Thursday, April 26, 2007 -- Gentrification Makes Neighborhood Bloggers Louder

Via Boing Boing, I discovered this neat service,

The project manager, Stephen Berlin Johnson had this to say about the research from the goings on:

Since we've been tracking local blog posts by neighborhood for six months now, we figured it was about time we figured out exactly what the US's bloggiest neighborhoods were, given that this is the question every sensible person has been trying to find an answer to for years now.

What's interesting about the list we compiled is that it turns out placebloggers tend to thrive in gentrifying communities -- half of our nabes in the top ten were in the middle of some form of gentrification. makes sense, but it wasn't something we went into the project expecting to find.

I suppose that as myself, I am not surprised. My neighborhood of choice is Mill Avenue, and Mill is suffering from a very powerful case of gentrification. It's like a disease that wracks a body—the immune system rushes to the aid, but discovers no enemies to fight, just strange, new growth. A cancer. And so some of the elements, in this case the citizenry, fall to squinting into the sun and going through the motions.

With things that are familiar vanishing under the treads of bulldozers people begin with the light touches: they start talking about what it used to be like—how they wish it still was.

Today Vex on Mill Avenue Vexations brought up a lot of this stuff, observations of the old, the execrations into the new.

It's like Walt Richardson said, "There's a lot of changes, down on Mill Avenue." Oh, but those times are done changing.

For good or bad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Great White North

Once again, I have returned to Michigan and, although on my arrival the weather notwithstanding, it is actually extremely green here and not white. The beginning of April seemed to haven’t quite released itself form the clutches of the Snow Queen and I have some interesting photographs of flurries and a very light wannabe blizzard caught in an MPEG. Unfortunately, these things will be remaining on my hard drive for the time being.

The not-so-humble of Ann Arbor is brimming with activity these days, enough that it was next to impossible to find a parking space this last Sunday to go to Borders and buy a bunch of books to read. In doing so I picked up a series of totally random titles from the shelves along with a few that I actually want to read—such as titles by William Gibson that I haven’t gotten into yet and sadly the next in The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind (yes, it’s crack.)

It’s taken me almost two weeks now to totally settle in and recover from the airplane trip and the dramatic change in climate. My fingers are eternally cold now; a distinct and strange change from living in Arizona. Although, truth be told, since it was winter in Phoenix the temperature has changed little between there and here at the moment.

I look forward to this summer because it means I’ll have a lot more time to spend working on Vexations. Expect at least six new novelettes coming out. Covers are already in commission and things are looking up.

More news later.