Defunctland on the ’64 World’s Fair

Defunctland: The History of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, YouTube

Defunctland, a YouTube channel that usually focusses on producing video essays about discontinued amusement park attractions, has been branching out a bit lately. Their latest video is about the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and the collaboration between New York city planner Robert Moses and Walt Disney.

Related: Defunctland’s video on the the invention of the Ferris Wheel, first showcased at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

At The Drive In

If you’re in Portland and you’re missing going to the movies, some good news! The Hollywood Theatre has set up a drive-in at the Portland Expo Center, screening classic films like The Thing, Raising Arizona, and Mad Max: Fury Road. Tickets went on sale this morning at $35 per car.

The NW Film Center has also set up a drive-in at Zidell Yards, which is also screening classic movies this month—although at the time of writing most screenings are already sold out.

Replacing the Burnside Bridge

Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Recommended Preferred Alternative, YouTube

Multnomah County has been continuing to share details on their replacement for the Burnside Bridge, with the latest concept images showing how pedestrians and cyclists might be physically separated from vehicular traffic.

Although the project is still a year away from the design phase—and construction likely won’t start until at least 2024—there will be regular calls for public comment and community feedback, including this survey that’s currently accepting comments on the choice of a long span bridge option. (via BikePortland)


My copy of Caste, Isabel Wilkerson’s new non-fiction tome on how racial discrimination and segregation shaped America, is due to be delivered tomorrow. I haven’t been this excited to read a book in a very long time.

Well, excited might not be the right word. Her last book, The Warmth of Other Suns—which tells the story of the mid-20th Century migration of over 6 million Black Americans from the South to other parts of the U.S. now referred to as the Great Migration—was beautifully written, extraordinarily well researched, and of course absolutely soul-wrenching.

The Warmth of Other Suns is a must read for any lover of dense non-fiction, as well as anyone interested in the intersection of urban planning and racial justice. I imagine the continuation of the story in Caste will compliment it well.

Related: Dwight Garner’s review in the New York Times this morning, which calls Caste “certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far”, and “one of the most powerful nonfiction books I’d ever encountered”. (via Kottke)

Sabotaging the USPS

Republicans have long had it out for the United States Postal Service, given their propensity to privatize vital public services, but now they have a new reason to double-down in the midst of a pandemic: impeding our ability to safely vote by mail.

Postal workers interviewed by Vice believe current Postmaster General (and, surprise surprise, major Tr*mp donor) Louis DeJoy is trying to intentionally disrupt USPS services “in order to sabotage the mail-in ballot system ahead of the November elections” and that he is “hellbent on privatizing the USPS”. Fantastic.

Related: many of the the iconic Grumman LLV mail trucks are in use well beyond their lifespan, and are now in such a state of disrepair that they’re beginning to catch on fire. Plans to upgrade and replace the fleet have been in the works since 2011, but a replacement vehicle has yet to be chosen.

Reimagining the Brooklyn Bridge

A design contest to reimagine the Brooklyn Bridge has published their finalists, many of which share a vision of phasing out car lanes, prioritizing public transit, and restoring the original pedestrian promenades.

The contest is no guarantee any of these projects will actually be built, but with New York finally making real progress to open up streets to more than just private vehicles, maybe the idea of turning the Brooklyn Bridge into a second High Line might not actually be such a wild idea.