39 results back to index
American Kingpin by Nick Bilton
bitcoin, blockchain, crack epidemic, Edward Snowden, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the market place, trade route, white picket fence, WikiLeaks
After the bubble had popped a few years earlier, companies that had been built on a wing and a prayer had siphoned people’s retirements into thin air and collapsed, leaving San Francisco a metaphorical no-fly zone. What about going east? Wasn’t there opportunity on Wall Street for someone as clever as Ross? No way. The banks were collapsing from the housing market crash. And he certainly couldn’t settle down and live happily ever after with his girlfriend; his dream of marriage and a white picket fence had been bulldozed by several other men. That left graduate school, or jumping off a cliff. He imagined reality TV fame and a pile of money as a slight detour on the way to some larger accomplishment. Ross was sure he had a grander purpose in life, though he wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. Maybe one day he’d figure out what that purpose was. Just not today. As the daylight faded and the Amazing Race shoot came to an end, Ross and his sister stood in front of the camera along the streets of Austin.
He was helping people, keeping them safe from the streets, where drug deals could get one thrown in jail or, worse, hurt or killed. Didn’t Julia see that? Didn’t she want to be a part of it? As if they were repeatedly reading from the same script, a verbal brawl would ensue, and then one of them would storm out of the apartment or into another room. A few hours later, love would magnetically draw them back together. They would make up and fall asleep in each other’s arms, Julia dreaming of a white picket fence and a couple of giggling children running around in the yard, Ross’s reveries of the Silk Road growing so large that one day he would overturn the drug laws and be lauded for the positive impact he had had on society. The next morning the pugnacious lovers would start all over again. The site had also started to affect other areas of their relationship. Julia wanted to go out dancing or be taken to a nice restaurant with all the money he was now making from his commissions.
Soon afterward a Spanish woman stopped by Julia’s studio to pick up some books, then explained why she was really there. “Jesus told me I need to pray for you.” Julia wept. Her life goals were not that far-fetched. Julia hadn’t wanted to change the world; she had just wanted her world to be changed. Was it so difficult to find a good man to marry, who would give her a child or two, a white picket fence, and, most important, see that those children grew up differently from how she had? There was a dream in her mind where that good man was Ross Ulbricht, and it ended with them both living happily ever after. Sadly, that fairy tale had never materialized. After the Spanish woman who knew Jesus arrived at her studio, the kind lady invited Julia to church. Later that morning Julia sat at the back of the congregation and heard angels in her ears.
The Rent Is Too Damn High: What to Do About It, and Why It Matters More Than You Think by Matthew Yglesias
Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, land reform, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, statistical model, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence
Increasing the density of places where land is very expensive means other places will likely become somewhat less dense. America is, on the whole, a very spacious country, and there will and should always be plenty of room for suburban homes and large lots. Viewed correctly, curbing America’s policies of forced suburbanization is not anti-suburb or contrary to the interests of people with a strong preference for detached houses and white picket fences. Research from Jonathan Levine of the University of Michigan and Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia indicates that the American population is split evenly between people with a firm preference for walkable urbanism, people with a firm preference for the suburban lifestyle, and people with mixed feelings. But as Christopher Leinberger, a real estate consultant and Brookings Institution fellow, points out, right now, “In most metropolitan areas, only 5 to 10 percent of the housing stock is located in walkable urban places.”
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, white picket fence, women in the workforce, young professional
That week’s lesson, from a workbook called Quenching the Father Thirst, was supposed to involve writing a letter to a hypothetical estranged fourteen-year-old daughter named Crystal, whose father had left when she was a baby. But El-Scari had his own idea about how to get through to this barely awake, skeptical crew, and letters to Crystal had nothing to do with it. Like some of them, he explained, he grew up watching Bill Cosby living behind his metaphorical “white picket fence”—one man, one woman, and a bunch of happy kids. “Well, that check bounced a long time ago,” he says. “Let’s see,” he continues, reading from a worksheet. What are the four kinds of paternal authority? Moral, emotional, social, and physical. “But you ain’t none of those in that house. All you are is a paycheck, and now you ain’t even that. And if you try to exercise your authority, she’ll call 911.
Over the years, researchers have proposed different theories to explain the erosion of marriage in the lower classes: the rise of welfare, the disappearance of work for men, or in the eyes of conservative critics such as Charles Murray, plain old moral decay. But Edin thinks the most compelling theory is that marriage has disappeared because women are now more economically independent and thus able to set the terms for marriage—and usually they set them too high for the men around them to reach. “I want that white-picket-fence dream,” one woman told Edin, and the men she knew just didn’t measure up, so she had become her own one-woman mother/father/nurturer/provider. Or as Edin’s cowriter, the sociologist Maria Kefalas, puts it, “everyone watches Oprah”—or whatever the current Oprah equivalent is. “Everyone wants a big wedding, a soul mate, a best friend.” But among the men they know, they can’t find one. Some small proof for this theory that women don’t marry because they’re on top can be found in a recent study of Florida Lottery winners, called “Lucky in Life, Unlucky in Love?
