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» How the City Affects Your Psyche: Best #Cityreads of the Week

Can Free College Save American Cities? 

"Kalamazoo’s spirits—much like its population—had been in precipitous decline. From 1970 to 2007, the city’s population shrank 20 percent to just over 70,000. The sad, slow leak of manufacturing jobs had caused a sad, slow leak of the middle class. Poverty was nearly twice the national average. Within some pockets of city, the problems were startling: in Northside, a predominantly black neighborhood, the poverty rate was 37 percent—worse than even basket-case Detroit, two hours to the east …

The idea was one part radical social engineering: How better to change the life trajectory of the city’s struggling urban poor than to send them to college? As economists have long known, the biggest single predictor of financial success in modern America is a college degree… Increasingly, those with no higher education are the ones left behind. But the Kalamazoo Promise wasn’t just a big idea about the new economics of education; the hope wasn’t just to send more kids to college – but to turn around an entire town.”

read more: Politico Magazine, 04.2014.

Laura Solís 
Title / Occupation: Outreach Coordinator for WE Bike NYC Location: Bronx, NYC Bike(s): Ernie Jr. III a Fuji Feather; The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) a Specialized Vita Sport; and Iron Pony a foldable Peugeot as old as some grandmas
What tips would you share with someone looking to start biking?Ride like a hippo. When I ride I think of myself as a hippo, large, domineering and graceful. If I need to take a lane, I do. If you honk at me, I say thank you, it means they see me. That might not be the message they were trying to send, but I’ll take it. 
How has your style changed since you started biking? The only thing I have not been successful in wearing on a bike is a pencil skirt. Aside from that my style hasn’t really changed. I wear whatever is comfortable and I think looks good. My hair on the other hand, used to be styled much larger than it is now. The day I find an afro-accommodating helmet, will be a great day. 
read the interview: herbikestyle, 24.10.13.


Downtown Los Angeles, 70 years ago: This is the intersection of Broadway and 7th as it looked in 1943.
Photo: UCLA Library / Los Angeles Times

PSA: L.A. Times Past is our Tumblr for vintage photography, news coverage, advertising and more from The Times’ 132-year history (also on Twitter @latimespast).
» Google bus blocked by dancing protesters in S.F. Mission District

Protesters chose Tuesday because the Board of Supervisors is set to vote in the afternoon on an environmental appeal against a Municipal Transportation Agency pilot program that would allow private shuttle buses to use Muni stops for a fee.

“The first bus protest led to a public conversation that needed to be had,” said Amanda Ream, who helped organize the protest. “Muni’s in crisis, in debt. We want to see an effort to protect economic diversity in San Francisco, and that means a well-funded Muni.”

Protesters handed out fake bus passes for “GMuni” and encouraged passersby to use them to board the Google Bus. Robert Irminger, 54, tried to step on but was told not to by the bus’s driver. Irminger said the driver also pushed him off the bus. San Francisco police cleared the protest, which began at 9 a.m., after about 15 minutes.

The vote will take place during the Board of Supervisors meeting, which begins Tuesday at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

sfgate, 01.04.14.

started classes again.
third quarter of grad school and i finally get to take a class i want to take—Downtown Revitalization! (also, Urbanization and Planning in the Global South).
this schedule sucks ass, though. hella lame that professors can’t/won’t take a couple hours out of one workday in a week to teach students.
maybe I’ll apply for an internship to make the best out of this? or too much work..
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