Re: London

1

Relocated from Wandsworth to Surrey? There's blood on your invisible hands, ineluctable flow of capital!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 8:56 AM
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I understand how these people feel. I'm stuck in a house of only 1,500 square feet with no place to park a third car. It is near bus routes that provide frequent connections to the two largest job centers in the area, but I have to walk three blocks straight up a hill from the bus stop.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:36 AM
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I've always wanted a walk-in closet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:49 AM
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My parents had one. It was very nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:50 AM
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I always wanted more bars within walking distance of my house. They're going to add another one soon. I can't figure out what they are doing. It looks like they are trying to copy Wigle Whiskey's history-marketing and conflating Greenfield the Pittsburgh neighborhood with Greenfield township, very much east of the city. I can't tell for certain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:32 AM
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General Yins? I think you're being trolled.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:41 AM
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That is, there's no historical content beyond that the Whiskey Rebellion happened here. At least Whigle is trying (somewhat?) to approximate old-timey techniques.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:43 AM
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General Yins?

Who's doing their marketing? Stanley?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:45 AM
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...and it's probably just what the city needs to see.

"Oh gosh," said London, especially the real estate people, only they probably said something more quaintly not American, like maybe "crikey." "How sad if all the people who feel it's too expensive leave. Let's do something about this immediately."

This topic touches a local nerve of course. Just yesterday I was listening to people on fb talk about the easygoing artists' paradise San Francisco was just a moment ago, which is to say the 70s.

I don't know how new interesting cities ever happen, though at this point it's pretty clear how they turn into generic, money-driven....


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:48 AM
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It's called marketing.

Anyway, if you look in the window of what used to be The Coop, you'll see the public notice for a liquor license transfer to a "J. Gough's Tavern" at that location.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:48 AM
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10 before seeing 8.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:49 AM
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Extra cranky on account of the passing of Spock.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:50 AM
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Yes, it's awful marketing. I don't see how they're conflating Greenfield with Greenfield Township; I just think they have a mishmash of local history words.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:52 AM
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I can't afford to comment here and I don't even live within fifty miles of London.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:56 AM
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I googled "Greenfield Whiskey Rebellion" and got stuff that happened in near Greenfield Township (in Bedford). But I'm probably over thinking it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:57 AM
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I guess I just find that sort of pseudohistory extremely unappealing, to the point I'd avoid a place that I would otherwise be interested in. It's something I associate with Disneyworld and other tourist traps.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:12 AM
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I'm waiting to see how much they charge for Yuengling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:16 AM
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London is ridiculous. There are bits on the edge where you can still just about afford to rent, like ttaM, but you. cannot. afford. to. buy. At all. My SiL has a decent middle class job in central London but has to commute a 4 hour round trip to live somewhere she can get a mortgage. In consequence it has some neighbourhoods where you can't buy a two bedroom apartment for a two million pounds and also some of the most deprived areas in Britain.

Also in consequence, the population is absurdly skewed. You've got your multi-millionaires; you've got your 24 hour party people who live on expenses and have strange jobs you've never thought of, and you have the underclass who doss in the hotels where they work as porters for 15 hours a day. Normal people more often than not have to leave if they want to start a family. ttaM is one of the fortunate ones in that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:23 AM
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In positive news for the fading dream of social Europe, it looks like Vienna is going to start building social housing again, after a pause of over a decade, since now both the Socialists and Greens have committed to doing so. Yay!


Posted by: X.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:49 AM
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Are you close enough to go smack somebody in Salzburg if I have a need?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:00 PM
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Moby is Antonio Salieri. Whoda thunk it?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:23 PM
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I endorse 16. Also part of the reason Doublewide Grill leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. Most of it is the hillbillyism, (Appalachianism?), but the pseudohistory aspect* grates as well.

*I don't even know if they bother with it on the menu anymore, but the original menu had some silly story about Elsie Mae Hullficker or something and turning the ol' country gas station into a restaurant. Fuck off, urban snobs.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:41 PM
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where you can still just about afford to rent, like ttaM, but you. cannot. afford. to. buy. At all.

The local paper just had a story about how Pgh is the cheapest major metro in the country for buying. In order to be able to afford a median home, your salary needs to be a tick under $32k. SF was $142k.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:43 PM
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Fuck off, urban snobs.

When you take over the building that housed the Coop, you can't be that snobby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:45 PM
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A bit less fancy than London.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:47 PM
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22: This is an aside, but I filled out paperwork today that let me specify White/Caucasian versus White/Appalachian, which I hadn't seen before.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:48 PM
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26: Fancy!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:51 PM
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"Here's your one change, Fancy, don't let me down."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 12:56 PM
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I thought Fancy got one chance, not one change.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:00 PM
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Reba doesn't enunciate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:01 PM
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I thought Fancy got one chance, not one change.

Yeah, but what color was that dress?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:08 PM
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22.2: Seriously? Who doesn't remember how it was in the back woods of Birmingham, PA?

26: Waiting for White/Altaic, White/Atlasian, White/Rockyian.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:19 PM
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It seems like a perfectly good box to have like Hispanic that lets you choose a race and an ethnic designation. But what do black Appalachian people do? (I'm not even going to get into the Melungeous or anything like that.) Seriously, have an Appalachian heritage checkbox and leave it at that!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:23 PM
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26: So which did you choose?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:30 PM
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Tell me it was White/Appalachian. White/Caucasian just sounds like you're putting on airs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:33 PM
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When I used to do political surveys, you'd get people who were trying to make a point by saying they were "American" and not specifying any more. We'd just put them as white.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 1:38 PM
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36: Scots-Irish?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:20 PM
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Probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:24 PM
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I am not Appalachian, you guys! I'm not going to screw up their numbers just to look more exotic!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:26 PM
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How do you tell if you're Appalachian? I mean, if you're clearly not that's one thing, but you're from a state which is at least partially Appalachian. Or are you not from the state where you currently live? If you are, then what's the line you're drawing? (This sounds like I'm arguing there isn't one; I'm not, I just realized I have no idea at all.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:30 PM
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41

If you have to ask, you're either not or trying to be a troll about affirmative action.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:31 PM
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I mean, ask about yourself. I don't know how you'd judge others.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:33 PM
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you're from a state which is at least partially Appalachian

She's not the only one.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:33 PM
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Per the map in 43, Thorn is from a non-Appalachian part of her state.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:37 PM
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White/Caucasian versus White/Appalachian

WE PREFER "APPALACHIAN-AMERICAN"


Posted by: OPINIONATED DUKES OF HAZZARD | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:39 PM
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I was born here, yeah, but my parents are not from here, and in no way would I ever count as Appalachian, nor is the area where I live itself a part of Appalachia. There is still a specific Appalachian poverty culture, around here. (That article's about the neighborhood where the little girls we mentored 5+ years ago, pre-kids, were living when we'd first go to pick them up.) I think it's sort of like how Lee, whose grandparents were part of the Great Migration, feels like she's from the place she was born but the generation before her felt at least partly like displaced southerners still despite being born in the Midwest. And many of these families still have connections to relatives back in the mountains.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:40 PM
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Well, I would not like to say what the future holds for London, and it could be weird. But we are just about managing to hold on in Zone 2 with a half hour commute via shared ownership (which I might have mentioned here before?). But there is no possibility of an extra bedroom or more kids. And there are very few parents in our apartment building, which makes me worry. But those anxieties aside, city life is good!

At some point, our business is going to have to relocate, however. And probably south of the river because it's cheaper. This suits me quite well, but I wonder if we'll see a strange hollowing out of the city in terms of its creative industries.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:47 PM
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When I was last in the U.K., there was a bunch of extra houses in Morecambe. Maybe your business could try to go there. It has a beach, sort of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 2:51 PM
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49

How do you tell if you're Appalachian?

Did your grandmother have a recipe for squirrel?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:01 PM
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Morecambe also has a fine early modern seaside pavilion. And I won a music prize there as a ten year old (Morecambe Festival). I really don't know what to make of the transformation of the UK into a city state (London) with outlands (and OK: Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh / Glasgow) but I see no way back to the evidently much better distributed 19th C. set-up. Needs an economist who studies agglomeration, or such, to say what a good future might look like.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:03 PM
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Oh, that was an earnest question and not the setup to Foxworthy routine?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:03 PM
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49: Recipe? Naw, she warn't fancy or nothing.