The Gated City (Kindle Single) by Ryan Avent
big-box store, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, edge city, Edward Glaeser, income inequality, industrial cluster, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, offshore financial centre, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transit-oriented development, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Veblen good, white picket fence, zero-sum game
We recognize that to stay strong and competitive, businesses must change, sometimes dramatically. A certain fluidity and flexibility is necessary to keep the economy humming, to defend it against stasis and decline. We would prefer to keep ourselves and our homes safely apart from the messiness of the market. Business is a dynamic, volatile arena, we think, but neighborhoods can and should remain a quiet world apart. As much as we’d like to erect an impermeable white picket fence between our tranquil residential streets and the hum of the economy, we can’t. Our neighborhoods are our economy; they’re the people who live in our cities and make them work. When we try too hard to plan out every detail of a city, to control density and limit change, we’re also micromanaging and constraining the workings of the market. We will pay for that in growth, in jobs, and in wages.
Eternity by Greg Bear
Flat grassland surrounded the fenced-in plot, and around and through the grassland a narrow runoff creek curled protectively, its low washing whisper steady above the cool dry wind. The wind made the blades of grass hiss and shiver. Snow-ribboned mountains shawled in gray cloud glowered over the plain. The sun was an hour above the Two Thumb Range to the east, its light bright but not warm. Despite the wind, Garry Lanier was sweating. He helped shoulder the coffin through the leaning white picket fence to the new-dug grave, marked by a casually lumpy mound of black earth, his face a mask to hide the effort and the sharp twinges of pain. Six friends served as pallbearers. The coffin was only a finely shaped and precisely planed pine box, but Lawrence Heineman had weighed a good ninety kilos whc. he died. The widow, Lenore Carrolson, followed two steps behind, face lifted, puzzled eyes staring at something just above the end of the coffin.
“We leave in the morning to visit Oregon, then fly on to Melbourne and back home, New Zealand … Christchurch. We haven’t much time.” From the front porch, they saw the sun decline in splendor beyond the palms and beach, setting the slopes of Barber’s Point aflame with a gentler fire than that area and its Naval Air Station had known during the Death. A Japanese graveyard lay just west of the senator’s property, behind fresh-painted white picket fencing; Suli Ram Kikura stood there now, Karen beside her, examining the carved lava pagoda-shaped headstones and crosses. “There’s something the old Axis City lacked,” Lanier said. “What’s that?” “Graveyards.” “Far too many here,” Kanazawa said quickly. “Many things must be different up there~we have such close ties, and yet, I sometimes think, so little understanding of each other. I wish I were not so afraid of space travel.
Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K
According to Valerie Gibson, sex columnist for the Toronto Sun and author of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, the term started in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a put-down for older women who would go to bars and go home at the end of the night with whoever was left. But in recent years, it’s become more positive—signifying an older, single woman who knows what she wants, has the money and confidence to acquire it, and isn’t constrained by desires for babies and a white picket fence. And so now there are at least a half-dozen Web sites devoted to Cougar dating, complete with mugs and T-shirts. Oprah explored “Older Women in Love with Younger Men” in 2003. On the wildly popular Sex and the City, 40-something Samantha Jones dated “boy toy” Smith Jerrod longer than anyone else in the show’s six seasons. In 2005, Fran Drescher, star of the 1990s TV hit The Nanny, launched a new comedy called Living with Fran, a show about a mother of two who falls in love with a man half her age—apparently based on her real-life experience.
But that day in America is not coming soon. Fifty-one percent of Americans still consider homosexuality “morally wrong,” and nearly 60 percent oppose gay marriage. Many Americans (36 percent) think gays should be less accepted, not accepted the same or more. And so as long as homosexuals are second-class in America, a good number of people with gay feelings will shelve those feelings in favor of a heterosexual wedding, a white picket fence, and biological kids. But if, years later, the feelings recur, or arise in whole new ways, there will be Late-Breaking News about their sexual orientation—and a reorientation for everybody else. Dutiful Sons Male Caregivers in America By now, we know well that Americans are living much longer—a person born today can expect to live well past 70, compared to the life expectancy of 47 if you were born in 1900.
Glasshouse by Stross, Charles
Or even worse, he might get dragged in. But he's not around, and I manage to get into the garage and pick up my cordless hammer drill, a bunch of spare bits, and some other handy gadgets I laid aside against a rainy day. I go back to the taxi, and I'm still tightening the belt to hang everything off when it moves away. We cruise up a residential street, low houses set back from the road behind white picket fences, separated by trees. It's hot outside, loud with the background creaking of arthropods. We drive into a tunnel entrance. I take a deep breath. "New orders. Stop right here and wait sixty seconds. Then drive through the tunnel and keep going. Keep your radio turned off. At each road intersection, pick a direction at random and keep driving. Do not stop, other than to avoid obstructions. Accept one thousand units of credit.
Appearances count if you're trying to up your score, and other people pay attention to that kind of thing. And I don't expect Janis would be organizing anything like this if it wasn't important. It's a wonderful day, the sky a deep blue and a warm breeze blowing. Janis is right about one thing—I don't remember ever seeing this neighborhood before. The taxi cruises between rows of clapboard fronted houses with white picket fences and mercilessly laundered grass aprons in front of them, then hangs a left around a taller brick building and drives along a tree-lined downhill boulevard with oddly shaped buildings to either side. There are other taxis about, and people! We drive past a couple out for a stroll along the sidewalk. I thought Sam and I were the only folks who did that. Who am I missing? The taxi stops just before a cul-de-sac where a semicircle of awnings shield white tables and outdoor furniture from the sky.
Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
No matter what’s going on in the outside world, with the media, with politics, your obsession will have to continue to fuel you long after the disappointments, and even long after the successes are yours. Day after day, week after week, quarter after quarter, year after year your obsessions can continue to fuel you. Use this book to undo the average thinking of those you live with, those you work with, and even your customers. Because after seriously resolving to be obsessed and clarifying your obsession, it is vital you get those around you to support you. Your partner might want the white picket fence, the golden retriever, and you home at 5:00 p.m. to watch weekend television marathons, and may talk constantly about simply being happy. Getting your partner on the road to obsession is tough. It requires a plan and a sit-down talk with this person. This may be the biggest challenge of being obsessed, and you must prepare for the sale of your life. Obsession isn’t just a mental game, either; it’s a total game involving the physical, spiritual, emotional, familial, and financial.
3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
The startup mentality is one where you are actively taking a hands-on approach to your own professional outcome. Lesson #3—Sorry, no gold watch. There are countless lessons to be learned from looking at the type of people and companies that were featured in Fast Company magazine’s Generation Flux cover story. And that was only the tip of the iceberg. In your current role, do you have faith that after twenty years of solid service you will retire with benefits to that white-picket-fenced house out in the country? Are you really counting on the send-off dinner where you will be given a plaque commemorating your service… or that gold watch? I think (hope) that you now realize there’s no gold watch in your future. Lesson #4—Embrace the mindset. You don’t have to run a startup to run your career like a startup, but you do have to embrace and embody the mindset. Startups are not from the top down; rather, the attitude comes from the edges.
Loud music exploded from speakers embedded in the walls, and the entire arena shook as the hungry crowd leaped to its feet. The fight was about to begin. Eleven Weston, MA, Thanksgiving 1994 T here’s no neon in Weston, Massachusetts. Twenty minutes from Boston by Mercedes-Benz, Weston was an uppermiddle-class enclave separated from the real world by a tree-lined stretch of the Mass Pike. The sleepy New England town was suburbia incarnate: white picket fences, yellow school buses with blinking red lights, colonial homes, lush green lawns, lemonade stands, tennis courts, basketball hoops, tree houses, porch swings, dogs on leashes, kickball and flashlight tag, public schools that looked like prep schools and prep schools that looked like Ivy League universities. On a bright Thursday afternoon, Kevin sat next to Felicia on a porch swing, watching the leaves swirl across the back lawn of his parents’ two-story colonial-style house.
The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher
Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, Zipcar
Suburbs look different depending where you are: in Las Vegas front yards are filled with pebbles and cacti, in California Mediterranean red-tiled roofs rule the day, and in wealthy suburbs throughout the Northeast regal old homes line leafy streets. Despite their differences, the American suburbs share one thing in common—they evoke a certain way of life, one of tranquil, curving streets and cul-de-sacs; marching bands and soccer leagues; bake sales and PTA meetings and center hall colonials. The phrase “the American Dream” immediately brings to mind images of the single-family home with a white picket fence; the suburbs have also provided the setting for so many of our iconic cinematic moments. They are where Macaulay Culkin got left home alone; where Ferris Bueller took the day off; where Jake kissed Samantha in Sixteen Candles; and where Joel Goodsen, therefter remembered only as Tom Cruise, first strutted his stuff in Risky Business. The suburbs are innately connected to America because they are a uniquely American phenomenon.
Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever
Stone condemned the tendency to turn a whole generation of Americans into “stool pigeons.”223 Although McCarthy also targeted homosexuals—he was an equal-opportunity bully—it was his undocumented attack on communism that made him famous. In the 1950s the threat of communism was both horribly real and entirely imaginary. The Russians were armed and ready to attack us. The Russians would come marching down Main Street past our white picket fences. The Russians were in submarines just off the Atlantic Coast waiting to take over our suburbs. Drew Pearson reported that President Harry Truman’s secretary of defense, James Forrestal, stoked on pills and alcohol, was discovered in the street in his pajamas in a state of terror because he believed the Russians had invaded Bethesda. “The Russians were coming!” yelled Forrestal until the police came and took him away.
Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay
3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
Burt, Linda, and Co. quickly agreed to terms, and the airport closed on 287 acres of farmland ten miles to the southeast that it had already been eyeing. This became the core of what is today called Heritage Creek, the aerotropolis’s first purpose-built suburb. The setting is bucolic. We wended our way down country roads, past Erector-set subdivisions with names like Woodridge Crossing and Cedar Brook (“New homes from the 150s!”) until we reached a white picket fence bearing “HC” heraldry. “They designed the city the way they wanted it,” Burt said. “The chairman of the planning commission said, ‘This looks like it came out of a 1950s subdivision!’ Well, duh! These people came out of a 1950s subdivision; it’s all they know!” And sure enough, it was. They had used their walkaway money to buy lots and choose homes from a handful of specs. The houses were handsome by Midwest standards—faux colonials and brick homes garnished with tiny colonnades and porches.
