RVs, Large Objects, Little Boxes: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Don't look now! Manhattan's becoming a trailer park, a massive subterranean object is putting Seattle's new freeway on hold, and a documentary is being produced about one of the most famous city-ruiners of all time. It's all this week in What's Ruining Our Cities!

RVs are ruining the Upper West Side

Residents of the Upper West Side of Manhattan are worried about a sudden infestation of motor homes which are congregating on local streets. The complaints are that the RVs not only suck up parking spots but also generally degrade the character of the neighborhood. While some might only stay a night or two, others are more long-term, semi-permanent residents—like Rabbi Steve Blumberg, who lost his apartment and started living in an $8,000 RV he bought on eBay. Still, it creeps people out, says resident Gretchen Berger. "This may give rise to other people thinking that it's a cheap way to live on the Upper West Side, where the rents are high. Is Manhattan going to become a trailer park?" [New York Post]

Something (WE DON'T KNOW WHAT) is ruining Seattle's transportation plans

Bertha, the world's largest tunneling machine, has hit a roadblock while cranking out Seattle's newest freeway tunnel far below the city. "The object," as engineers are calling it, could be an Ice Age boulder or possibly a buried train engine. The city is investigating, which will require workers to stop tunneling and investigate "at atmospheric pressures similar to what a diver would experience." Whatever it is, it might be at least five stories tall—that's the size of Bertha. [Gizmodo]

"Little Boxes" ruined Daly City

A documentary is being made about Henry Doelger, the developer of the Westlake subdivision in Daly City, California, that was the inspiration for Malvina Reynolds' 1962 song, "Little Boxes," where the houses are made from "ticky tacky" and "they all look just the same." (You probably know it from the opening titles of Weeds.) Filmmakers Rob Keil and Monique Lombardelli argue that the modernist houses were actually well-made and hope to repair Doelger's legacy. Maybe they should write a new song. [S.F. Examiner]

RV on the streets of Manhattan by Chris Martino