Home Sweet Ted

19 10 2013

Houston

Libkooks post Ted Cruz’s home address thinking they could storm the premises just like the Razatards did Kris Kobach earlier this year.

Just one problem.

Cruz’s home address:

109_4

This would be The Royalton, just a tad west of downtown Houston.  If the unit number given is the one he lives in, (and for security purposes, he might officially be giving out the wrong one), and if unit numbers in this building are indicative of the floor they can be found on, he lives on the 19th floor of this 33-floor building.  Cheapest buy ATM is $455K, cheapest lease is $2,800.

Good luck getting past ground floor security, libkooks.

What’s curious to me is that a conservative Republican politician who is elected to a statewide office and therefore can live anywhere in the state lives in an urban condo.  I knew he lived in Houston, so I would have figured him for a large house on a cul-de-sac in The Woodlands or somewhere in Houston’s outer suburbs or exurbs.

Is this indicative of a cultural change, that conservative Republicans want to live in cities?

I know where I would be living right now if money was no object and the current owner had no objection.





White Kiddie Deserts

3 08 2013

Joel Kotkin writes about the lack of (white) children in many major core cities in City Journal.  It ends this way:

What families need is more affordable urban neighborhoods with decent schools, safe streets, adequate parks—and more housing space. As New York University’s Shlomo Angel points out, virtually all major cities worldwide are growing outward more than inward—and becoming less dense in the process—because density drives families away from urban cores and toward less dense peripheries. The lesson is clear: if cities want families, they should promote a mixture of density options.

The solution is not to wage war on suburbia, as urbanists have been doing for years. Following the notions that Jane Jacobs advanced a half-century ago, contemporary urbanists argue that high density creates a stronger sense of community. (Jacobs once opined that raising children in the suburbs had to be difficult, somehow overlooking how families were flocking to those suburbs.) But that contention isn’t self-evident. The University of California’s Jan Breuckner and Ann Largey conducted 15,000 interviews across the country and found that for every 10 percent drop in population density, the likelihood of someone’s talking to his neighbor once a week went up 10 percent, regardless of race, income, education, marital status, or age.

In California, particularly, state and local officials push policies that favor the development of apartments over single-family houses and town houses. But by trying to cram people into higher-density space, planners inadvertently help push up prices for the existing stock of family-friendly homes. Such policies have already been practiced for decades in the United Kingdom, making even provincial cities increasingly unaffordable, as British social commentator James Heartfield notes. London itself is among the least affordable cities in the world. Even middle-class residents have been known to live in garages, converted bathrooms, and garden sheds.

A city that continues to be high-density and high-cost hasn’t necessarily signed its own death warrant. Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn, and much of San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and other amenity-rich cities—what Tulane University geographer Richard Campanella calls “kiddie deserts”—continue to flourish. But other cities, such as Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo, can’t attract the same interest from young hipsters and the rich and are consequently less capable of withstanding the effects of family flight to the suburbs. Even in the most affluent cities, the dearth of families reinforces public policies incompatible with children, argues the Austrian demographer Wolfgang Lutz. For example, fewer middle-class families means less political pressure to reform education or support for tougher law enforcement.

Ultimately, everything boils down to what purpose a city should serve. History has shown that rapid declines in childbearing—whether in ancient Rome, seventeenth-century Venice, or modern-day Tokyo—correlate with an erosion of cultural and economic vitality. The post-family city appeals only to a certain segment of the population, one that, however affluent, cannot ensure a prosperous future on its own. If cities want to nurture the next generation of urbanites and keep more of their younger adults, they will have to find a way to welcome back families, which have sustained cities for millennia and given the urban experience much of its humanity.

For some people, this is a feature, not a bug.





Where There Is Madness

30 07 2013

San Francisco

There is usually a method.

Stanley Kurtz does a long follow up in NRO about his book of last year about Obama’s war on suburban whitopias.

Let’s pick it up in about the middle:

In the face of heated public protest, on July 18, two local agencies in metropolitan San Francisco approved “Plan Bay Area,” a region-wide blueprint designed to control development in the nine-county, 101-town region around San Francisco for the next 30 years. The creation of a region-wide development plan–although it flies in the face of America’s core democratic commitment to local control–is mandated by California’s SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. The ostensible purpose of this law is to combat global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. That is supposedly why California’s legislature empowered regional planning commissions to override local governments and press development away from suburbs into densely-packed urban areas. In fact, the reduction of greenhouse gases (which Plan Bay Area does little to secure) largely serves as a pretext for undercutting the political and economic independence of California suburbs.

Essentially, Plan Bay Area attempts to block the development of any new suburbs, forcing all population growth over the next three decades into the existing “urban footprint” of the region. The plan presses 70-80 percent of all new housing and 66 percent of all business expansion into 150 or so “priority development areas” (PDAs), select neighborhoods near subway stations and other public transportation facilities. This scheme will turn up to a quarter of the region’s existing neighborhoods–many now dotted with San Francisco’s famously picturesque, Victorian-style single-family homes–into mini-Manhattans jammed with high-rises and tiny apartments. The densest PDAs will be many times denser than Manhattan. (See the powerful ten-minute audio-visual assault on Plan Bay Area at the 45-55 minute mark of this debate.)

In effect, by preventing the development of new suburbs, and reducing traditional single-family home development in existing suburbs, Plan Bay Area will squeeze 30 years worth of in-migrating population into a few small urban enclaves, and force most new businesses into the same tight quarters. The result will be a steep increase in the Bay Area’s already out-of-control housing prices. This will hit the poor and middle class the hardest. While some poor and minority families will receive tiny subsidized apartments in the high-rise PDAs, many others will find themselves displaced by the new development, or priced out of the local housing market altogether.