By now the locals had accepted it as their symbol of Stapleton’s hard-earned sense of place. I found Brian’s house later while roaming on foot. His was one in a cluster of Spanish Mission revivals, replete with clay tiles, stucco walls, and a corredor for a porch. It sat across the street from a grassy postage stamp of a yard, shared equally by a square of cottages and Victorians, their porches offset neatly from the sidewalks with a white picket fence. Down the block, an otherwise boring brick mansion with a wraparound porch boasted a sign proclaiming it one of LEED’s pilots. But the strangest sight lay not far away. Turning a corner, I came face-to-face with a quarter mile of brownstones lining Stapleton’s grand boulevard, looking exactly like my own back in Brooklyn. They were new, of course—so clean they’d obviously never seen a pigeon—but otherwise packed shoulder to shoulder like the loveliest stretches of my borough, where Jane Jacobs’s “sidewalk ballet” of people endlessly dances arabesques below our windows.
Frommer's Portable California Wine Country by Erika Lenkert
(off the Silverado Trail), Calistoga, CA 94515. & 800/995-9381 or 707/942-9581. www.silverrose.com. 20 units. $165–$255 double weekdays; $195–$300 double weekends. Rates include continental breakfast. AE, DISC, MC, V. Amenities: 2 pools; spa; 2 Jacuzzis. In room: A/C, dataport, hair dryer, iron upon request. INEXPENSIVE Brannan Cottage Inn This cute little 1860 cottage, complete with the requisite white picket fence, sits on a quiet side street. One of Sam Brannan’s original resort cottages, the inn was restored through a community effort to salvage an important piece of Calistoga’s heritage; it’s now on the National Register of Historic Places. The six spacious rooms are decorated with down comforters and white lace curtains; each room also has a ceiling fan, private bathroom, and its own entrance; three rooms have four-poster beds.
Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade
Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce
Calculator manufacturers were producing fif y million units a year, and competitive pricing had made them universally affordable. SR calculators, too, were becoming ridiculously cheap. In his fina book, The Green Imperative, Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous apprentice, Victor Papanek, shared this recollection from the 1970s: “One of my favorite photographs . . . showed more than 600 engineers’ slide rules stuck into the ground around a neighbor’s lawn, forming a tiny, sardonic, white picket fence. When I asked about it my neighbor’s wife said, ‘We bought these slide rules for one dollar a barrel . . . and used all six hundred.’”27 Of more interest than the diminishing cost of calculators and the demise of the slide rule is the obsolescence of the skill set that older-generation engineers possessed. Tom West and Carl Alsing recalled promising each other not to “turn away candidates” at Data General in 1978 “just because the youngsters made them feel old and obsolete.”
The Ghost by Robert Harris
“Where I come from it’s after midnight.” He shook his head. At first I couldn’t make out whether he was sympathetic or disapproving; then I realized he was trying to tell me it was no use talking to him: he was deaf. I went back to staring out the window. After a while we came to a crossroads and turned left into what I guessed must be Edgartown, a settlement of white clapboard houses with white picket fences, small gardens, and verandas, lit by ornate Victorian street lamps. Nine out of ten were dark, but in the few windows that shone with yellow light I glimpsed oil paintings of sailing ships and whiskered ancestors. At the bottom of the hill, past the Old Whaling Church, a big misty moon cast a silvery light over shingled roofs and silhouetted the masts in the harbor. Curls of wood smoke rose from a couple of chimneys.
Jenn has the porch decorated in friendly ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns, and a life-size witch, one with a happy smile so as not to spook Lola. The witch hangs from the porch roof and sways in the light breeze. As we sit, I can’t take my eyes off my little princess: the plastic diamond tiara in her dark hair, her skin the color of pearls. She pushes the meat out of the way; she’s much more interested in the potato chips and orange soda. After a few bites, she’s off to the yard to chase the dogs. Inside the white picket fence, the lawn is a carpet of red leaves from the Japanese maple trees. Lola and the dogs run back and forth. Jenn sits across from me wearing a designer jean jacket with a fur collar. “I’m getting nervous,” I say. She tilts her head sideways, curious, and puts a little more salad on her plate. “We’re spending like twelve grand a month before we even put food on the table.” “So we’ll cut our expenses,” she says.
Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder
The Towne house, a white federalist mansion that once belonged to a successful New England merchant of Charlton, Massachusetts, sits at one end of the green. At the other, on a little rise, the tall, porticoed Center Meetinghouse, a Baptist church in its former life, presides over the town common. The village gleamed in spring sunshine. The hardwoods were in leaf, the flowers blooming in the gardens behind white picket fences. People in period costume, the living mannequins of the village, passed by Mrs. Zajac's class. A young man in a straw hat and breeches with suspenders walked along an edge of the common beside a pair of perfect oxen, groomed as if they were racehorses. Young women walked by in long dresses and white bonnets. Judith gazed after them. She looked down at the wool tights she wore under her skirt—the nearest thing to pants she was allowed to wear, being a proper Pentecostal daughter—and, laughing, Judith said, "I got these at K Mart."