Posted by: Opinionated Appalachian Stereotype | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:06 PM
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50: I'm curious as to why all of London is unaffordable, compared to, say, NY. That is, Manhattan south of 125th or so is hard for a normal person to live in, along the lines of how London is described, but the rest of the city, while it's certainly not at all cheap, does have places where people who aren't incredibly rich can buy, and they're not impossible commutes from where the jobs are.

Are there just more rich people crowding out the ordinary humans in London, or is the area where commuting is practicable smaller, or what's the difference?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:08 PM
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Your Grandmother had SQUIRREL?


Posted by: Appalachian/Yorkshire | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:11 PM
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46: That's very similar to the nisei/sansei distinction among Japanese-Americans.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:11 PM
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53: The centre of the city went first, entirely croweded out by rich people. Very strict planning/zoning laws mean that the city can't expand. I don't know how the practicable commuting area compares, but public transport from outer london is deeply shitty, and the Green Belt (see zoning, supra) means that there is a gap of ~10-15 miles between the edge of outer London and the communter towns. If you live in them you are definitely not living in London, even though your transport time to central London is not very different.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:15 PM
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My commute is three miles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:19 PM
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CMU students carry fabulously large backpacks and are very bad at remembering how much space behind them is occupied by said pack. That's the main commuting hazard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:22 PM
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And I might be underestimating how bad NY is -- we bought fifteen years ago (and are a few scant months from paying off the mortgage) -- and things were cheaper then. In the late '90s, what I said about the outer parts of the city being not cheap, but not unattainable for people who weren't really rich was true, but I'm sure it's less true now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:27 PM
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Interesting, Greater London and New York City have almost the same population (8.6 vs 8.4 million), but NYC is about twice as dense (5.2k/km^2 10.7k/km^2). That might explain why commuting is easier in NYC even though it has more obvious natural geographical barriers. I don't want to go full Yglesias, but this might be a case where massive density increases are warranted. You just need to stop respecting traditional rights to views of St. Paul's.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:27 PM
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Yeah, I think of the farthest-flung parts of NYC as having a pretty brutal commute; much further out than deep Queens, or the eastern Bronx would be really bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:32 PM
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And to be direct about it, NYC has 789 km^2 of land while Greater London has 1572 km^2. It might be more proper to compare those outer London boroughs to Yonkers or Elizabeth, NJ.

Unlikely Moby, I actually have to go Downtown so my commute is an arduous five miles.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:32 PM
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Is that what we're calling him now?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:40 PM
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Unlikely->Unlike. Gah.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:42 PM
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I think it works better as a homeric epithet. If Alameda can be rosy-toed, why not?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:47 PM
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I can't think of a compelling rebuttal but I'd prefer not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:50 PM
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26 White/Caucasian versus White/Appalachian

WTF? I've had ancestors living in the Appalachians much more recently than (if ever) the Caucasus, so I guess I'd have to pick the latter?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 3:54 PM
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66: Fine. You're no fun any more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:01 PM
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You might be White/Appalachian if when you think "big city," you think of Cleveland. No, not that Cleveland. Cleveland.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:09 PM
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Bus-riding Moby

Motion-slinging LB

or
Humor-slinging Moby

Motion-riding LB


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:11 PM
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Moldy toed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:26 PM
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The Rusty Nailed Punster. Nailed with two definite syllables.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:42 PM
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I don't want to go full Yglesias, but this might be a case where massive density increases are warranted. You just need to stop respecting traditional rights to views of St. Paul's.

No disagreement here. The views of St Paul's only exist for a handful of locations populated by rich people. I say build towers everywhere within zone 3.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 4:47 PM
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Maximizing towers makes everywhere dark. At least compromise on Vancouver's spaced-out skinnies.

Seattle - south of London but north of most of Maine - is building lots of six-story blocks, for valuable density, and vaguely referencing Hausmann. But H limited height to let daylight down to the streets, which isn't part of our calculation. (Pity. Modernist mansards could be really interesting.)

I fear that JRoth will debunk this, so preëmptively, "if it wasn't true it should have been, and more and better besides."


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 5:24 PM
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||

I have an "is this just me?" bleg.

We don't have offices here, just cubicles. There are four of us in this one room, though most of the time it's me and the other social worker. Sometimes I will be doing a phone interview and TOSW will pick up her phone and start making a call. I basically lose any chance of getting down what my interviewee is saying at that point. Can most people filter two conversations out well enough that they could type what's coming in one ear and not process what's coming in the other? I'm always surprised when she does it, but it occurs to me this may be my issue.

|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 5:32 PM
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75: It's not just you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 5:42 PM
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75: I'd have trouble doing that. Seems fixable with earplug or big headset.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 6:15 PM
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74: Compromise: Let the guy behind the skyscraper whose windows reflect focused beams of death design them all. He knows how to get light to the street.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 6:17 PM
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74: Compromise: Let the guy behind the skyscraper whose windows reflect focused beams of death design them all. He knows how to get light to the street.

Oh God no. The Walkie-Talkie looks horrible.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 6:24 PM
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When climate change pushes Newfoundland's climate over to Great Britain, the London real estate market problem will be solved.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 7:18 PM
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79: Sure, but once it blinds you that isn't an issue anymore.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 7:23 PM
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Does anyone know a U.K. equivalent of Zillow where one can see the estimated value of a particular property? I want to look up the flat I used to own in London so I can cry about it.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 7:34 PM
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Further to 82, Google street view tells me that the clematis that Fleur and I planted 15 years ago has grown into a marvelously privacy-protecting barrier.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 7:36 PM
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Did your grandmother have a recipe for squirrel?

My brother-in-law has my sister make Brunswick Stew, once he stocks up enough squirrels in the freezer. Close enough?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 8:13 PM
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56: Is the Green Belt at least pleasant accessible green space for people living in the urb & burbs?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 8:17 PM
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Thank you all for getting what is really not one of the National's better songs stuck in my head endlessly.

After ten years I can't tell if SF feels different or not since the boom, i.e. if it's fundamentally a more boring and oppressive place. My own life changes have really drowned the signal. I guess the Mission has gone from being more energizing to more tedious in general, but it still beats my suburb in certain ways. Does London seem to any of you to have changed, to the extent that you can talk experientially about it? I don't know how much anyone can describe such things without just handwaving about those douchebags on their iPhones and the fucking hipster grocery etc. etc.

Well, no. Obviously SF is different and everyone can see it. I can't tell what those observations are worth, is the problem. Man I bet that drink was stronger than I realized when I drank it.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 8:51 PM
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After ten years I can't tell if SF feels different or not since the boom, i.e. if it's fundamentally a more boring and oppressive place.

I was just back there for more than a day or so for the first time in fifteen years or so and man it felt incomprehensibly different. I don't understand quite how anybody normal (that is, not in tech -- not like me) lives there. Even though I did hang out with my friend who is still hanging in as a restaurant manager living in a rental property in the dogpatch. How is he still there? It seems impossible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 8:55 PM
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I don't understand quite how anybody normal (that is, not in tech -- not like me) lives there.

They live in the parts of town you'd never go to unless you lived there. The Outer Sunset and Outer Richmond have definitely been affected by the boom to a certain extent, but nothing like SOMA or the Mission or Dogpatch. (Not that I've been there lately, but I'd figure the same for West Portal or the Excelsior or Ingleside.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:21 PM
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Relevant.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:25 PM
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I worry that all this highrise housing built at once in a landlord's market is going to be an unmaintainable, unpleasant drag on the city when it hits its designed obsolescence, or in our next bust.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:49 PM
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If the commute weren't so hellish, I'd try to live in Outer Sunset/Outer Richmond. I see places that are just barely in my range and liked living there the one summer I lived (with a bunch of roommates) in the Inner Richmond. Outside of that, I'd basically never spent any time in the Richmond and only went to the outer Sunset when my sister lived there.

