The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on April 15, 2012

  • Great article about restaurants/ dining out in the US. The point about food trucks, so apposite to the question of costs of leasing a “real” restaurant, is thought-provoking.
    Corollary: The food truck is your friend.

    The ultimate low-rent venue is the food truck. The wide presence of food trucks in New York City, Austin, and Portland, Oregon, has greatly improved the food in those cities. No longer is street food a bad pretzel or fatty hot dog; food trucks offer diners authentic Mexican tacos, homemade sausages, dim sum, Vietnamese bánh mi (sandwiches), and hundreds of other delicacies. One of the most famous food trucks, Kogi, in Los Angeles (@kogibbq on Twitter, if you want to track it), specializes in Korean-Latin fusion food, such as its Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla, which mixes spicy, garlicky Korean cabbage with cheese in a flour tortilla.

    If we want to improve American food, and make it much cheaper, we should deregulate the food trucks and the other street vendors, provided they meet certain sanitation standards. Many cities have already moved down this path, and people are not keeling over with salmonella. The next food revolution in the United States is likely to be a mobile one, and it will be advertised on Google and Twitter, not through more traditional (and expensive) ads or commercials. That’s how the low-rent food of the future is going to work.

    tags: food restaurants food_carts rents

  • “State of the art integrated food production”: so cool!
    The Plant is a three-story aquaponic farm in Chicago’s Back of the Yards Park, a neighborhood that inspired Upton Sinclair’s critical look at the meat-packing industry (among other things) in The Jungle. But this story’s far from dystopian, as an exciting new project is transforming a former meat-packing plant into a producer of fresh produce and new businesses.

    tags: urban_agriculture aquaponics green_buildings chicago smartplanet

  • Intriguing. The abuse directed at Samantha Brick is quite an example of group-think, and a study of how bullying shapes up.
    What Samantha Brick does have that other women lack is confidence, a belief she is in fact attractive. There is nothing wrong with a woman who openly admits to the world that she thinks she’s attractive and is not afraid to flaunt it. But what has really ruffled feathers is that it seems to go against this tacit sisterhood code of modesty of “you’re not meant to say you’re good looking until another female friend says you are.”

    tags: bullying samantha_brick women self_esteem beauty socialmedia

  • Great interview. (I had no idea urbanists were supposed to ‘hate’ Joel Kotkin.)
    Meet Joel Kotkin, a guy who is reviled by smart growth advocates and new urbanists everywhere. Kotkin, an author and trend-watcher, is fond of dashing urban dreams with cold, hard numbers. Talk about the “triumph of the city,” and he’ll parade out a long line of Census figures that show that, sorry, the suburbs are still kicking demographic ass in this country.

    tags: joel_kotkin grist urbanism cities interview

    …sustainability is about more than new technologies. At its most basic, “sustainable” means enduring. A sustainable community is a place of enduring value. Doug Kelbaugh, the dean of the University of Michigan School of Architecture, put it this way, “If a building, a landscape or a city is not beautiful, it will not be loved; if it is not loved, it won’t be maintained and improved. In short, it won’t be sustained.”

    Distinctiveness involves streetscapes, architecture, and historic preservation but as Cortright points out, it also involves cultural events and facilities, restaurants and food, parks and open space and many other factors. “Keep Austin Weird” is more than a slogan; it is a recipe for economic success. A distinctive city is a city that the young and well-educated want to live in, that boomers want to retire to, and most certainly a city that people want to visit.
    I have mixed feelings reading this. Victoria BC fulfills some of these criteria, yet Victorians have let their downtown become ugly and empty (they have done everything BUT sustain it), and they neglected the historic preservation of a key piece of industrial archaeology, thereby failing to sustain it (the historic Johnson Street Bridge). Natural beauty is great (and Victoria has plenty of it), but natural beauty has to be enhanced by built beauty, and in that department, some cities fall down, badly. Meanwhile, there are other cities, with far fewer natural beauty resources, that manage to build up beautifully.

    tags: beauty sustainability endurance cities atlantic_cities uli tourism

  • Fabulous…
    In Moscow, it’s common for two buildings to have blind walls facing each other over a wide alley. This setup provides the perfect space for a lithe, little office to build itself a perch. The structure fuses onto the neighboring buildings with steel clamps, hovering off the ground so pedestrians can stroll under it. It also glows at night, thanks to a translucent plastic shell, looking like a wasps’ nest from hell.

    tags: architecture atlantic_cities russia

  • Hurrah for urban forests (even if the statistics here may turn out to need a grain of salt before taking…).
    Every tree in urban Tennessee provides an estimated $2.25 worth of measurable economic benefits every year. Might not seem like a lot, but with 284 million urban trees in the state, the payoff’s pretty big.

    tags: trees urban_forest atlantic_cities

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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