The Ransom Gillis House and the White Riots of 1943

After several derelict decades, the famed Ransom Gillis house is once again making headlines. Built in 1876 by young architect George D. Mason, the Venetian Gothic brick mansion has become the fixation of pop culture as a shooting location for mega-comic crossover ‘Superman vs. Batman‘, as well as mega-remodeler Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s Rehab Addict. Numerous attempts at refurbishment have failed since… Continue reading The Ransom Gillis House and the White Riots of 1943

Shepard Fairey Issued Arrest Warrant, Detroit Pitches a Fit

You know it’s gotta be a slow day at the precinct when city police issue a felony arrest warrant for a world famous street artist who helped get the nation’s first black president elected. What’s that you say? It wasn’t a slow day at the precinct? You say 27 people were shot just over the… Continue reading Shepard Fairey Issued Arrest Warrant, Detroit Pitches a Fit

Is America’s Car Capital More Bike-Friendly than Its Bike Capital?

Long championed as the cycling capital of North America, Portland (the Oregon one), has guided other cities striving to cultivate an active and educated populace yearning for two-wheeled mobility. So many words have been written about Portland’s bike culture that a mass influx of new residents has spurred soaring housing costs. This new generation shunning the suburbs is now finding… Continue reading Is America’s Car Capital More Bike-Friendly than Its Bike Capital?

A Hellscape Among the Ruins: Zug Island

Most rust-belt cities are rebranding themselves with all sorts of green/sustainable accolades lately. Modest accomplishment is trumpeted with loud fanfare. Amid this greenwashing, city councils jubilantly downplay the harm remaining heavy industries cause. Usually, they pretend they don’t exist, or that JOBS are more important so go back to bed, pollution isn’t that bad. This deception proves effective:… Continue reading A Hellscape Among the Ruins: Zug Island

Slow Rolling In the Motor City: PHOTO ESSAY

On a recent visit to my home state of Michigan, I was lucky enough to be able to check out Detroit’s ‘Slow Roll‘ mass ride. Started five years ago by two friends, Slow Roll has turned into a thousands-strong spectacle that takes over Motown streets for 30 weeks out of the year, with the city’s blessing.… Continue reading Slow Rolling In the Motor City: PHOTO ESSAY

Smart Growth Is Killing Us, Bring On the Smart Decline

We’ve been in ecological debt for over a century. We’re exponentially increasing the human population while per capita consumption of the Earth’s resources also rises. Biodiversity is in free-fall as habitats are destroyed and wildlife is being hunted to extinction. The powers that be and their PR firms know all this. They’ve focused on changing a… Continue reading Smart Growth Is Killing Us, Bring On the Smart Decline

A Birds-Eye View of How Auto-Addiction Mutilated Urban Neighborhoods

Lately there’s been a flurry of bike/ped/urbanist social media comparing old aerial photos of cities against those same vantage points today. The difference is alarming. Where once compact, connected neighborhoods comprised most of the city space now reside deep freeway scars, endless seas of parking lots, and barren blocks. Be glad the ‘now‘ shots are… Continue reading A Birds-Eye View of How Auto-Addiction Mutilated Urban Neighborhoods