I haven't lived in the east bay in over a decade and never lived there as an independent adult, so it all feels different to me. But as an outsider now, Berkeley feels in better shape, if less "Berkeley" character-wise than when I grew up. That corner with the vacant lots on Telegraph still keeps up the old-timey-feel though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:50 PM
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Looking at the link in 89, the other thing about the Outer neighborhoods is there aren't many apartment buildings, relative to the rest of the city.

Anyway, I'm looking for an apartment right now and the choices are kind of depressing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 9:53 PM
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92.1: Right, the zoning in the western/southern parts of the city is all sorts of fucked. In a lot of it you need permission from the Planning Commission to go over 26 feet, and even then you can't go over 40 feet. You're also required, from what I can tell, to provide one off-street parking spot for each unit.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:07 PM
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All those numbers are completely insane. Greater density is only an answer if you're really going to put up the infrastructure to deal with it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:32 PM
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One difference I can definitely attest to: the trains are much more crowded, and I remember when service was restored after massive cuts in '08, i.e. most of the time I was traveling to the university near the larger, less frequent train. I can't say precisely when the BART trains started being packed all the way out to El Cerrito del Norte, but that was a big shift between 2008 and now. I never had to do this aggressive seat-staking, boarding the train in downtown Berkeley then, that I do now in El Cerrito every morning.

We drove vastly less back then but it also seems like the traffic is worse now.

I explored a move to South San Francisco, the only tolerable Caltrain/BART connection zone, but no one else was game. It seemed foggy and quiet and wasn't hideous/explosive like San Bruno. The shadow self that is always trying to plot out a parallel-universe solitary life might be game to move there. There just doesn't seem to be a grocery store, though, and even humble El Cerrito has two good restaurants (although based on observed demographic shifts it could support about 40).


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 10:53 PM
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BART has never recovered from that one Spare the Air day in 2009 when the trains were free and the entire metropolitan area got on.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:01 PM
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95: which are the two?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:21 PM
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I have fond memories of hearing BART trains in El Cerrito at night when I was a kid. They probably weren't full.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:36 PM
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Elevation 66 and the Indian restaurant closer to del Norte whose name I forget but we ate there once and it was surprisingly awesome. That may be unhelpful to you, I realize.

I hope my kid has fond memories of the trains.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02-27-15 11:57 PM
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94: that can't be entirely right, as we mostly invented infrastructure *after* cramming into cities that made it necessary.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:55 AM
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94: that can't be entirely right, as we mostly invented infrastructure *after* cramming into cities that made it necessary.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:55 AM
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pbhh. The work of post in an age of mechanical reproduction.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:57 AM
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60. This relates to the curious English aversion to living in flats/apartments. Not shared by the Scots, the Americans or any other Europeans that I know of, though possibly the Australians. It's been whittled away by hard economic necessity in this generation, but all the way through the long boom and the reign of the boomers, people were only interested in buying houses, and saw flats as temporary rented expedients. This goes back to at least the late 19th century (before which the market was too different to compare), and made building dense cities a bit difficult.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 4:55 AM
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103: Shared pretty much by the Irish, too, leading to Dublin being incredibly sprawly.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:22 AM
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Also catch-22 with apartments being built as if for temporary renting, no proper storage for example.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:24 AM
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Not shared by the Scots, the Americans

What? I would have thought the fetishization of single family homes, and the resulting sprawl, was so American as to be a cliché.


Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:39 AM
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103: New Yorkers like apartments, and Bostonians have the famous triple-deckers, but most real Americans want a detached house. It's the American dream.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:39 AM
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104. Yes, good point wrt Dublin. My grandmother-in-law's last house in Templeogue was ridiculously far from anything.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:39 AM
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106. OK, amend that to "metropolitan Americans", who are a growing majority.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:42 AM
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||

I just heard the BBC radio mention the "invasion of Iraq by United States troops in 2003." I'd be fine with that characterization from just about any other country's news source, but damned if the Brits should be acting as if they weren't riding shotgun for that particular folly.

|>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 6:23 AM
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109: Metropolitan Americans are only a majority if you include the smaller cities where the middle class, except young singles, does not live in flats much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 6:56 AM
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It amazes me how this discussion, in a larger sense has come around again.

Steen Eiler Rasmussen's London, The Unique City, first published in the 1930's, was an historical description and appreciation of the preference for detached houses over flats, as likely to be deplored then as now. With many photographs by the author of houses and spaces, not a few destroyed in the war. A masterpiece, updated several times during its author's life, most recently in the seventies or eighties to include a long section on Milton Keynes. Even in the 30's the commute was very long by continental standards from the new estates, we would say subdivisions. Yet Rasmussen, a distinguished Danish planner, made you see its virtues.

Another writer whose defense of the extended city went against then-current fashion was Reyner Banham, in Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, another classic.

I haven't gone full-Joel-Kotkin—yet—but my views on this are not as simple as they might once have been.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:00 AM
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I'm very happy to have nobody above or below me even though sharing a wall with my neighbor doesn't bother me at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:17 AM
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My pink half of the drainpipe keeps me safe from you.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:25 AM
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historical description and appreciation of the preference for detached houses over flats, as likely to be deplored then as now

It is entirely possible to achieve adequate levels of density and walkability with detached and semi-detached or row houses. Even in NYC, the ne plus ultra of urban density in the U.S., most of the city's land area is built along that model. This is the point that Atrios is always making: urbanists don't want to force everyone to live in Manhattan-like settings, because that level of density isn't necessary to enjoy urban amenities, including public transit. The Joel Kotkins of the world are deliberately conflating two analytically distinct issues: consumer preference for small scale dwellings, and preference for automotive transport.

The issue in places like San Francisco, London, and DC, is not achieving minimum density, but going a step beyond to accommodate extraordinary numbers of people who wish to move there. For that, there really is no alternative to building up, once all the infill has been developed. We're only talking about a relative handful of cities where this is even an issue, but it is still critically important to solve because of the grossly outsized contribution of those cities to GDP.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:26 AM
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I think that the rowhouse with an enclosed courtyard garden is my personal ideal.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:34 AM
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My Australian ex-FIL used to describe London as the land of the haves and the have-yachts.

Until we have real radical political change, most of the world's major cities are going to be ruined by our massive wealth inequality. Saudi royalty and Russian oligarchs don't really care they're driving out the bourgeoisie, and neither do the politicians/developers who control the cities. Until we demand massive political change, we're going to end up with CBDs of ghost town luxury condos.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:37 AM
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116: with a seven-foot-high brick or stone wall around the courtyard.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:39 AM
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117: Relevant.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:40 AM
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I think there's a pretty big shift among Millennial-Americans for housing preferences away from suburban McMansions and towards higher density, smaller scale housing with easy access to "urban amenities."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:41 AM
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119. If that was in the Daily Mash (UK equivalent) instead of the Onion, it wouldn't be funny, it would be straightforward news reporting.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:46 AM
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SF isn't actually like NYC or London, it's insanely nondense and could get a ton more density without "building up." Huge swaths are still 1 story detached houses. Furthermore, the peninsula is even more insanely nondense.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:48 AM
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That conjures the phrase make virtue of necessity. I don't care, so long as there's someone willing to pay a vast sum for my suburban house, when the time comes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:48 AM
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It really makes me pretty angry how few people are allowed to live on the California coast. It's really nice there and it's really sad for everyone who has to leave, and there's really plenty of room for a lot more people.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:55 AM
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123 to 120. To 122, 'insanely nondense' = preference of vast majorities.

I'm sure clew is right that if you materially increased the population in places like that that eventually a transportation infrastructure would be built. post=1980 California has proven a lot less willing to spend money on stuff than 50s/60s California, but eventually something would have to give. And surely water would be found for all those people too.