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
He performed research on defenses against hot viruses—vaccines, drug treatments—and he did basic medical research on rain-forest viruses. The killers and the unknowns were his specialty. He deliberately kept his mind off the effects of hot agents. He told himself, If you did think about it, you might decide to make a living another way. Jahrling, his wife, and their three children lived in Thurmont, not far from Nancy and Jerry Jaax, in a brick ranch house with a white picket fence out front. The fence surrounded a treeless yard, and there was a large brown car parked in the garage. Although they lived near each other, the Jahrlings did not socialize with the Jaaxes, since their children were of different ages and since the families had different styles. Peter Jahrling mowed his lawn regularly to keep the grass neat, so that his neighbors wouldn’t think he was a slob.
As sixty hard-drinking roughhousers, heaving and chanting, rocked to and fro at the handles of the hand-pumper and extinguished two small brush fires, they knew another city-destroying blaze must happen as surely as the sun now rising over the flimsy structures. Charlie Robinson, most famous of all San Francisco torch boys, nearly broke his neck on such a treacherous street. Born in East Monmouth, Maine, he had grown up in a two-story gabled frame house at Number Nine Calhoun Street on Windmill Hill. Perched on a white picket fence across from the house where Hudson, the coffee and tea merchant, ground his spices, Charlie drew fine views of the bay. At age seven, he took painting lessons from the artist Charles C. Nahl. Threats of criminal reprisals forced Charlie’s father, Doc Robinson, a theatrical producer-playwright, to flee San Francisco. He left Charlie and his mother without any means of support, so the boy began running for Big Six.
Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern
Design for Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, circa 1868 No doubt such a scene would have appalled the authorities that condemned John Hughson to death for daring to create establishments where whites and blacks could enjoy their leisure time together; no doubt Charles II would only see “idle and disaffected persons” escaping their “lawful calling and affairs.” But most of us today can appreciate that holiday scene for the extraordinary achievement it is. Once you get past the Macy’s fireworks display, Fourth of July imagery and rhetoric is usually full of old-time Americana: the small town’s one fire truck decked out for the main-street parade, the Little League game, the white picket fences with their patriotic bunting. There is plenty to celebrate about the joys of small communities, but in a way, there is nothing particularly original about that story. World history is teeming with small, successful communities united by a common culture and worldview, after all. What is much rarer is that Fourth of July scene in Prospect Park, and in most urban parks in metropolitan centers around the world.
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar
“What the data clearly shows,” West notes, “is that when people come together they become much more productive.”34 Do the same physical laws work in reverse? Writing about West’s research in The New York Times Magazine, Jonah Lehrer notes: In recent decades, though, many of the fastest-growing cities in America, like Phoenix and Riverside, Calif., have given us a very different urban model. These places have traded away public spaces for affordable single-family homes, attracting working-class families who want their own white picket fences. West and Bettencourt point out, however, that cheap suburban comforts are associated with poor performance on a variety of urban metrics. Phoenix, for instance, has been characterized by below-average levels of income and innovation (as measured by the production of patents) for the last 40 years.35 These findings align with a recent Environmental Protection Agency study that found, state by state, an inverse relationship between vehicle travel and productivity: the more miles that people in a given state drive, the weaker it performs economically.● Apparently, the data are beginning to support the city planners’ bold contention that time wasted in traffic is unproductive.
Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
“Not possible,” she said. Eyes wide, she was looking at the sky, at clusters of trees, at a nearby town, at the dirt road underfoot, at a railroad station. “Can’t be happening.” Dave had been there once before, with Shel, when Thomas Edison was supposed to pass through, but they hadn’t done their research thoroughly, and he didn’t show up. It was a pleasant little town with tree-lined streets and white picket fences. Straw hats were in favor for men, and bright ribbons for ladies. Down at the barbershop, the talk would be mostly about the canal they were going to dig through Panama. Birds sang, and in the distance the clean bang of church bells started. He helped her across a set of railroad tracks, and they stopped in front of a general store. She leaned against him, trying to shut it out. “It takes a little getting used to,” Dave said.
Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
I don’t know what the discipline of economics finds so fascinating about commuting, but in 2006, two Princeton economists asked nine hundred women to rank the well-being produced by nineteen different activities. Having sex (the researchers call it “intimate relations,” but they’re not fooling anybody) came in first. Socializing after work came in second. The “morning commute” was dead last, just a little worse than “evening commute.” And the effect of the commute on the ideal home in the suburbs, with or without the white picket fence, was damaging too. The comfortable suburban home that persuaded them to take on the commute in the first place might appreciate in value over time, but the enjoyment of it doesn’t. People who move to larger houses adapt to the larger size almost immediately, at which point it offers essentially no increase in gratification. The stress of the commute itself, on the other hand, is cumulative: the more years it goes on, the worse its effects.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein
affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog
How was it related to bearded picketers against the Vietnam War, the orgies so vile, or singer John Lennon, who had blasphemously called his rock band “bigger than Jesus” and had to apologize that August to the pope? Was this the whirlwind a civilization reaped once the seeds of moral relativism were sown? And, most of all: what next? When might they move out into the bourgeois utopias: the bungalow belts, the white-picket-fenced suburbs of the Midwest, the white stucco of the Southwest, your own backyard? Were there even enough peace officers in existence to respond? The political season approached. What pundits referred to by the shorthand as “the cities” defined the battlefield. Conservatives looked for ways to blame it all on the liberals. A 5–4 Supreme Court decision had been handed down in June requiring police to warn arrestees of their constitutional right against self-incrimination and to an attorney.
