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Monday, October 26, 2020

Mark Hinshaw

Mark Hinshaw is a retired architect and city planner who lived in Seattle for more than 40 years. For 12 years he had a regular column on architecture for The Seattle Times and later was a frequent contributor to Crosscut. He now lives in a small hill town in Italy.

Amazon in Italy: A Clash of Culture?

People know that shopping locally helps their neighbors and their families. So shop they do, have friendly conversations, share latest news, and perhaps chat about an upcoming festival. Making purchases isn’t just a commercial transaction – an exchange of money for goods or services. Its about reaffirming your connections with other people.

Going Postal: Civic Lessons Offered Free

The Post Office is not only a great institution of democracy, it is a great leveler, a place where human interaction is polite and measured.

How Seattle Could Rescue Small Retail

The city government could buy up leases for empty storefronts and then market them at low rates to non-profits and small retail shops.

After the Virus: Rome without Tourists

I did not think it possible to go to Rome and not once hear English spoken. Yet, on a recent trip over...

Elsewhere: The Store-Fronted Home – Rediscovering an Old Idea

In my career as an architect, urban planner and urban designer I spent decades talking about the merits of mixing uses together . But now I see this through a new lens.

The Italian Model: How We’re Gathering Together As Lockdown Ends

I have been taken by how everyone in the village seems to still be enjoying the public spaces. They are just doing this while being mindful of the safety of others. This attitude of collective responsibility is what we most noticed when we first arrived.

A New Marker in Human History

What is really happening is that we have been given a rare chance to experience – live, in person – a change that used to happen once in every generation or two – a massive shift in living patterns, in technology, in social life. When there is a sudden and unexpected shift in human life -- whether personal or cultural – some people choose to reflect; others choose to re-invent themselves or the institutions around them.

Italian Diary: From the other side of the Curve

One can sense a collective sigh of relief that we may have beaten this awful thing.

Italian Diary: Flattened by the Curve

I can still see the beloved village pharmacist in his long white coat and with his flamboyant mustache, smiling broadly, and waving to passersby. But Patrizio was a victim of coronavirus.

Italian Diary: A Slowdown In New Cases

The effects of Covid-19 creeps closer even as the rate of new cases is declining.

Latest Post Alley Posts

A BC Snap Election Gives Government a Reinforced Majority

The pandemic has been well managed, textbook-style. Even so, the pandemic has hit hard, notably cratering the province’s tourism industry from cruise ships to wine tourism in the south Okanagan.

Seattle Leads in getting Denser. Is the rest of the Country Following?

Since passage of the Growth Management Act (GMA) in 1990 the state and region have been in the forefront of what came to be know as the Smart Growth movement that sought to shift growth patterns away from the dominant post-World War II model. If we have been leaders, do we have any followers?

Yes, I Speak Car Repair: My R2-D2 Strut Bracings Are Shot?

The trick is to run out the clock by asking a lot of seemingly-dumb questions until, exhausted, the scammers are ready for a low-ball offer.

Three WA Congressional Races that Explain Current Washington Politics

The “Berniecrat” wing of the Democratic Party misfired this year with scattershot challengers to Reps. Kilmer and Rick Larsen, candidates who cheered on the Capitol Hill occupied zone in Seattle. Rep. Adam Smith, in the 9th District, blew away left opponents in 2016 and 2018. Running in the 10th, Beth Doglio is the most credible hope of the “blue-green” left of labor and environmental activists.

A Dog’s Take on The Lewis & Clark and on that Black Dog Depression

The book is narrated by Meriwether Lewis’ dog, Seaman, a Newfoundland. As such it is a great introduction to this important chapter in American history. And there really was a “Seaman.”