Our density issue is whether zoning should allow people to convert detached garages into little rental homes for students. But I read that someone is looking at building a 500 unit apt building downtown, which will be a huge deal. Land is currently a parking lot and a defunct bank drive through.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:58 AM
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Relatedly, why don't the ultra rich start universities anymore? The Bay Area really could handle another couple schools. Paul Allen still hasn't started a university in Portland.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:59 AM
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125.1 is only true if by "people" you mean current property holders, and well fuck you and your generation that hasn't left anywhere for us.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:01 AM
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A hell of a lot more people would prefer to live in SF more than they care about living in a 1-story detached house. There's just no way that the current situation is a result of majority preferences.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:03 AM
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126: And similarly for New York, LA, Seattle. Why are there so few places I want to work in cities where I want to live? New York actually seems like the most extreme case to me, in terms of number of good-to-great research universities relative to population.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:04 AM
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The housing stock in San Francisco is probably not Carp's personal fault.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:07 AM
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Yeah, but NY is also much older and one shouldn't expect these kinds of changes there. But somewhere like Seattle that got bigger and richer with a new industry you'd think would want a new university.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:08 AM
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Why are there so few places I want to work in cities where I want to live?

Kids today are too picky. If I got used to Pittsburgh, you can probably get used to most places that aren't Florida or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:08 AM
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130 Rationally I know that, but these subjects make me hate everyone over 45. And his comment really does treet my generation like we don't exist.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:10 AM
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Of course, rich people in the Bay Area did start Singularity University, reminding us that unlimited funding is available for those who single-mindedly pursue the most important goal of our time: stopping Skynet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:11 AM
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I'm only 43. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:12 AM
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128 You're right that the current zoning status quo is the result of the preferences of majority of stakeholders, not a majority of potential residents. I'm not sure there actually are enough people who would want to move to SF to outnumber the people who would prefer it did not undergo the kind of fundamental transformation you're talking about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:13 AM
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122: See 93. In this case, "building up" means going over 26 or 40 feet.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:15 AM
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the preferences of majority of stakeholders,

If you're limiting 'stakeholders' to 'property owners', sure. I sort of thought the purpose of the word 'stakeholders' was to draw that circle more widely, to include anyone with a legitimate interest. Like people with jobs they'd like to be able to commute humanely to, and so on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:18 AM
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San Francisco is three times as dense as Pittsburgh which is 1.5 times as dense as the Platonic-ideal city, Omaha.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:18 AM
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I suppose Omaha isn't ideal, but it's just a common reference point most people know about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:23 AM
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What commuting times are bad in the Bay Area? Many of the younger people I know who work at Stanford or have done so in the last decade or so chose to live in downtown SF, which seems like a pretty substantial distance, but they all said it was painless.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:24 AM
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I'm surprised nobody has linked this Guardian article lamenting the privatization of public spaces in London, if only for its headline:

The city that privatised itself to death: 'London is now a set of improbable sex toys poking gormlessly into the air.'


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:24 AM
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138 -- I was thinking voters/residents. Which in a single family suburb is going to be more than property owners, but not so much more as to be a majority. And you don't have to own the property to prefer not having neighbors too close, roads too crowded, inadequate parking, and all the rest.

I doubt there's a majority in California to pass a state law preventing municipal height limits under 60 feet or 100 feet, or whatever it would take to express the preference of Upetgi's generation. Maybe that tips the other way with time, though . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:27 AM
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141: I don't know firsthand, but I thought that was a commonplace. Isn't fake accent having trouble around there?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:28 AM
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I wonder if commutes that cross the bay are much more painful than ones that don't, or something like that. Or if the people I knew were just nuts and didn't mind sitting in traffic for an hour both ways.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:28 AM
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the preferences of majority of stakeholders

Every American has a personal stake in the growth of San Francisco, whether they want to live there or not, because it is an economic powerhouse that fuels the prosperity of the country. The contribution of the Bay Area to GDP is larger than that of 36 states. If you want a successful economy, you have to figure out a way to let the biggest cities grow bigger. To give current residents a veto over that is folly.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:30 AM
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What is the positive argument in favor of super-low municipal height limits supposed to be, anyway? I can't imagine why any group of people would decide that it should be written into law that buildings don't go above 26 feet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:34 AM
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And you don't have to own the property to prefer not having neighbors too close, roads too crowded, inadequate parking, and all the rest... whatever it would take to express the preference of Upetgi's generation.

I'm as close to your generation as I am to Upetigi's, and my parents are older than you are, and I and the other eight million people who like living in NYC actually exist. We're not hipsters faking it because we think it's cute, living in cities is, for those of us who enjoy it, a good way to live. There's plenty of room in the country to live far away from other people if you're too prickly to share a wall; but there are enough people who like living the way I do that the rest of you have to pass laws to stop us.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:35 AM
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147: People who get to vote on it already own low-rise property in a desirable location; prohibiting building up or on small lots keeps supply down. It's essentially a cartel: the current voters own all the SF housing, and keep the value high by controlling supply.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:37 AM
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But to be more charitable, the explicit argument is usually that increasing density requires improvements in infrastructure -- public transportation, sewers, and so on, and those are expensive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:39 AM
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148 -- I'm not under the illusion that inside every Manhattanite there's an Omahan waiting to get out and breathe. If Upetgi can find a majority to overcome the people who'd rather keep single family detached suburbs as they are, great.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:42 AM
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142 to 147?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:42 AM
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149 -- But similarly, there isn't a Manhattanite inside every San Franciscan who'd be perfectly fine living in a much more crowded environment.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:44 AM
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I'm glad to live somewhere dense enough that I can take transit and walk for the largest portion of the my trips. But I wouldn't want to live in a tower. I like my bit of green, that I don't have to worry about the guy above me getting stompy, and that I can conveniently do absurd things like play around with Swedish-design alcohol-fueled camping stoves on the patio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:45 AM
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And as Knecht mentioned, that kind of single-family dwelling is perfectly compatible with a very high urban density; there's lots of it in NYC. You just don't want to prohibit apartment blocks as well, or require huge amounts of parking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:49 AM
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146 -- I appreciate the essential truth of the point. I don't see our politics getting to federal legislation preventing municipalities from having height limits, and I don't think you could get state legislation either. But:

149 -- California's initiative process is how you'd break the cartel. If you could actually summon a statewide majority to get rid of height limits below 80 or whatever the number is.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:49 AM
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141: Many people don't have jobs that allow them to set their own schedules for the most part, which I'm guessing describes people you know who have worked at Stanford. If I commute during rush hour, it takes at least 40 minutes+ to travel about 12 miles. It's generally agreed among my cow-orkers that the commute is a nightmare and has been steadily worse since the tech upturn started following the 2008 general downturn.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:51 AM
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I'm not talking about suburbs. There's plenty of suburbs in the Bay Area for people who want that. But 2/3rds of San Francisco shouldn't be built like a suburb. And the Peninsula can't stay all stay a suburb when all the jobs are there. There needs to b one city there. People who want suburbs will still have the same east bay, people who want rich suburbs will still have Marin. They just can't have the sunset, Palo Alto and Mountain View without screwing everything up for everyone else.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 8:53 AM
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156.last is obviously impossible because SF is far from the only place in CA where current property owners are screwing over everyone else. Many of the people who would like to live in SF are living in say Pittsburgh instead and don't get to vote, while the rich assholes in Santa Barbara are just as set on keeping California for themselves and not letting anyone young move there.

The much more plausible scenario for change is rioting and burning down buildings.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:01 AM
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Best of luck with your initiative campaign.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:02 AM
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I'm going to be away from commenting all weekend, but it does appear that they are building more non-high-rise density on the Peninsula and in the south bay, but not enough to keep pace with demand and the regional planning around it seems pretty fucked up. You can live in a newer apartment/townhouse complex that covers a whole block, if you have the money, where you still don't have walkability.

Some higher buildings are going up in San Jose, but the airport is close enough that flight paths may be part of the height calculation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:03 AM
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I'm geographically confused. Are Palo Alto and Mountain view part of what you mean by "Peninsula"? Looking at a map, I can't tell for certain. Cupertino looks pretty clearly to be not on a peninsula, but I don't know about local usage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:04 AM
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San Jose is pretty clearly not on any peninsula.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:06 AM
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161.1 because I have a bunch of thoughts, by which I mean rants, about housing/commuting around here which I won't bore everyone with.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:06 AM
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Many of the people who would like to live in SF are living in say Pittsburgh instead and don't get to vote, while the rich assholes in Santa Barbara are just as set on keeping California for themselves and not letting anyone young move there.

