Richard Bellman died this month. He worked on several important zoning cases, including Mount Laurel II, in New Jersey, and the federal Huntington case, which came out of New York. Both suits were fundamental to beginning a legal conversation about the nexus between Euclidean zoning and its external effects on social patterns. An obit for Bellman was recently printed in the Times.
Work has kept me away from Legal Towns for the last month, but I thought I’d post this link to a funny article by the artist David Kramer about the perils and pluses of smoking. I wonder how much of the fall of Western civilization will ultimately be attributed to the anti-smoking movement. I quit about seven years ago, myself. I haven’t missed nicotine in years, but sometimes, in an anxious moment, I still miss the physical habit. I’ve also never been able to recover the prolific writing ability that I had as a smoker (when I could sit down and write–creatively, productively–for four or five hours). Sadly, iced coffee is my daily vice now.
Americans really are driving less, and New Jersey residents are riding the train more often. This trend is good news for proponents and developers of more compact, traditional towns and neighborhoods– and for proponents of design priorities that don’t assume everyone is flying past at 45 m.p.h.
As for April Fool’s Day, Google Maps has it down.