It argued for the diplomatic “long view” toward China, the nation that had descended into a sanguinary revolutionary madness, against which Nixon had spoken of in tones of Red-baiting demagoguery for decades: “We simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations.” The USSR had softened its hard line, the essay argued; so, with the proper “dynamic detoxification” and “creative counterpressure,” might the Middle Kingdom. The paper was an audition before the Franklins. But Nixon didn’t neglect the Orthogonians. Another article, drafted by Pat Buchanan, came out simultaneously in Reader’s Digest for the masses behind their white picket fences called “What Has Happened to America?” Now that Nixon’s two ’68 opponents, Johnson and Romney, were tangled up in a post-riot battle of legalistic recrimination, the strategic conditions were finally propitious: he introduced himself as a crusader for law and order. “Just three years ago this nation seemed to be completing its greatest decade of racial progress,” the article began. Now the country was “among the most lawless and violent in the history of free peoples.”
That he would be known as a loser for the rest of his life. Something, anything, to redeem the dread: if he lost, he was telling his family, it would be because America had proven herself unworthy of his idealism. He might lose. The previous night, on a two-hour Nixon telethon broadcast across the West Coast, a last-ditch attempt to guarantee his home state, he had made a gaffe: he swore. Richard Nixon had been retailing his white-picket-fence piety to the voters since 1946. The only Nixon America’s television audiences knew was the one who, in his third debate with Kennedy in 1960, had solemnly chided Harry Truman for a recent comment that the Republican Party could “go to hell.” “One thing I have noted as I have traveled around the country are the tremendous number of children who come out to see the presidential candidates” is what square old Dick Nixon had said then.
Frommer's Seattle 2010 by Karl Samson
In less time than it takes to smoke a ham, both sides were calling in reinforcements. Luckily, this pigheadedness was defused, and a more serious confrontation was avoided. The English Camp unit of the historical park is set on picturesque Garrison Bay, and, with its huge old shade trees, wide lawns, and white wooden buildings, it’s the epitome of British civility. There’s even a formal garden surrounded by a white picket fence. You can look inside the reconstructed buildings and imagine the days when this was one of the most far-flung corners of the British Empire. If you’re full of energy, hike the 1.25-mile trail to the top of 650-foot Mount Young for a beautiful panorama of the island. An easier 1-mile hike hugs the shoreline out to the end of Bell Point. The visitor center is open from June through early September daily from 9am to 5pm.
Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham
airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence
Either way, these constellations of urban simulacra do the important geopolitical work of continually reducing the complex social and cultural worlds of global South urbanism to mere targets, mere battlespaces, existing for the sole purpose of being assaulted in urban campaigns against ‘terror’ or for ‘freedom’. For militaries to construct physical simulations of places to be targeted and destroyed is nothing new, of course. Nor is the close relation between play, toys, and war, or the mobilization of Hollywood special effects for a war effort. In the Cold War, for example, atomic and thermonuclear bombs were regularly exploded near simulated suburban homes, complete with white picket fences and nuclear families of mannequins placed around the table having a mock meal. Even earlier, during the Second World War, the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah was the site for the construction of a village of extremely accurate Berlin tenements as well as a cluster of Japanese houses built of wood and rice paper9. The former were designed by modernist luminary Eric Mendelsohn, freshly exiled from Germany.
Red Moon Rising by Matthew Brzezinski
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Kitchen Debate, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, skunkworks, trade route, V2 rocket, Vanguard fund, walking around money, white picket fence
With the assignment came a change of address and a new lease on life for von Braun and his team. Compared to Fort Bliss, Huntsville seemed idyllic. The historic hamlet was home to fifteen thousand genteel southerners, and its proud Civil War heritage was etched in the Confederate Monument that crowned the town square. White clapboard church spires dominated the skyline, and the sidewalks were trimmed with white picket fences and immaculately groomed lawns. White was the dominant color in Huntsville, as it was in all of Madison County, Alabama, and throughout the entire Jim Crow South. But the civil rights movement was beginning to take root in 1950, and this worried some of the town’s newest German residents. “We had some concerns here,” Wernher Dahm recalled. “Not so much about segregation . . . as about open strife.”
America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain, Michael Black
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, carbon footprint, Columbine, fear of failure, feminist movement, glass ceiling, income inequality, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, white picket fence
As far as I could tell, every single person wanted the same things: the opportunity to succeed and to make a productive life for themselves and their children. No more, no less. The funny thing about Meghan’s life and my own is that, judging only by lifestyle, we represent the stereotypes of the opposing political party. She’s the young, free-spirited wild child who lives in big cities. I’m the buttoned-up family guy with the wife, two kids, and house with the (literal, in my case) white picket fence. But people aren’t stereotypes, they’re just people. (Actually Omar the Anarchist was a stereotype, but he’s the exception that proves the rule.) Not long after Meghan calls it (and I would like to note for the record that on our final night, she did call it, the wuss), Stephie’s giving me the “see you later” wave from across the yard. She’d been sticking close to Meghan all night. Whether she was feeling shy or just protective, I don’t know, but it’s amazing to me how close these two have grown.