I don't think we want to wind up like the U.K. where most of the good jobs are concentrated in one place. Moving some of the work about of the Bay Area to other places seems like a perfectly reasonable response, though not a complete solution, to the current problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:08 AM
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Mountain View is ambiguously located on the peninsula/south bay border. San Jose, Cupertino, etc. are south bay.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:08 AM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:09 AM
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160 before seeing 159. The 2010 census says that 64% of SF residents are renters, the highest in the BA. I suppose there's a percentage of non-citizens there, but there should still be enough votes in California for your 'you don't get to decide you want to be an insanely non-dense suburb' initiative.

Obviously, if you're waiting for riots and fires, I can promise you that some years hence some younger person is going to tell you that your generation should be turfed for not trying to solve the density problem way back when.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:09 AM
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Because they are all gigantic arseholes?

Although quite a bit of my work is funded, I suppose, by donations from rich foundations.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:11 AM
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There's a missing paste from that last comment. re: Why don't rich people found universities anymore?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:11 AM
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164: but some of us want to hear your rants.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:11 AM
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There's a 300-page draft document for new zoning regulations here. It doesn't look like any of it is nearly as draconian as a 26-foot height restriction.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:14 AM
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The boundary between "peninsula" and "south bay" is a bit vague. To me anything north of San Jose is peninsula, but that may be an east bay perspective. Wikipedia seems to think Peninsula is just San Mateo county and not Santa Clara County. At any rate Santa Clara is the biggest offender on density issues, for example blocking BART from going to San Jose, stopping Google from building high density housing for their employees, etc.

(Of course "the peninsula" also includes the very low density ocean side of the hills, but there's a lot less demand to live in Pescadero than Palo Alto and so it's not really a problem that things are rural there.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:16 AM
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Why doesn't Google act like a sports franchise, and threaten to move some portion of its operations to Pleasanton or Sacramento or Portland or something?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:21 AM
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If Google wants to move more people to Pittsburgh, that would be just great. They're building or rehabbing previously vacant buildings near where Google has its local offices.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:21 AM
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Because the people making those decisions can afford to have a beautiful 20 million dollar mansion in the Bay Area and don't want to move to Sacramento?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:25 AM
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SF isn't actually like NYC or London, it's insanely nondense and could get a ton more density without "building up." Huge swaths are still 1 story detached houses.

The 2nd sentence here is true (all of outer Richmond/Sunset, and much of the southwest area), but the first sentence is a bit weird. NYC density: 10.7k/km^2; London: 5.3k; San Francisco: 6.9k. Palo Alto: 1k. Oakland: 2k. San Francisco is doing its part, but it's only 49 square miles.

I agree that all those single-family houses are an abomination, but public transit into all those neighborhoods already sucks. Replacing all of those detached SFHs with 4-story apartments without simultaneously doing a massive expansion of heavy rail (not just surface level streetcars) would suck in a lot of ways..


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:25 AM
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177: Comparing numbers is not reliable, because political boundaries don't track well with functional city boundaries. London, it sounds like, has a clear functional boundary in the greenbelt, and the political boundaries of NYC are coincidentally pretty good as actual urban boundaries (if you discount Jersey). But I don't think comparing politically defined SF to London-inside-the-GreenBelt or politically defined NYC gives you a really meaningful result.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:29 AM
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As far as I can tell, Google's strategy for the region is private buses for employees, token attention to public transit and regional planning to mitigate the effect their decisions have on others. Even then, they had a plan for Mountain View that involved more housing than the city would accept.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:31 AM
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Many of the people who would like to live in SF are living in say Pittsburgh instead and don't get to vote

Is true. I would not mind a life living in an apartment in SF. Admittedly that's kind of viable for us since my wife works for one of those Californian tech firms, but that'd be a horrible soul sucking commute and I think a lot of the rest of the silliness of the Bay tech industry would wear on me. (Or bring out my entrepreneurial drive. Who knows?) But we're committed to Pittsburgh now. We bought what seems like a hilarious expensive house in a great neighborhood with all the urban amenities, and it's still multiple $100ks less than the median house in those outer SF neighborhoods in the link in 89.

I wish we had a common language for denoting sprawl. Templeogue was referred as horribly distant above, so I checked it out--it's 3.9 miles from Dublin Castle. 3.9 miles from The Point doesn't even get you to our university neighborhood, let alone where Moby and I live, and certainly nowhere near the actual suburbs. E.g. Mount Lebanon is 6.5 miles from The Point, with a river and a long tunnel under a plateau neighborhood in the way. The exurbs (Cranberry, Washington) are 17-22 miles out.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:35 AM
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City lines are having a weird effect on those numbers. San Francisco is half the density of Hoboken, Brooklyn or the Bronx and slightly lower than Queens.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:35 AM
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180.2: Where we live did start out as a streetcar suburb.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:41 AM
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If enough Google jobs come here, maybe we can put the streetcars back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:42 AM
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post=1980 California has proven a lot less willing to spend money on stuff than 50s/60s California, but eventually something would have to give.

This may already be changing. Sacramentans just voted themselves a couple tax increases in a row, the second explicitly for trolley cars. The State now has budget surpluses and there could be cap and trade money for infrastructure. It takes four years of supermajority Democratic governance, but you can change course away from 'budgeting laughingstock of the nation'.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:44 AM
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176 -- They don't have to move there; the can summon department heads to a meeting at HQ twice a week, but still have most of the work getting done somewhere else.

20 years ago I was saying the same thing about NY lawyers: why on earth are they spending all that money on office space for junior associates and paralegals, when they could just have them work in Princeton, and come into town every now and then. The answer seemed to be that there was just so much money sloshing around, that the savings weren't worth pursuing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:46 AM
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We can just steal the cars from Sacramento.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:46 AM
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That would be great, although I'd also love a real subway line going east. Doubt it'll happen in my lifetime, though. Maybe if Google metastasizes. I do sometimes wonder if I'm throwing money away by not applying with them.

But still, we're as far away from Downtown as the Upper East/West Sides are from Downtown Manhattan. I know it's not a fair comparison because of Midtown Manhattan, but no one thinks of them as suburban.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:46 AM
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Much closer to Oakland, which is a major center of employment in its own right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:49 AM
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185: I like that Princeton, in this context, means "cheap".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:50 AM
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185: The value of having the junior lawyers in the same location with the senior lawyers they're working for isn't obvious to you? Having been on both ends of that relationship now, it seems fairly clear to me. (Distant warehouses for huge document reviews, sure. But for day to day work?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:52 AM
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Nearly everybody I work with is in a different city. It's a key component of my enjoyment of life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:57 AM
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My conception was that the Manhattan office would be a Potemkin village, and that the people there more or less full time would be spending most of their time either having expensive lunches with clients and prospects or on the phone.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:58 AM
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I guess if you've got a clean separation between useless figureheads and the lawyers who are actually doing work. But of course, you're going to have an easier time hiring the best young lawyers if they get to work in Manhattan rather than Princeton, because we like it here, and getting to work here is part of our (back when I was one) exorbitant compensation.

You could compete for clients by having a NJ firm with lawyers who commuted into the city when necessary. It might work for you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:15 AM
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Do people who live in flats in London and New York usually have their own washing machines? Having your own washing machine really does make things easier, especially during the explosive-shit phase of babyhood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:22 AM
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Have I mentioned before my desire to work from home, using a BigDog as a telepresence robot?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:23 AM
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London yes, NY no. NY apartment buildings have in-building washing machines, nice or nasty depending on the building, but rarely in-apartment, but I understand in-apartment is a norm in the UK. And I do agree that in-apartment laundry would be a quality of life improvement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:25 AM
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The figureheads aren't useless: they're busy eating expensive lunches! My cleaner separation might be between 'best young lawyers' and 'young lawyers who are absolutely good enough in every relevant way.'

