Houston struggles to save the Astrodome, London vows to make biking safer, L.A. sees light rail successes, and San Francisco mounts a shitty campaign for its sewers. It's Christmastime in the city for this week's urban reads.

  • The blind Vancouver artist Carmen Papalia leads "Blind Field Shuttle" walking tours through cities so residents can discover and appreciate landmarks of sound [KCRW]
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates encounters the real gangs on Chicago's streets: Law enforcement officials [The Atlantic]
  • Houston, we have a problem: Why the city can't save the Astrodome [Texas Monthly]
  • Washington D.C. might fight congestion by adding an "inner loop" to its Metro system [Washington Post]
  • Angelenos who live half a mile from the city's newest light rail line tripled their rail ridership and reduced their daily driving by 40 percent [Los Angeles Times]
  • After tragic deaths and massive protests, London plans to add a 60-mile network of bikeways to "de-Lycrafy" cycling [The Evening Standard]
  • A London photographer captured the sites of all 201 homicides in the city for an entire year [Atlantic Cities]
  • "The city's rhythms are different by bus. You move slower, but you take in more. There's time to think, to read. You step off a bus and breathe the scent of flowers or sizzling food on a grill. You see people whose country of origin is hard to guess and hear languages you can't identify." Steve Lopez's day in the life of a bus rider is also a powerful reminder that many transit riders are not doing so by choice [Los Angeles Times]
  • Living over a bakery, flower shop, locksmith, bank or a funeral parlor is a way of life for many city dwellers [New York Times]
  • "Your #2 is my #1." "No one deals with more crap than I do." San Francisco mounts a city wide potty humor campaign to get residents to support infrastructural improvements to the sewer system [Atlantic Cities]
  • From holograms to Legos: Seven of the world's most unusual alternative Christmas tree displays [Gizmodo]

Top photo by... yours truly! You can follow me on Instagram at @awalkerinLA and check out my holiday light series at #25daysofchristmaslights. Have a photo you'd like us to share? Tag it #gizmodocities and we'll be in touch if we want to post. Have a wonderful and restful holiday in whatever city in which you find yourself.