Blogs

High life on New York's High Line

Last month, an old elevated train track on Manhattan's west side was re-opened to the public as a public park. The High Line was a 1.5-mile stretch of track constructed in the 1930s to carry freight trains. The last train ran on the platform in 1980 and the space has been the subject of battles ever since between park-minded preservationists and residents who wanted to tear down the steel monstrosity with no apparent function.  read more »

It's Not the Economy Stupid: Crime Still Dropping in L.A.

Unemployment may be at 11.4% in LA County, pundits may mock the dysfunctional state budget system, but crime is still dropping from already historic lows in the City of Los Angeles.

According to statistics released by the LAPD yesterday, homicides are down a third compared to the first half of last year with violent crime down 6% and assaults down 8%.  read more »

Unemployment Rising in Washington, DC

In the past month, Washington D.C. has experienced both an increase in number of jobs as well as an increase in unemployment, according to the Washington Post.

The city’s unemployment rate rose from 9.9 in April to 10.7 percent in May – far surpassing the national average of 9.4 percent – despite gaining about 1,400 jobs primarily with the federal government.  read more »

Independence Day Greetings from New Zealand

To my friends and colleagues in the US, it must be easy for Americans, in these times, to think that no one elsewhere in the world thinks about the principle on which America was founded. But many of us do.

These Jacquie Lawson cards are created in England and you will see that she uses the 4th July cards to pass on some information to her subscribers. (She would be well aware that most Americans would be well aware of the contents of the Archives.) So when we say, "we are thinking of you" we mean that in both the personal and historical sense.  read more »

Subjects:

Go to Oklahoma, Young Man

One of the great migrations of Americans was from Dust Bowl Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression. People came from all over the parched plains to California; South Dakotans, Nebraskans, Oklahomans and others. But only one group had a name. No one called them Dakoties, nor Nebies, but they did call them “Okies.” Their legacy was spread by John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.  read more »

Mapping US Metropolitan Unemployment Rates, May 2009

Here's a quick map of the newly released May 2009 metropolitan area unemployment numbers. On this map, color signifies the rate in May 2009 and size of bubble indicates the rate point change since May of last year. Green dots are below the national unemployment level of 9.1 in May, and red dots are above the national number.  read more »

Manhattan’s Declining Share of New York City Jobs

The amount of private sector jobs in Manhattan has been declining since 1958, according to the Center for an Urban Future. An increase in job-spread among the other four boroughs – Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island – has led to a shift in the New York City job market.  read more »

Mobility on the Decline

Faced with an economic downturn and a bursting real estate bubble, Americans look to be staying put in greater numbers. According to Ball State demographer Michael Hicks, interviewed in an article examining the trend in the San Francisco Chronicle, "Property values have dropped so much, people can't pick up and move the way they used to."  read more »

NGVideo: Reviving Plotlands

Everybody knows we urgently need to build more homes in Britain, but how, when and where will this happen? WORLDbytes interviewed Ian Abley, an architect and manager of Audacity at the plotlands in Dunton, Essex where from the 1920s East End working class couples built cheap homes themselves. Could we do this now?  read more »

Bad Times Getting Worse for Older Americans

Olivia S. Mitchell, of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, told ABC News that “roughly $2 trillion has been lost in 401(k)s and pension plans during the recession.” (According to The Economist, worldwide private pension funds lost $5.4 trillion last year. I wonder if/when the media will start calling it a depression?)  read more »