The NJ thing isn't going to work either, in any major way: the people picking the clients aren't generally spending their own money, and are happy to go with an expensive brand because if it goes wrong, they can't be blamed for picking the cheap lawyers. (And I would say that 'goes wrong' is maybe 80% plus about the facts the client brings to the table, and 20% about the lawyers, and that's generous to the lawyers.) There's a 'cartel' thing going on, but also enough money in the system that the extra costs don't matter to any of the players.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:27 AM
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What about newer buildings in NY? Or are those all really expensive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:27 AM
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This doesn't bother me. Human systems have all sorts of inefficiencies of one kind or another.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:29 AM
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197: So, you need a NY office because clients want to hire NY lawyers, right or wrong. You're looking for a way to make them think they're hiring NY lawyers, but have all the work done by suburban lawyers. I think that goes into the category of business practices that might work, so long as no one noticed you doing it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:32 AM
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198: Haven't done a market survey, but I'd think of in-apartment laundry as either an individual fluke, or a serious luxury building, not a norm of new construction. Not sure what the basis is for the general practice -- for the longest time I thought there was a good technical reason for not wanting washing machines in apartments, until I found out it was perfectly conventional other places.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:35 AM
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"The good news is, we're offering you a job at our prestigious law firm in New York. The bad news is, we want you to live and mostly work in central New Jersey. But wait, there's more good news! Apartments in central New Jersey have their own washing machines."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:38 AM
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200 It'll work fine the first time someone with the right prestige profile tries it, and they'll be hailed as geniuses. But the people making the decisions -- like Utpegi's tech execs in 20 mill houses -- are already hailed as geniuses, and so it's not worth doing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:52 AM
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Brunswick Stew, once he stocks up enough squirrels in the freezer.

When we first moved to Richmond, Va., my family attended our neighbor's yearly Brunswick Stew party. Giant cast-iron soup kettle, cooking outside over a fire. And now I'm left to wonder if I unwittingly ate squirrel. I mean, people definitely tell you if they're serving you squirrel, right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:56 AM
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It'll work fine the first time someone with the right prestige profile tries it

Sure will, so long as your assumption that there's no value at all, for the lawyers or the clients, in working in a city, is a good one. The whole city's just a mass hoax, and one day real soon now we'll all give up and go move to the suburbs like grownups.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:09 AM
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It's not whether there's no value at all, it's whether the value exceeds the cost, and, if not, who can capture the difference.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:16 AM
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Like manufacturing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:18 AM
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I don't see how manufacturing could capture the difference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:20 AM
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Threats? They have all the scary-looking heavy machinery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:21 AM
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204: I thought it was supposed to have some kind of game meat before it was proper Brunswick stew.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:22 AM
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I guess what I was thinking all those years ago was that there was a lot more commodification that could and would be done -- and back then, associates and paralegals really did do document review stuff in Manhattan (after a first cut at the client's storage location), because, without the internet, and other software for document handling, you couldn't have off-site discovery centers and the like. Lexis existed, but on dedicated terminals in the firm library, and you had to print out what you looked at, or photocopy the F.2d, if you wanted something at hand when you were writing. People really had to be in one place in a way that a lot of them don't now.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:30 AM
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So as it turned out, they didn't have to give people jobs in Princeton: they just didn't hire a bunch of them at all and kept the money.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:38 AM
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And sent some of the money to the Bay Area and some to Bangalore. IMO, there's much more of this to come in the future.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:40 AM
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195: It will be hard to maintain your credibility while our colleagues are constantly kicking you.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:43 AM
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We had a washing machine in our NY apartment, but that was a fairly new building, and it was certainly not the norm.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:47 AM
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(I don't think NYC is just a big hoax, and everyone secretly wants to move to Connecticut. I do think, though, that there's a lot of smoke and mirrors: are some of the lawyers making between 1.5 and 2.5 mill a year better lawyers [better at the part that involves finding out what the law is, finding out what the facts are, and presenting both in a compelling fashion, rather than better at the eating expensive lunches part] than say you are (or your 3 best non-Biglaw friends, if you don't want to think about it personally)? Maybe some. Nowhere near a majority. What are they getting paid all that money for? Being part of a system.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:48 AM
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And sent some of the money to the Bay Area and some to Bangalore. IMO, there's much more of this to come in the future.

I'd love to see Caribbean countries get in on the off-shore legal support business. There should be an advantage over India, given the time zones and the fact that NYC is a direct, four hour flight. But its difficult to compete with India's head start and massive ability to scale.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:56 AM
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204, my family makes Brunwick stew. Whatmay appear to be squirrel is shredded/pulled chicken meat in my experience.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:27 PM
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And I'll always agree that BigLaw is a bizarre mess of a business model. I'm not tight with anyone who's on the inside these days; I wonder if things are more rational now, or if it's still a bit of a flailing trainwreck. It just struck me implausible that having the working lawyers located in NY was a big part of the problem; cheaper small-firm lawyers work here too, and for many of the same reasons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:32 PM
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We had in unit laundry in NYC. It was glorious. It was a recent reno, but most of the renovated units didn't have it, so it was a lucky break. It's probably that they were hoping to make it a condo combined with the layout working for it (otherwise that particular space would have been not very useful).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 12:45 PM
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123: I don't care, so long as there's someone willing to pay a vast sum for my suburban house, when the time comes.

I can't tell whether you're talking about a surburban house in Montana, or one you still retain in the DC area.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:17 PM
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"suburban", that is.

I seem to have been listening, against my will, to a fair number of people in the mid-Atlantic region who are deeply concerned about the return they'll be seeing on their properties. Oh gosh, mom's house just outside of D.C. was supposed to garner $1 million, and thank god thankfully it did, but gosh darn it was worrisome that it might not.

I cannot take this kind of property value nattering with any sort of respect.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:22 PM
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221 Here. Sold our MD house in 2009. I was just looking at Zillow yesterday, and they think it's now worth about 15% more than we got for it. Zillow thinks the house we bought in 2012 is now worth 20% more than we paid. Zillow is wildly unreliable.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:39 PM
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I'm starting to realize that the reason renting is so appealing is that buying a house is a gigantic gamble.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:48 PM
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Yah. That's tough.

Our society has gotten pretty nasty about jockeying for position, hasn't it? At least, so it seems to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:51 PM
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224: Renting is also risky. Rents have been climbing around here. I could easily get priced out of my own neighborhood if I didn't own.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:55 PM
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214: Well it's not like I project that much credibility in person either. Also if one robot dog doesn't work, maybe I can try using a whole pack of them?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:59 PM
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I just checked, and the average price of a family home in the area we live -- and I'm talking about the streets immediately adjacent to ours, so these are realistic numbers -- is running at around 1.1 million US. Small three and four bedroom terraced houses, too. Not big detached villas.

A friend of mine moved from a couple of streets further away to the street immediately next to mine, and paid a little under 1 million US for a fixer-upper.* Given that he and his wife probably earn slightly more than we do, as they've been in the current careers a few years longer, but I'd guess have a joint income within 20-25% of ours, I have absolutely no fucking idea how they can afford it, except via having gotten on the London property ladder long enough ago to have ridden it up.

* we discussed this before, recently.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 1:59 PM
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I was thinking more about people who decide to buy a house while a grad student or a postdoc. Those snobs must think they're soooo much more grown-up than I am.

You know you'll have to move in 4 years, right? Do you spend all your time worrying about how much the house will be worth then, or just most of your time?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:01 PM
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229 to 226.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:01 PM
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We got evicted from our most recent rental because the owners wanted to move into it. Their agent thought 30 days notice would have been perfectly reasonable, notwithstanding my out of town elderly parents coming for my son's HS graduation, scheduled for what would have been the 33rd day.

I suppose it's possible to buy a house in 30 days, if you keep wheelbarrow loads of money in your garage. And find a seller who's already moved out.

