New York

“Exposure Density” and the Pandemic

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A week ago, I posted Early Observations on the Pandemic and Population Density, which suggested that the more worrying experience with the COVID-19 virus in the New York City metropolitan area could result from more intense person-to-person contacts:  read more »

Coronavirus and the Cities

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As you can imagine, we are now ensconced in our homes in New York City. We are fine, even though the numbers surrounding us are alarming. The street bare empty and quiet. The food stores are full. We go out every day for a walk, sometimes to the Hudson, sometimes to the East River, with masks and gloves, keeping safe distance from the occasional other. Whole Foods now opens for a special hour from 7:00am to 8:00 for seniors and once a week we go there at 7:00am. We do a lot of cooking, sometimes elevating dinners to gourmet level. We Zoom a lot with friends and family and colleagues.  read more »

Early Observations on the Pandemic and Population Density

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It is still too early to draw precise conclusions on the extent to which the spread of the COVID-19 is related to urban population density. But there are important recurring themes. The following observations are made with the caveats that we are largely dealing with data inconsistent across geographies in terms of reporting and testing and preliminary. Rigorous research will have to await final data, which could be months in the future.

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The End of New York

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For over two centuries, New York has been the predominant urban center in North America. It remains the primary locale for the arts, culture, finance, and media, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. It has also served as the incubator of the many Americas—including Jewish, Italian, African American, Irish, and, increasingly, Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian cultures—and nurtured their contributions to the arts, business, and intellectual life.  read more »

Studying the Wrong Cities Will Lead to Repeating Their Mistakes

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The junket factor must be the only logical criteria by which various industry “study tours” overseas are planned. How else to explain how entirely inappropriate the choices are? The list of cities identified for “study” by Australian development and planning industry bodies reads like the pages of a glossy weekend travel magazine: we’ve seen study tours to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Copenhagen, London, Vancouver and (of course) Portland. The purpose? One recent blurb promises it is “to expand our horizons and bring new ideas back to Aussie shores.”  read more »

The Luxury City is Going Bust

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In a year when two boosters of the “luxury city,” Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg, are vying to run the whole country, the very model that created their “success” is slowly unraveling. After roughly 20 years of big-city progress, measured by economic growth and demographic progress, the dense urban centers, including New York, are again teetering on the brink of decline.  read more »

Houston Is Now Less Affordable Than New York City?!

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"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -Mark Twain  read more »

You Think Trump's a Danger to Democracy? Get a Load of Bloomberg.

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Many in the media and political class see Donald Trump as the face of America’s autocratic future. They’ve had less to say about Michael Bloomberg, a far more successful billionaire with the smarts, motivation, and elitist mentality not only to propose but actually carry out his own deeply authoritarian vision should he be elected president.  read more »

Heartland Intelligence

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There have been some big changes for me. We relocated from New York to Indianapolis, where I’m doing consulting work for the Indy Chamber. I’m no longer full time with the Manhattan Institute but am still a contributing editor at City Journal and still have multiple projects in the works there. I’ll continue to write for other publications too, as with my recent Atlantic piece on J. Irwin Miller and Columbus, Indiana. More on my move below.  read more »

Walking Around Downtown Brooklyn

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After having lost more than half a million residents between 1950 and 1980 New York’s borough of Brooklyn has regained more than two-thirds of its population loss. The renaissance of Brooklyn is rightfully cited as an urban success story. It initially attracted Millennials and others seeking an urban lifestyle at a lower cost than Manhattan, but now it has also become increasingly more expensive, evidenced by many new high rise luxury condominium buildings.  read more »