My couch is

in New Mexico. Well it was at 9.30 last night. I’ve needed a new couch upstairs forever. An acquaintance of mine gave me the one that’s there now, years ago. It wasn’t anything I wanted. It was his mother’s and he didn’t want it to go in the landfill, so I took it. It’s all busted down at the back now, so it has to go. The vendor that I bought the new one from is located in New Jersey, but the couch was in California. I did not know this until I got the tracking info on Monday. It’s currently 1985 miles away and they say it will be here tomorrow. I’m doubtful. The only other couch in this place was made by Ethan Allen, and I bought it at a yard sale from some very nice men down the street. This couch probably cost in the region of three thousand dollars, and they sold it to me for a fraction of the price. They even delivered a missing cushion days later, because they couldn’t find it at the time. It bugs me to this day that I didn’t get to thank them because I wasn’t there when they dropped it off. Lovely people.

Franco Cozzo is jealous

It’s a beautiful piece of furniture, and probably much better than the one I’m waiting for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s couch will do the job, but the room is up two flights of stairs, and so it needs to be something that can be assembled when it gets up there. Maybe I’ll post a picture when it’s in place. I could even make a Youtube video of the unboxing and assembly. I know there isn’t one, because I’ve looked. I know this is all very fascinating, but after a couple of days of political talk, I’m inclined to talk about mundane things today. That may not last long. It did occur to me a while ago that the whole Israel/Hamas war is really just Urban Renewal disguised as an actual conflict. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, because I’m not there, but I don’t think Israel is going to stop “driving Hamas out” until the entire Gaza strip is rendered uninhabitable. As long as there are Israeli hostages, this is going to continue. I’m almost certain of it. We’re talking about prime seaside property here after all.

“Urban Renewal” in Gaza

Urban renewal is a western concept which goes back to the late 1900’s and involves the clearing out of blighted areas in inner cities to remove slums and create opportunities for higher class housing, businesses, and other developments. “Urban renewal is a process where privately owned properties within a designated renewal area are purchased or taken by eminent domain by a municipal redevelopment authority, razed and then reconveyed to selected developers who devote them to other uses.” ( wikipedia)

The town that I have lived in here for the past ten years was subjected to Urban Renewal in the 70’s. A formerly magnificent riverside city which it is now mockery of it’s former self, and hobbles along like a roadside bomb victim. Almost the entire waterfront precinct was demolished to make way for…. nobody is really sure. The overlooking area behind that is now grass paddocks framed on the ridge by bland, unimaginative “affordable housing”. Low income people can enjoy living in substandard housing with million dollar views. Beautiful 19th century buildings were demolished and robbed of their architectural treasures by greedy developers. They replaced them with nothing of value. It’s an ongoing different kind of blight that keeps on giving.

Who needs historic buildings anyway?

Wikipedia sums it up perfectly,

Urban renewal is a widely discussed and controversial program. It has been seen by proponents as an economic engine and a reform mechanism, and by critics as a mechanism for control.

Poorly conceived designs can lead to the destruction of functional neighborhoods and the creation of new ones which are less desirable. Areas are often cleared in order to construct highways, which bring pollution and heavy vehicle traffic to surrounding neighborhoods, or replaced with experimental new development patterns which prove undesirable or not economically sustainable.

“In many US cities, especially those in the Rust Belt, huge areas of productive buildings were demolished to enable speculative future development which never materialized. Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Niagara Falls, among many others, cleared entire neighborhoods under urban renewal plans only to have the cleared areas end up as surface parking lots, sparse industrial uses, and vacant land.”

That’s progress for ya.