Posts Tagged ‘best place to live’

This is a map of the average daily time spent commuting to and from work here in San Luis Obispo County published by Trulia. SLO is in the center… San Miguel at the top… and Santa Maria is at the bottom.  Click on it to focus and enlarge it. (bright green is 5 minutes… darker red is 1 hour)   I’m not certain how accurate it is… I just like maps.


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Last week we had a new sidewalk poured out front of our house… and in it we spontaneously placed a little “love note”.  It almost didn’t happen though… as the concrete was setting pretty fast.    I expect this little gesture will last a few decades or more.    They city guys said it would be ok if we wanted to put our initials in the concrete…  but we thought this might be more fun.  Cynthia had a cookie cutter laying around… and I had the extra chain ring from bike I’d taken apart.  After this photo was taken we dyed the heart red…

What is it that gives a place charm?  Why are some cities memorable and others forgettable?   I think it has something to do with the tiniest of details.  This little art project would have never happened in a condominium development.  The CCandR’s would never allow it.  I would only happen in a place where the city officials and workers are allowed a bit of freedom to make a random decision.  The city guys in our case… made sure it was below the sidewalk such that folks won’t trip on it… and the bolts in it are sunk in about 4 inches… so it won’t come out.

I believe cities need policies written… to allow their workers to be creative like this every now and then.  To allow the citizens to make their own tiny little secret spontaneous art projects.  These things won’t happen if we involve the city leaders in every single one… that would only homogenize the end results.  It needs to be random… perhaps slightly controversial every now and then.

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This is an interesting map I just found on Zillow, via Tableau Software.  It shows the status of home selling in the USA.  Darker blue means houses are sitting longer and selling for less than asking… darker red means houses are selling faster and closer to asking price or over asking price.   Sure looks like there is a migration going on.  Is it just boomers retiring?  I don’t know.  All I can say is here they come… whoever they are.

real estate heat map

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“Walkable City” is a fantastic new book by Jeff Speck on creating great cities and overcoming dated planning ideas.  For anyone interested in making more pedestrian, bicycle and transit oriented spaces it is a must read.  It is also a must read for anyone interested in what it takes to make your city “feel” better… or making places a better place to live.  Jeff Speck was a co-author of “suburban Nation” a few years back… also a great book.  I recommend this book to city council’s, bike/ped advocates, and city planners.

For more info:  http://jeffspeck.com

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Well… I suppose it had to happen eventually.  That damn book on happiness has outed San Luis Obispo, California big time.  We were on Oprah a couple of days ago. Jenny McCarthy interviewed a bunch of people… and toured around the city and general environs….  talking in that kinda goofy odd “Crest toothpaste spokesmodel” way she has.

I know EVERY SINGLE person interviewed in this segment!   I suppose that it is these social connections that make you feel good about a place.  You can go anywhere and find a conversation almost anytime you like.

Of late I am starting to see more saccharine smiles on tourists around town… Very Stepford wifey.  Wandering around… looking up a lot… as though this were New York maybe… or perhaps like animals that have just been let of of the cage… in a kind of happiness stupor.

The wine and  cheeze places are no doubt doing bang up business… and it is hell to rent a bike I bet.  Oprah Effect they call it.

Here’s kind of a cool overview of SLO and the surrounding area  (a “tilt shift” video)… for some reason a shot of Morro Bay is the first image though!

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