Luckily they extended to 60 days. And then we spent a few weeks couch surfing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:05 PM
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229: It is gambling when you know you will move that quickly. You are right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:16 PM
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Speaking of fixing houses, I'm off to change a ballast. The internet is so great for stuff like that. Type a couple numbers into the computer and three days later, you get a ballast in the mail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:17 PM
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Local laws vary about how much notice is required for a move-out notice. Some places, 30 days, other places, 60 days: it's worth being aware of the law in your county. A number of years ago, I did have to mention the law to a landlord who tried to give my then-household a mere 30 days' notice. "Well, no, sir. 60 days. Perhaps you weren't aware of that. So we'll be out in 60 days, you see."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:18 PM
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232: My cousin bought a condo when he started as a PhD student and sold it when he bailed out with a MS. This was over the period 2003-2006, so he did well by it. But I think for the rest of his life he'll think it was a self-evidently logical thing to do no matter the circumstances.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:30 PM
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Renting is also risky. Rents have been climbing around here. I could easily get priced out of my own neighborhood if I didn't own.

This is one of the things I really appreciate about Vienna. It's not just affordable right now (we're paying ~US$1450 for a 1250 sq ft apartment in a very good location), it's pretty likely to stay that way (the two left parties have both promised to start building social housing again; about a third of housing units are municipal or nonprofit, and tons more are built with profit-limiting subsidies).

Of course, there's no sunshine, but no place is perfect.


Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 2:45 PM
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229- I did that, but what is this "4 years" you're talking about?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:04 PM
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I was surprised by how many grad students in Ithaca bought houses. I guess the real estate market there was cheaper than a lot of other places. In some cases multiple people bought a house together, which seemed even stranger to me--what if you get tired of your roommates, or they end up leaving the town much earlier than you do?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:08 PM
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In litigation, at least, I don't think there's much if any remaining prestige involved in being a NY firm per se as opposed to equally good (and expensive) firms in mostly cheaper cities, for almost any client. The reason (many of the) traditional white shoe NY firms are able to bill at high rates is very simple, they retain banks as institutional clients for corporate work who are willing to pay essentially infinite rates for that work. I'm not sure that even that has much to do with being in NY per se except for the fact that the finance industry is in NY and the banks have longstanding institutional relationships with certain firms. (I don't know what this has to do with the conversation between CCarp and LB which I just skimmed but it seemed relevant).


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:21 PM
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239 It's different for bet-the-company lawsuits, I think. But it's not like even then anyone is going to get in trouble for having hired Latham.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:27 PM
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(I just got the mail -- two letters from realtors asking if I was interested in selling, telling me what a good time it is to do so. Does that mean it's a bubble?)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:29 PM
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240 -- or Kirkland, or Williams&Connolly, or Wilson Sonsini, or ... lots of other large firms that aren't NY based.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:35 PM
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I like to think Kirkland sells lawsuits in packages of 144 or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 3:56 PM
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But to be more charitable, the explicit argument is usually that increasing density requires improvements in infrastructure -- public transportation, sewers, and so on, and those are expensive.

That seems like a pretty rubbish argument. "We don't want our city to be better."


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 4:03 PM
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If clients want true prestige they hire either Carp or me. Sometimes they hire Urple if they want a lawyer who is "more than human."


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 4:04 PM
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And curse their luck that I'm not on the market for private clients.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 4:45 PM
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Incidentally, I found a pre-existing account of urple's novel sex act, recently.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 4:54 PM
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I can't even remember what it was anymore. I get it confused with "pooping back and forth" from that Miranda July movie.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 5:04 PM
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244: I think that's a plank in the GOP party platform. It's astonishing the extent to which the America Fuck Yeah party stands for having a really, really shitty country. "Maintain existing bridges? Go back to Russia, commie."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 6:09 PM
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108, 180; Templogue is an inner suburb rather than being an outer one, one of the south side villages swallowed by the city, but as I recall has poorish public transport and terrible driving commute times. Dublin's public transport is weak anyway so it always comes out with horrific numbers on those international surveys of commuting times.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:18 PM
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Statistics seem to support my fear of getting run over by a car. And the Post Gazette once again reminds me of why I should never read the comments there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 7:57 PM
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if one robot dog doesn't work, maybe I can try using a whole pack of them?

That would make for truly great meetings. They could growl in unison whenever someone said something you didn't like.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:02 PM
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||

Was there ever a thread where someone asked for podcast recommendations? If so, I can't find it from searching. Looking for material to fill exercise time with.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:16 PM
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253: Maybe too long ago to be useful. I think there was a more recent thread too?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:23 PM
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252: Have I given my strong recommendation for The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast here yet?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 9:33 PM
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You could probably just program Asimov's rules into the robot dogs instead of teaching them all of philosophy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:19 PM
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I'm a big fan of the Sinica podcast for current affairs and cultural stuff from China.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 10:47 PM
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But what podcasts should the robot dogs listen to?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:43 PM
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Notwithstanding 255 and 256, that is.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-28-15 11:44 PM
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BBC4's In Our Time is usually good, and there are zillions of them.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 12:17 AM
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Have I given my strong recommendation for The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast here yet?

I don't know, but I have.

Minivet, what sort of podcasts are you after?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 1:00 AM
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201. Another example of cultural difference. AISIHMHB, if you don't have a washing machine in your home in Britain you're officially classified as a deprived household.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 2:57 AM
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Whereas dryers are virtually unheard-of, IIRC.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 3:01 AM
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Not unheard of, but not much prioritised. People who have the space prefer to dry clothes outdoors if the weather's up to it, so more dryers in flats than houses. Which brings us back to...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 3:15 AM
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While in the US, having a washer without a dryer is virtually unheard-of, regardless of space available. I.e., you either have both or neither.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 3:19 AM
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Despite the fact that the US is, on average, a much drier country than the UK.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 3:22 AM
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The carbon footprint of a tumble dryer is approximately three times that of a washer, but that's not the main reason everybody doesn't have one here. Should be though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 3:35 AM
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If you don't have a washing machine, how do you make your clothes clean?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 4:19 AM
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We have a washer-dryer. I think we've used the drying function maybe, on average, once every couple of months since we moved in. Admittedly, those times it was very handy, but most of the places I've lived in haven't had one, and I've never missed one when it's not there.

Apart from student accommodation, I don't think I've ever lived anywhere without a washer. Even in the super-cheap run-down flat I shared with my first live-together girlfriend, we had a second hand washer that a mate and I carried up 6 flights of stairs.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 5:35 AM
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BBC4's In Our Time is usually good, and there are zillions of them.

I've decided that the ones where Bragg doesn't know much about the topic are the best; when he knows too much he often steamrolls his guests into saying what he wants them to say. (I had to stop listening to the most recent on Adam Smith because he would not let his guest disagree with him.) I also find it endlessly amusing to hear him being frustrated by academics who are unwilling to say anything concrete about something we just don't know much about. Surely he should be used to it by now!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 5:53 AM
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If you don't have a washing machine, how do you make your clothes clean?

Laundromats, which are far more common in the US than here. (Though I hear back in the day - 70s? - this was less the case.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 5:54 AM
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Was there ever a thread where someone asked for podcast recommendations? If so, I can't find it from searching. Looking for material to fill exercise time with. ... Maybe too long ago to be useful. I think there was a more recent thread too?

Thanks for this, Minivet & Essear -- on the recommendation of that thread, I listened to an episode of "Analysis" on my ride this morning. ++, would listen again. Except that I feel guilty about any English-language podcast-listening.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 5:58 AM
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The carbon footprint of a tumble dryer is approximately three times that of a washer, but that's not the main reason everybody doesn't have one here. Should be though.

I think dryers are one place where it makes much more sense to pay more for the more energy efficient one (obvious proviso - if you can). Ours is A rated and it barely nudges our energy consumption up on the smart meter; I know you can get them even better.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 6:03 AM
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266: of course we are. We have more dryers!


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 6:20 AM
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266: In the winter, it takes too long to wait for sublimation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:06 AM
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194: we have a washer-dryer, and we use the dryer. In its own room. We also have a small airing room just big enough to hang the laundry out in. Something the architects of the building were quite proud of. It all makes a very restricted total net area much more liveable. London housing design standards are also of late much better: every new apartment must have 5 m2 of balcony, for instance. North-facing units are disallowed. Double aspect is strongly encouraged. So there are reasons to be optimistic.