A regional plan that blocks traditional suburban development, densifies cities, and urbanizes suburbs on this scale is virtually unprecedented. That’s why the Obama administration awarded the agencies behind Plan Bay Area its second-highest “Sustainable Communities Grant” in 2012. Indeed, the terms of the administration’s grant reinforce the pressure for density. The official rationale behind the federal award is “encouraging connections” between jobs, housing, and transportation.

That sounds like a directive to locate new residents–poor and minorities included–in existing prosperous communities. In fact, HUD’s new emphasis on “connecting” jobs housing and transportation does more. In practice, bland bureaucratic language about blending jobs, housing, and transportation pressures localities to create Manhattan-style “priority development areas.” The San Francisco case reveals the administration’s broader intentions. Soon HUD and other agencies will begin to press localities directly, rather than through the medium of California’s new regionalist scheme. Replicating Plan Bay Area nationwide is the Obama administration’s goal.

The Enactment of Plan Bay Area was wildly controversial among those who managed to learn about it, yet went largely unnoticed in the region as a whole. One of the chief complaints of the plan’s opponents was the relative lack of publicity accorded a decision with such transformative implications. Critics called for a public vote, and complained that the bureaucrats in charge hadn’t been elected.

Another theme of critics was that “the fix” seemed to be in from the start. Input was largely ignored, opponents claimed, and public forums offered only the illusion of consultation. Although it’s gone largely unreported, that accusation is far truer than even the opponents of Plan Bay Area realize.

Kurtz is a bit off base here.  This has nothing to do with diversifying the Bay Area.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  What “Plan Bay Area” will accomplish (by design, IMHO) is to make the world safe for liberal white-Asian SWPLs and YAY BLUE TEAM.  This plan directly combats the two biggest threats to SWPLs, one political one criminal.  The political threat it eliminates is that as housing gets more expensive, the less likely it will be that white people can engage in affordable family formation, and the fewer white traditional nuclear families the Bay Area will have, therefore the fewer Republican votes will be found in Bay Area ballot boxes.  The criminal threat it eliminates is that as housing gets more expensive, the less the black-Hispanic undertow can afford to live there, and since they’re not there, crime will largely be absent.  Bay Area SWPLs don’t need the black-Hispanic undertows to help Democrats win elections, because the SWPLs so dominate the political scene of the Bay Area that Democrats win everything anyway, and like I just said, they’ve driven out traditional nuclear white families (aka Republicans) for the expensive housing they promote.  It also eliminates a potential future political threat to SWPLs by keeping the Patterson’s First Axiom kind of diversity (blacks and Hispanics) out of the Bay Area.  If nothing drives people away from racial egalitarianism like a good dose of blacks and Hispanics, but there are no blacks or Hispanics around, people will never be driven away from racial egalitarianism and therefore never sour on Democrats.





A Lesson In Urbanism

25 10 2012

Philadelphia

Roadgeek vid that involves mostly Downtown Philadelphia for the first half.

You’ll notice on the corner of Market and 9th, about 2:01 into the video, that there’s a K-Mart in one of the Downtown buildings.  Which proves you can have big box retail presences without big box suburban developments.  That’s what a city should look like.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia is also anti-white hate central.

I find this person’s use of “One on One” by Hall and Oates for the street part of this video to be a little ironic.  The reason is that it passes Broad Street, and the Philadelphia Flyers were once known as the Broad Street Bullies (I guess because the old Spectrum arena was along Broad Street).  St. Louisans think of the Blues when we hear any Hall and Oates song, because their songs were used a lot at the Old Barn when both Brett Hull and Adam Oates were on the Blues, making the word play off of “Hull and Oates.”  That “One on One” has a lot of sports insinuations only makes the irony more delicious.





The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

29 05 2012

The red envelope company now has it for online streaming.

The urban core of St. Louis has always been lauded for the age and grace of some of its residential and public architecture.  I can assure you that the P-Is were never an example.  What the P-Is replaced, if left alone and properly maintained, were an example.

Myth does its best to spew the PC bullshitese, but it makes it plainly easy to read between the lines.





Here We Blow Again

22 05 2012

As usual, IBIWISI.

And again as usual, you will never see it.

Something needs to go in that space, though.





Liberals Heart and Hate Liberalism

21 02 2011

Vancouver the world’s most livable city.  That is, if you trust their methodology, which relies on a bunch of dorky liberal shit.

Before you emigrate, be warned.  From an AR comment about a year ago coinciding with the Winter Olympics:

Who wants to live in Vancouver anyway? Traffic is nightmarish, taxes are high, housing is outrageous, they have a drug problem on Vancouver’s East End that would put some our cities to shame, its the epitome of nanny statism, its possibly one of the dreariest cities in the winter or when it rains and oh yeah, it’s in Canada. Canada is peaceful, prosperous, safe and BORING!

Surprisingly, the best American city, and the 29th overall, is Pittsburgh.  Now, liberal excuseologists like to explain Detroit with “deindustrialization.”  It’s true Detroit’s manufacturing base has been devastated, and it’s true that it has badly hurt the city and the metropolitan area.  But Pittsburgh has suffered deindustrialization as well, because the American steel industry is a shell of its former self.  And while that has hurt Pittsburgh, it’s not out and outright dysfunctional like Detroit.  There might be old and abandoned buildings in Pittsburgh that need to be razed, but at least nobody of legitimate consequence is talking about contracting the Pittsburgh city limits and reverting land to agricultural use.  And for what it’s worth, Pittsburgh has got enough going for it in the way of progressive dorkiness to satisfy the Economist Intelligence Unit.  That and Pittsburgh is still majority white.

Not surprisingly, the world’s worst city is Harare, Zimbabwe.  But you can’t say that Harare is suffering from a lack of liberalism, because liberals got exactly what they wanted in Harare and Zimbabwe in 1980.








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