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism
In the sole extant reference to the matter, he wrote in 1923, “I had just come from New York State and recall my humiliation in being obliged to remain one term in the old Clinton Street School—I had been for several years in the Owego Academy . . . and supposed I should go at once into the High School instead of the Grammar School.”3 For this proud boy, the demotion must have been one of many small but wounding indignities suffered during these anxious years. When John finally entered high school (later called Central High School) in 1854 at the age of fifteen, it was still a modest, one-story affair, shaded by trees and standing behind a clean white picket fence; it would receive a much fancier new building in 1856. Operating on the progressive theory of free education for boys and girls, the school enjoyed a superb reputation. Since it stressed composition, John had to submit essays on four topics to advance to the next grade: “Education,” “Freedom,” “The Character of St. Patrick,” and “Recollections of the Past.” At a time when America was deeply split over the question of extending slavery to new territories—the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in May 1854—these writings exhibit Rockefeller as a young democrat and confirmed abolitionist.
At another point, they met an old man in the roadway whom John so sedulously drained of local lore that the latter finally pleaded with weary resignation, “For God’s sake if you will go with me over to that barn yonder, I will start and tell you everything I ever knew.”72 This was the same monotonously inquisitive young man who was known as “the Sponge” in the Oil Regions. For the first six months of their marriage, John and Laura lived with Eliza at 33 Cheshire Street; then they moved into a dignified, two-story brick house at 29 Cheshire Street. Surrounded by a white picket fence, the house had tall, graceful windows but was disfigured by an ugly portico. Even though Rockefeller now operated and partially owned the largest refinery in Cleveland, he and Laura lived frugally without house servants. Rockefeller always cherished the chaste simplicity of this early period and preserved their first set of dishes, which stirred him to wistful reflections in later years. Thus, by the end of the Civil War, John D.
Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson
airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration
Built in 1861, the McCully House is one of the oldest buildings in Oregon being used as an inn, and with its classic, symmetrical lines and simple pre-Victorian styling, it looks as if it could easily be an 18th-century New England inn. If you like being steeped in local history, this is Jacksonville’s best choice. In the McCully Room, you’ll even find the original black-walnut master-bedroom furnishings. Surrounding the inn and enclosed by a white picket fence is a formal rose garden with an amazing variety of roses. This inn also rents out the “C” Street Cottages and has suites in the nearby Reames House. McCully House Inn & Cottages 13_537718-ch10.indd 303 3/17/10 2:07 PM 304 240 E. California St., Jacksonville, OR 97530. & 800/367-1942 or 541/899-1942. Fax 541/899-1560. www. mccullyhouseinn.com. 13 units. $135 double; $150–$295 suite, cottage, and carriage house.
Frommer's San Diego 2011 by Mark Hiss
airport security, California gold rush, car-free, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, glass ceiling, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration
Main courses $11–$32 lunch, $15–$32 dinner. AE, DISC, MC, V. Sun–Thurs 11:30am–9pm; Fri–Sat 11:30am–10pm (lounge until 1:30am). Free 2-hr. validated parking at Hotel Parisi. Bus: 30. Inexpensive The Cottage BREAKFAST/LIGHT FARE La Jolla’s best—and friendliest— breakfast is served at this turn-of-the-20th-century bungalow. The cottage is light and airy, but most diners opt for tables outside, where a charming white picket fence encloses the trellis-shaded brick patio. Omelets and egg dishes feature Mediterranean, Cal-Latino, and classic American touches. Homemade granola is a favorite, as 124 09_626214-ch06.indd 12409_626214-ch06.indd 124 7/23/10 11:21 PM7/23/10 11:21 PM 7702 Fay Ave. (at Kline St.), La Jolla. & 858/454-8409. www.cottagelajolla.com. Reservations accepted for dinner only. Main courses $8–$13 breakfast, $10–$16 lunch, $12–$23 dinner.
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game
“You are a dynamic speaker,” he said, “you need to introduce me every time.” It was like her mother patting her on the back and saying, “It’s going to be all right.” After that she hit the ground running. Miss Hattie said later, “Tammy molded me into the leader that I am.” Across the street from her cut-down-flower garden, in another vacant lot Miss Hattie started the Fairmont Girls and Vicinity Community Garden. She put up a white picket fence, like in the suburbs, and built raised beds out of scavenged wood and chipboard, and compost bins from factory pallets. Georgine’s restaurant loaded thirty pounds of compost in her truck every day, and her doctor gave her horse manure from his farm. Tammy wrote a grant application to the Wean Foundation and Miss Hattie received thirty-seven hundred dollars to get started. She was trying to beautify the neighborhood and teach the kids something nobody could take away from them.
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton
anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, white picket fence, wikimedia commons, working poor
Tour buses depart daily from the São Luís Bus Terminal. 2.485938 43.128407 In a park without greenery, lagoons and sand dunes sit side by side. Fordlândia SANTARÉM, PARÁ Traveling through thick Brazilian jungle up the Tapajós River, one arrives at a shockingly out-of-place tableau. Amid the monkeys and macaws stand the overgrown ruins of an abandoned American suburb, complete with houses surrounded by white picket fences, fire hydrants, and a golf course. It’s Pleasantville, dropped in the middle of the rain forest. Industrialist Henry Ford created his slice of Americana in the Amazon in the late 1920s. Troubled by the high price of rubber, Ford decided to build his own rubber plantation. He bought over six million acres of Brazilian land and shipped in employees from Michigan to manage the model town. He named his settlement Fordlândia, and the workers—both American and Brazilian—were forced to live according to Ford’s strict, teetotaling rules.
USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson
Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration
Outside, more than 2000 pink marble stars line the sidewalks between La Brea Ave and Vine St – and a bit beyond – as part of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Follow the stars east to Skooby’s red-and-white placard reading “gourmet hotdogs.” Why this splash of hotdog pretension? Who knows. The chili-slathered masterpieces at this tiny walk-up don’t need a fancy adjective. Maybe it’s because the fries have aioli sauce. To witness pretension on a grand scale, don’t miss an Ivy drive-by. Tucked behind a white picket fence on uber-trendy N Robertson Blvd, the Ivy still holds court as Queen Bee for see-and-be-seen weekday lunches. Scan the patio for A-listers if camera-toting paparazzi crowd the sidewalk. Neighboring boutiques Kitson, Curve and Lisa Kline sell tiny clothes from hot designers to the young, beautiful and moneyed. For designer-style duds at way cheaper prices, follow Robertson north to grittier Melrose Ave, wandering east to the trendy boutiques, denim shops and thrift stores.
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bro by LeBlanc, Adrian Nicole
“Mommy?” Nikki croaked. Mason rose and offered Coco his hand. “There are enough good men in Troy to keep you outta trouble. He’s gotta stay out.” The first thing Coco did when she got back to Corliss Park was drag the lawn chair to the sidewalk and dump it in the garbage. Then she marched straight to Family Dollar. Mercedes wheeled Pearl’s oxygen. Coco bought several packages of decorative white picket-fence pieces, trooped back to Corliss Park, in no mood for nonsense, and shoved them in her lawn. She clamped a bouquet of plastic red and yellow flowers to one of the ankle-high picket-fence posts and waited for Frankie to come home, so she could tell him that he had to go. Frankie didn’t last in the Bronx. He later confided to Coco that he had felt displaced at his mother’s house. His younger brother had claimed his old bedroom.
New York by Edward Rutherfurd
Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, illegal immigration, margin call, millennium bug, out of africa, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rent control, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, urban renewal, white picket fence, Y2K, young professional
She’d only walked a short way along the sand, however, when reaching into her bag, she realized that she’d left her pencils up in the room, so she had to go back. Arriving at the inn, she didn’t see Gretchen and Theodore, so she supposed Gretchen might have gone up to their room. But the room was empty, so she collected her pencils and went out again. She was just setting off along the path when she saw them. They were a little way off, standing together at the end of the inn’s white picket fence, under the shade of a small tree. They didn’t see her, because they were too deep in their conversation, nor could she hear what they were saying, but you could see at once that they were having a quarrel. Gretchen’s normally placid face was screwed up in fury. Mary had never seen her looking like that before. Theodore was looking irritated and impatient. The only thing to do was hurry away and pretend she had not seen.
Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet
active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, large denomination, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, period drama, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce
The graves belong to the chiefs of Sangalla, descendants of the mythical divine being Tamborolangiq, who is believed to have introduced the caste system, death rituals and agricultural techniques into Torajan society. Take a kijang from Makale to Sangalla, get off about 1km after the turn-off to Suaya, and walk a short distance (less than a kilometre) through the rice fields to Tampangallo. Tentena 0458 / POP 12,000 This lakeside town of white picket fences and churches is a good place to break your bus journey north from Rantepao. Surrounded by clove-covered hills, it’s a peaceful and very easy-to-manage town. The price is right, service is good and the rooms are clean at Hotel Victori ( 21392; Jl Diponegoro 18; r from 140,000Rp; ). Only the higher-end rooms have air-con. This is a good spot to meet guides. Good meals are served. Buses make the run to Poso (20,000Rp, two to three hours) throughout the day.
Caribbean Islands by Lonely Planet
Bartolomé de las Casas, big-box store, British Empire, buttonwood tree, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, jitney, microcredit, offshore financial centre, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sustainable-tourism, urban planning, urban sprawl, white picket fence
There are several good surfing breaks on the south Atlantic shore, especially in winter. Try Rush Reef or the reef off Garbanzo Beach for some of the Bahamas’ best surfing. Rent boards for BS$30 per day at Sundried T’s ( 242-366-0616) , located beside the Government Dock. Sleeping & Eating Hope Town Harbour Lodge BOUTIQUE HOTEL $$ ( 242-366-0095; www.hopeownlodge.com; Queen’s Hwy; r & cottages BS$99-325; ) With her white-picket fence and frosting-blue balconies, this hilltop charm-cake will have you at hello, and palm-framed harbor views will keep you from saying goodbye. Rooms in the main house are smallish; bluff-top cottages more spacious. Everyone’s invited to chill by the tiled freshwater pool (nonguests just need to buy some food at the outdoor grill ) or dine at the adjacent white-tablecloth restaurant . Abaco Inn HOTEL $$ ( 242-366-0133; www.abacoinn.net; Queen’s Hwy; r BS$160; ) Talk about location!