The Need for Small Cities
Recently, a documentary which I co-created was an official selection at the Albany Film Festival, and I traveled to New York’s state capital to represent the film and partake in a refreshing change of scene. My time in the Capital District, that is, the Albany metropolitan area, followed the cliched pattern of a New York…
Providence: Walking with H. P. Lovecraft
A research trip to Providence, Rhode Island allows this biographer to immerse himself in the the world of his subject — weird fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft
Trees and Traditions
An article on fig trees spurs a reflection on forgotten gardens and how they might change our experience of urban history.
Walking: A Re-Discovered Joy
Last week, I walked to the Village neighborhood in downtown Jersey City for the first time since the pandemic began in March. Although this slice of the city is only a twenty- or thirty-minute stroll from my home, I felt as if I was embarking upon a great quest or journey. During the past five…
A Pencil Shop on Orchard Street
While walking through the Lower East Side in Manhattan on a recent Saturday afternoon, I happened upon CW Pencil Enterprise. The shop window read “Purveyors of Superior Graphite.” As a writer with very specific preferences in writing implements, I couldn’t resist.
Small Discoveries of Wonder
While sitting outside a tiny coffee shop in the Upper West Side in Manhattan on a recent afternoon, I looked across the street and noticed the architectural details of a seemingly nondescript building (ground floor business with several stories of apartments). The building’s artistic flourishes surprised and delighted me.
Gentrifier: A Book Review
A trio of academics attempt an engaging and instructive experiment with their recently published book, Gentrifier (University of Toronto Press, 2017). Through their own lives, John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill explore and challenge the ideas and parameters of gentrification. Although the suburbs are anything but dead, an increasing number of Americans…
A Wrinkle in the Narrative: Gentrification & Small Businesses
In a few weeks on October 3, 2017, my first book, Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street, will be published by Fordham University Press. To prepare for that and my accompanying book tour, I’ve been focusing on gentrification: reading about it, thinking about it, and talking about…
Gentrification & Change: My Jersey City Neighborhood
After decades of disinvestment and decline, American cities have become desirable places to work and live, especially for young adults in their 20s and 30s. Bloggers, journalists, and authors have documented this trend in cities, both large and small. Investment and development have followed this population movement into cities and anticipated its continuance. This has…