Monday, January 20, 2014

James Howard Kunstler Tackles Chris Christie

I’ve written before about James Howard Kunstler.  He’s perhaps the nearest thing urbanism has to a rabid bulldog.  I usually agree with most of what Kunstler has to say, although I often cringe at how he expresses himself.   I prefer not to describe urbanism as “smart growth” for fear of appearing condescending to folks who haven’t yet seen the light.  I similarly worry that Kunstler runs the risk of unnecessarily radicalizing the advocates of sprawl.

With that said, I still acknowledge that a Kunstler rant can be great fun.  And the Chris Christie bridge scandal gave Kunstler a fine opportunity to become apoplectic.

I don’t agree with everything Kunstler writes about Christie or New Jersey, but I think Kunstler speaks a lot of truth, even if the volume level is higher than I would have set it.  Take a read and see what you think.

If I haven’t exhausted your willingness to read links, let me offer another one.  Rather than urbanism, this one is more about how a food craze grew out of a woman’s attempt to strengthen her hold on mental health.  But there are a couple of urbanism insights that caught my attention in a very fundamental way.  One has to do with building relationships with strangers on a street corner.  The other speaks to how to build community among the patrons of a coffee shop.  And both use coconuts.

If that sounds interesting, take a look at this story about the growing toast craze.

As always, your questions or comments will be appreciated.  Please comment below or email me.  And thanks for reading. - Dave Alden (

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