Cities

A Whole Foods Grows In Detroit

Not everyone has the luxury about worrying about the comfort of chickens.

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My First Love Was a City: Victoria, British Columbia

I still won’t say I’m over Victoria. Like all first loves, Victoria will always know how to hurt me. When I went back to the West Coast this summer for vacation, I stayed with friends in Vancouver and purposefully avoided it. I still miss the trees and my friends and the life I had there. But I am becoming happy here. I have moved on from just making the best of things. Like the protagonists of a thousand books and films and ballads, I have grieved and I learned to love again.

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Renting in a Megacity Is a New Lifestyle Phase

Now that millions of more Americans routinely attend college, we’ve realized we can recreate some of the best parts of it and keep them going indefinitely. Why not?

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House Hunters International, Billfold Edition: East London, Vol 1

We want to buy in a “cool” area of one of the most expensive cities in the world. The latter fact has affected our ability to save. Plus, we’re both freelancers and banks really seem to hate that.

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Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

You might call a man you don’t know “chief,” but when that man is a judge and you are the defendant, you should probably go with “Your Honor.”

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Welcome to Kingston. Now Leave

Over the course of the past year, at Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan book events for the two essay anthologies I’ve edited about loving and leaving New York City, a good number of people have approached me with the same question: “Should I move to Kingston too?”

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Is There a Class Component to Catcalls

By now you’ve surely read about, if not watched, the Hollaback video footage of a normal, 30-something woman walking around NYC for ten hours getting catcalled by men. The unwanted attention is astounding, despite the fact that she’s dressed in regular clothes and neither speaking nor smiling.

It brings back all sorts of memories for me, especially one awful pre-ear-bud summer when I was a self-conscious teenager working at a non-profit in DC. I got catcalled every day. All I wanted was to be invisible and instead guys shouted things out of their cars about how they wanted me to “Lewinsky” them, or walked by and said something savvy and sophisticated like, “Tits!”

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“Is There Anything More Ironic Than Coming to Live in Des Moines”

“Is this Heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.” –Field of Dreams

We’ve mentioned it here before on the site, so we’re not too surprised, but Des Moines is getting a lot of love these days. According to the National Journal, only half-jokingly, we should all be moving to Iowa, or at least visiting and considering it:

It was a normal night at the Social Club when we visited. The art gallery was open, just next to Capes Kafe coffee shop and comic-book store; upstairs, nine people in a comic-book drawing class watched an eccentric, gray-haired instructor in skinny black jeans and thick-rimmed glasses draw a cartoon about a retired Elvis impersonator named “Sid.” Out on the purposely graffitied porch with rope-spool tables, dozens of members of the local Young Nonprofit Professionals Network chapter met to network, drink, and take professional head shots.

Looking out over the courtyard marked by an old telephone tower and murals, Brianne Sanchez and Danny Heggen, both 29, describe the chapter they founded in 2013 for monthly coffee meetings. It has turned into a group of more than 550 members that successfully draws millennials downtown to connect and help each other out. It’s a quintessentially Midwestern mix of selflessness in a deep pool of ambition and drive.

“We always joke that Des Moines is a big small town,” says Heggen, a project manager for a firm that transforms old art deco buildings into new apartments. “But really, Des Moines is a large living room. There’s this homey feel. What I most want is everybody around me to be successful. And I believe that everyone wants that for me, as well.”

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A Brooklyn Poet Has Moved To Detroit, Will Die Eventually

Well, well, well. Remember the Detroit Write A House fellowship we talked about, wherein a Detroit organization gives you the deed to a house if you agree to um, live in Detroit and blog about it for two years? Well, according to The Michigan Daily, they’ve declared a winner. That winner is a poet from Brooklyn.

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Living Paycheck to Paycheck in Boston on $80,000 a Year

When I emigrated to the United States from England three years ago in an attempt to salvage my first marriage, I arrived with a duffel bag and less than $500 to my name. I moved into the basement of a house belonging to a married couple who attended my wife’s church. They didn’t charge me rent, but would later begrudgingly accept it when I insisted. 13 days after I arrived, I managed to secure a customer service job in a local print shop, a temp-to-perm position that paid a little more than minimum wage.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green, Except in Vermont Where It’s Mandatory

The largest city in Vermont is now powered entirely by green energy! The largest city in Vermont is under 50,000 people. Still, good news!

“We’re now in a position where we’re supplying Burlington residents with sources that are renewable,” said Ken Nolan, manager of power resources for Burlington Electric Department, earlier this month. “The prices are not tied to fossil fuels — they’re stable prices — and they provide us with the flexibility, from an environmental standpoint, to really react to any regulation or changes to environmental standards that come in the future.” … The Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont, also reached the 100 percent renewable milestone earlier this year. Both utilities acknowledge that when renewable sources aren’t readily available — if the wind isn’t blowing or water levels are low — they will purchase traditional fossil fuel-generated electricity. However, when the wind is strong and water levels are high more than enough electricity is generated and the surplus can be sold to other utilities. On average, they will be selling more than they buy.

Thanks to some kid with a clipboard who approached me when my defenses were down, my little family buys its electricity through Green Mountain Energy, which swears that the only power that comes to our apartment is clean, healthy, renewable energy from wind turbines. (Plenty of other providers out there, such as Arcadia, make the same promise.) Maybe our electricity is actually formed by the tiny hands of children, like the ones that enable the Snowpiercer engine, who knows, but we get to feel good about ourselves for no extra cost.

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