Scene Rises, Reflecting a Richer City - NYTimes.com -
Though the city has fewer people than it did before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it has 70 percent more restaurants, according to a count by Tom Fitzmorris, a local expert who does not include fast-food or chain restaurants in his tally.
“It’s really something,” said Mr. Fitzmorris, between callers to his three-hour daily radio show about eating out. “It has never stopped going up, even in the summer, which is not a good time for us in the restaurant business.”
Economically speaking, the restaurant boom is a barometer of a city that is more affluent and more educated than it used to be. “Richer cities have more restaurants per capita,” said Jed Kolko, the chief economist of Trulia, the real estate website, who said New Orleans already ranked 14th in the nation on restaurants per person in 2010, just a few years into the recent boom (San Francisco was No. 1).
At the same time, the high concentration of restaurants here has built on itself, as chefs are attracted to a city where eating out is so popular and the most successful ones expand. In that sense, it represents an industry cluster along the lines of the financial industry on Wall Street or high technology in Silicon Valley. More than 10 percent of the jobs in the metropolitan area are in the restaurant business, compared with an average of 8.2 percent nationwide.
The National Archives holds a vast accumulation of historic maps but few are as unusual as this one (document reference EXT 11/159). It’s a leather glove painted with a map of London landmarks and was designed to help fashionable ladies find their way to and from the Great Exhibition held in London’s Hyde Park in 1851.
160 years later, [this]’s vision of maps in the palms of our hands has come true for many, thanks to mobile internet.
(via She knew it like the back of her hand … | The National Archives blog)
Via @VenueProject (Thx N.T.!)
Smell-walkers! We have two important pieces of information for you.
(1) Victoria Henshaw, leader of last fall’s legendary Smellwalk NYC, has a new book out: Urban Smellscapes: Understanding and Designing City Smell Environments. From the blurb: “With case studies from factories,…
Jeremiah's Vanishing New York: SIGN the Pe-ti-SHUN! -
Now and then, I think about a certain character from the old East Village. With her folding table and anti-pornography signs, she was vibrant and angry, intimidating and exciting. Her voice and the cadence she used to call out her mantra, “Sign the petition,” has stayed in people’s psyches over the years. Now and then, some of us find ourselves still saying it, in our heads, or out loud to friends, spontaneously, as if we are conjuring old ghosts: “SIGN the pe-ti-SHUN!”
Who was that woman?
I certainly remember her. I last encountered her in Jersey in around 2004, I’d guess.
Blighted Cities Prefer Razing to Rebuilding - NYTimes.com -
Large-scale destruction is well known in Detroit, but it is also underway in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others at a total cost of more than $250 million. Officials are tearing down tens of thousands of vacant buildings, many habitable, as they seek to stimulate economic growth, reduce crime and blight, and increase environmental sustainability.
A recent Brookings Institution study found that from 2000 to 2010 the number of vacant housing units nationally had increased by 4.5 million, or 44 percent. And a report by the University of California, Berkeley, determined that over the past 15 years, 130 cities, most with relatively small populations, have dissolved themselves, more than half the total ever recorded in the United States.
White Flight's Surprising 'Silver Lining' - Emily Badger - The Atlantic Cities -
Historic data suggests, however, that the mass exodus of the white middle class from central cities had one positive result for the people left behind: Suburban white flight helped boost black homeownership in America. And the extent of the effect is striking. Economists Leah Boustan of UCLA and Robert Margo of Boston University have estimated that for every 1,000 white households that moved out of central cities for the suburbs between 1940 and 1980, about 100 black households became homeowners.
In a fascinating paper published in the Journal of Urban Economics, the researchers argue that the two trends didn’t simply occur in tandem. One directly helped cause the other. Between 1940 and 1980, a period during which Boustan and Margo examined data in 98 cities, the share of white metropolitan households in the U.S. living in the suburbs nearly doubled from 35 percent to 68 percent. Over that same time, the homeownership rate among black metropolitan households rose from 19 percent to 46 percent – a jump of 27 percentage points that had been unprecedented in American history.
FBomb: a map that pinpoints real-time uses of everybody’s favorite four-letter word on Twitter. Via Gizmodo.
This and more on our weekly Top Ten roundup, if you missed it: Procrastinaut: Ten things to waste your time with this weekend - Yahoo News