Greatest Hits

These are stories of mine that have had some impact, or that I happen to like a lot. They range in subjects from European suburban sprawl, to New Urbanism, to romance novels, to growths on the bottom of my feet.

Note: I have not updated this part of my website in quite a few years, so many of these articles are old.

Eurosprawl article This article, written off a German-Marshall Fund journalism fellowship in 1994, contained the seeds that would lead to my break with the New Urbanists and my emphasis on transportation systems as the builder of places.

The future of menial jobs This article tries to show that economies are politically-constructed things, and that we have choices about how to build them.

A More Benevolent Sprawl This book review of Speck’s, Duany’s and Plater-Zyberk’s “Suburban Nation” sums up my objections to their brand of New Urbanism

Suburbs in Disguise This 1996 Metropolis article was one of the first articles to critically examine New Urbanism and show its flaws based not on style, but on not being able to achieve its own declared goals.

The Quiet Integration of Suburbia. This was a great story that developed from me simply walking around Kempsville, a suburb in Virginia Beach, and being surprised at how integrated they were. Turned out it was a national trend, that the suburbs were integrating while center city neighborhood remained racial enclaves. Published July 25, 1993

When the New Urbanism meets an Old Neighborhood This pair of Metropolis articles shows architect Andres Duany in a particularly cynical endeavor: helping clear away an old, dense beach-front neighborhood in my hometown of Norfolk, Va., to construct a less-dense but richer “New Urban” neighborhood

The Demolition Man This article goes with the one above.

It’s time to Reregulate the Airlines This sums up my and others arguments about why imposing the free market on air travel has not and will not work

Romance Novels Read like Female Porn Some thoughts on romance novels.

Amtrak Prez David Gunn Speaks His Mind This interview, performed and written before Gunn was fired as president of Amtrak, sums up his philosophy of running a railroad, which sounds pretty good to me. What I particularly liked about Gunn’s vision is that it focused on the basics, and recognized the dangers that having too big a vision can entail. In a way, Gunn is the anti Daniel Burnham, whose “make no little plans” motto have encouraged generations to Think Big.

Warts article It’s kind of humorous to include this here, but this essay about how I cured myself of warts using hot water and vitamins is one of my most requested articles. Just goes to show you that you don’t need to be a deep thinker to change the world.