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May 09, 2014


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A very colorful and amusing post there as we head into summer. That rare Ansel Adams photo is lovely. I think I'll swipe it and make it my wallpaper.

I'll admit to being one of those who liquidated some grass lawns in favor of rock, yet that rock is now mostly covered with bushes, ground cover and shaded by trees to mitigate that mistake.

Well Done,

U r being a curmudgoclast.

And put up a parking lot

Who is John Galt?

Thanks for reminding us what makes Phoenix more than just a miracle of crushed granite and stucco. It's that can-do spirit where people come together and then self-segregate according to income and status. The enchanting oases of Arcadia, Ahwatukee, and Troon are more than quaint villages close to ancient regional mercados. They are the Galt Gulches of a sturdy folk, forged by combat with liberal demons, birthed by mothers in log McMansions, and driven relentlessly to drive....relentlessly.


That was great. Cracked my stoneface.

An 8000 mile light rail?

Phoenix a city of boring rocks
How about a city that really rocks!

Sort of related: an article over at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Starts with:

“There is a great die-off under way, one that may justly be compared to the disappearance of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, or the sudden downfall of so many great mammals at the beginning of the Holocene. But how far can such a comparison really take us in assessing the present moment.”


Cal, Amsterdam is one of a kind but the thing that immediately jumped out at me reading that list was how Portland is striving to create a similar piece of heaven on Earth. Spring flower show? Check. I didn't know how gorgeous spring could be. Craft beer culture? One of the world's best, and probably the best in North America. Marijuana? Virtually legal now and definitely legal by next year. Human warmth? People here are astonishingly kind. Bicycles? 8% of all commutes are by bike, the highest in North America per capita. Bookstores and strip clubs! The most per capita of any city in America.

Amsterdam is one of the best places on the planet. It also points out why great cities are so much better than huge suburbs. What list of unique qualities could you make for Phoenix? The world's best parking lots? Ubiquitous chain fast-food? Canals that look like big ditches? Architectural glories like Metrocenter?

Great humor, Rogue, and what a surprise.

I am also really liking the sidebar link: http://grist.org/cities/these-incredible-sliding-images-turn-sprawlsville-u-s-a-into-an-urban-utopia/

The visuals of what ‘could be’ are inspiring. However, in some areas, I would forego the sidewalks (added cost) and allow dirt paths underfoot with two rows of trees. Especially in areas that are currently less developed.

Amsterdam?! A water and canal city, in comparison to Phoenix? Crazy talk. Why not get up to third or second world standards first?




AWinter, thanks for those links. The Dutch, I'm sure, are good planners but I suspect Phoenix is more "planned" than Amsterdam. There's a fixed and unforgiving template in the street grid, for one thing. There's also zoning that disallows many mixed uses. And then there's the modern economy that largely disconnects from the natural environment.

"Organic" urbanism is supposedly something that arose in the absence of urban planners, so the messy vitality of older cities stands in stark contrast to modern sterility. Some of this was meant to protect property values and keep out unwanted people and activities. It's worked astonishingly well in the same well formaldehyde protects corpses.

No one thinks of "master-planned communities" as worthy of much interest except real-estate professionals. New Urbanism is a lot more sensitive to the complexity of human activity and living arrangements, but as those DPZ slides show, it can't impose magic by fiat or even with money, which there isn't much of. We want charm, beauty, and mystery, true. But our real aim is to keep driving, so pleasant facades will have to do.

Amsterdam is a great place to decompress after an exciting time in Bangkok and SE Asia. The museum culture is great and the paintings in the Van Gogh museum really move after a stop for refreshments at a coffee shop. DC strip clubs are multi -cultural wonders.

I'm surprised cal didn't jump all over this, however, he has pointed this out countless times.

If you read "good news" by Ed abbey, you will discover the true ,inevitable future of Phoenix.

Ruben happy mothers day

Happy 400 ppm day, cal


Side note: several new comments added, here:


This is hilarious (current thread). Swiftian satire often succeeds where sober lectures pall...

Awinter there is hope inspired by Conchita Wurst.
"Rise like a Phoenix"

There is something about a city as flawed as Phoenix that I find very compelling, but of course I would never live there.

At this point I would prefer that a sizable asteroid was heading our way. We could at least party out. This is going to be slow and painful.

Antarctica Is Melting And There's No Way To Stop It.

Petro, I heard that Ted Cruz and Marc Rubio are building a Tea Party arc.
They are allowing 50 couples of white puritans aboard.

Jon, I have been busy trying to stay alive so I have not had time to get a photo to post here but I wanted to get a photo of green-less Sunnyslope 1950 to post here.
The houses I lived in, in the 50's had yards that were just "desert". A few mesquite bushes, no trees. One had to go to where the wealthy lived, down Central avenue south of the Arizona canal ( places like Willo) to see "grass." Today in the Superstitions I hung out with some cactus wrens, a bunch of finches, and a couple of Picoides.
And I put out some rabbit and javelina chow.
Por la cafe, manana son las dos y viente.

PETRO, I meant ARK not arc
but then ee cummings might disagree on the spelling

Sunnyslope was a desert town. The oasis of old Phoenix wasn't. The proliferation of gravel all over the old oasis is not doing anything but making the city ugly and hot. I want my desert pure, not profaned with houses.

Antarctica ice melt is just an opportunity for real estate investors and developers to cash in on new beachfront properties!

The gravel poachers just steal the mountains and turn them into DG. I always thought we would rather have the mountains. I know several subdivisions that were surprised when their nearby mountain was poached for gravel!

Funny! I had a supervisor years ago who used to call ARPA "Rock Growers" guess he wasn't so wrong after all.

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