San Francisco

Are Housing Declines Evenly Spread? - An Examination of California

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To read the popular press, one gets the impression that the collapse of the housing market is concentrated largely in the suburbs and exurbs, as people flock back to the cities in response to the mortgage crisis and high gas prices. A review of mortgage meltdown “ground zero” California indicates the picture is far more nuanced.  read more »

Excavating The Buried Civilization of Roosevelt’s New Deal

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A bridge crashes into the Mississippi at rush hour. Cheesy levees go down in New Orleans and few come to help or rebuild. States must rely on gambling for revenue to run essential public services yet fall farther into the pit of structural deficits. Clearly we have gone a long way from the legacy of the New Deal.  read more »

The Great Exception: San Francisco’s SoMa Neighborhood

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In recent months, one has not been able to open a newspaper without being reminded of the havoc that is being wreaked on the U.S. economy. The subprime mortgage debacle coupled with skyrocketing energy prices have caused many middle class Americans to lose confidence in taking out home loans and putting a screeching halt to consumer spending.  read more »

Subjects:

The Entrenchment of Urban Poverty

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How high urban housing costs and income inequality have exacerbated urban poverty

A few years ago, on a drive from New York to Washington, I turned off I-95 in Baltimore to see H.L. Mencken’s home. Abandoned row houses lined the street, some boarded up with plywood, others simply gutted. Signs offering fast cash for houses and a number to call for unwanted cars outnumbered pedestrians. It was a landscape of rot and neglect with few signs of renewal and investment.  read more »

Is Narcissus also a success story?

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In sharp contrast with its arch-rival, Los Angeles, San Francisco historically has won plaudits from easterners.  read more »

Community and a Sense of Place in San Francisco

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On any given weeknight in San Francisco, some professional, political or social association throws a cocktail hour. From black-tie galas in the latest hip restaurant to arts fundraisers held at dingy watering holes, these mixers are a staple of young professional life where people go to network, flirt and unwind.  read more »

Letter from the Ephemeral City

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“How is it living in a real city now?” friends and family ask with smug earnestness now that I reside in much coveted San Francisco.  read more »