Myself I would oppose towers in favour of 5-6 storey development.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:10 AM
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Laundromats are one of those institutions that need to be preserved for their vital role in the meet-cute section of romantic comedies.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:10 AM
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That and Knuffle Bunny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:12 AM
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North-facing units are disallowed.

How does that work? You mean you can't have a front door on the north side or you have to have windows on some side that isn't north?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:17 AM
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Does anyone else's FB feed now have nearly as many posts as there were on Thursday about that dress, but this time saying "here's why all of you dummies shouldn't have been wasting time talking about that dress?" It's like the afterimage of entertainment is condescension.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:29 AM
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I looked it up. I have a double aspect house. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:29 AM
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Not only laundromats: also laundry rooms in apartment buildings (generally coin-operated).

The near-total lack of laundromats in some European cities is pretty annoying when traveling. Especially when hotels offer to do laundry but at rates of, like, $15 per shirt and $6 per pair of socks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:32 AM
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280: mine is full of vision scientists who don't understand the pace of the internet who are just now getting around to explaining the effect.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:36 AM
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You can wash your socks in the sink of your room. Shirts are harder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:42 AM
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280.last: nice


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:43 AM
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If approximately half of your streets run East-West, you've got a certain set of houses that are going to be very hard not to have facing North.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:52 AM
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We have a hanging bar over our washer and dryer that we used for line drying clothes. I'm going to start calling it the airing room.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 7:54 AM
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Light T-shirts and trousers can be done in the sink or bath if you do a roll-in-the-towel technique afterwards.

Work / dress shirts and trousers would usually be a bridge too far, but on the other hand a jumper over a collared shirt works wonders.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:01 AM
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Do hotel rooms in Europe have en suite irons?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:04 AM
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289. Usually, and when they don't housekeeping will always bring you one on request. UK hotels often also have a trouser press for some obscure historical reason.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:16 AM
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Isn't the reason that, historically, men used to wear pressed pants?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:25 AM
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286: I think I've posted this here before, but cool charts of street orientation in different cities. A few European ones here including London (moderate N-S/E-W predominance with a skew of about 15° to clockwise).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:30 AM
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286: it's hard to eliminate all north-facing dwellings. But making as many of them as possible double aspect is a good strategy.

Also, I would say airing rooms / cupboards / closets need a permanent heat source and decent air movement, but otherwise, yes, why not?


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 8:40 AM
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Living in a subtropical place without the institution of the dryer?
Bad Idea Jeans

Also bad idea: jeans.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 9:16 AM
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293.2: It's off the downstairs bathroom*, so it's heated and has a vent.

* I want to call it the "airing room" because I like fart jokes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 9:19 AM
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I already consume a fair amount of In Our Time; also Cartalk, which is good but grates if I hear it too often (more than once a week). I'm starting now to look through other BBC radio offerings, but some guidance would help. I like Slug of Time, found via our distant archives, but that's finite. As far as themes of interest: history, current events, comedy, maybe science, but I'm open to new stuff. Especially welcome would be something actually leftist, rather than the stuff I've found so far that feels like attempts at Limbaugh analogues (lots of focus on Repubs being shocking).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 9:22 AM
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I share my washer and dryer with the undergrad dudes who live in front of me. My only complaint is, they don't seem to have discovered the lint trap, so they never empty it. I'm guessing they're wondering why it takes the dryer three cycles to get their clothes dry. I thought of leaving a note on the dryer about it, but I'm lazy and I don't actually care that much.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 9:39 AM
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BBC Witness is good for modern history.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 9:51 AM
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"they're wondering why it takes the dryer three cycles to get their clothes dry"
Don't worry, once it catches on fire their clothes will dry super fast.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 10:17 AM
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Even with a clean lint filter, the dryers in just about every apartment building I've ever lived in take at least two cycles to get clothes dry. I assume it's because the landlords make more money from a poorly-functioning dryer.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 10:28 AM
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253: 99% Invisible is good (and local!), and you might also like I Don't Even Own A Television (a podcast about bad books). Listening to the IDEOATV about Super Sad True Love Story made me very very happy.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 10:47 AM
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"The afterimage of entertainment is condescension" is like a particularly inspired Jenny Holzer aphorism.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 11:29 AM
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I'm starting now to look through other BBC radio offerings, but some guidance would help.

You probably want to try From Our Own Correspondent and the Documentaries stream. If you're into science, The Infinite Monkey Cage is fun, and All About The Mind is informative.

The BBC also do a lot of one-off podcast series based on radio series, like the excellent Germany: Memories of a Nation, and The History of the World in 100 Objects.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 12:03 PM
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The BBC Analysis programmes are very good indeed. I don't know if they are right deviationist from your PoV


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 12:50 PM
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Seconding From Our Own Correspondent. It's just dramatic readings of the more personal articles on news.bbc.co.uk, but it's a good way to get a personal view of a bunch of things happening in the news worldwide.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 12:52 PM
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Instead of John Wick, I'm watching Sponge Bob. I don't go to movies much, so I'm not up on the etiquette. Can I read my phone until the previews start or the feature.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 1:42 PM
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You're good through the previews.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 1:44 PM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 1:46 PM
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The previews are making me want to cancel all intellectual property rights for new movies. Paul Blart is pretty fucked up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 1:57 PM
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297: maybe they're Catholic and they had to give up cleaning the trap for lint.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 2:09 PM
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Is an airing room going to require less energy than a dryer? How? I suspect the heat to evaporate is just getting hidden in the much larger house heating cost.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 1-15 11:20 PM
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It's not just the heat that dries, it's the airflow (done properly).


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:00 AM
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It's not just the heat that dries, it's the airflow (done properly).


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:00 AM
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No, if the ambient air is too humid to dry clothes, you have to heat it to pick up more water. Doesn't help if it's moving.

This is obvious all through a Seattle winter - I thought English ones were similar.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:34 AM
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Sorry, that was kinda imprecise. I think the idea with a drying room - at least the ones I've seen in tramping hostels because that's the only place such a primitive thing remains in our technologically advanced nation in the antipodes - is that (a) you run it off the boiler anyway and (b) you're trying to get the air to become humid and then leave and then be replaced by non-humid air, aiui. (Or something like that - the moving of the moisture out of the room is an important part of the operation over the long run.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:44 AM
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Agreed so far - drying machines have to vent *their* humid air, too. But running the boiler for another room, and a room with many changes of air, requires more fuel to the boiler. Yes? And I don't see why that's innately an energy savings over the dryer.

One might make it up in reduced wear on clothes, if price of room volume is not too high. Or if the boiler is always on and relatively large, as in institutions.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:55 AM
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So, our flat has a heat-exchanger/ventilation system in a cupboard which connects to ceiling mounted vents all over the flat. So the air is constantly being changed to prevent damp and mould build-up. It seems to work quite well. We dry our laundry in the hall, which is an otherwise fairly useless [and large] space. Drying washing uses basically no power. Using the dryer would cost many many orders of magnitude more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:26 AM
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My parents previous house had an airing cupboard. It was just where the hot water tank was. In their case it was just heat that would otherwise have been wasted.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:31 AM
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Same fuel type, dryer cost a significant fraction of your heating cost?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:32 AM
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318 is how all airing cupboards of my experience have worked. Nowadays almost nobody has a hot water tank in Britain any more, so they's either been taken out or they're just cupboards. I don't think we would use significantly less energy in winter if we didn't dry clothes in the bathroom, because we heat the bathroom for obvious reasons.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:39 AM
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318: That was cooling the water tank more than would have occurred without the laundry (and associated venting). No free lunch.

Still might come out cheaper, but biometeorology is suggesting it isn't an *energy* savings. Biometeorology is full of surprises, so there might be a sweet spot but none of you have explained it.

40 kJ/mol.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:40 AM
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321. Minimally, this is true. If we had a water tank it would probably be truer, but we don't.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:44 AM
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319 to ttaM, and the point about how much you heat a room applies throughout. If I kept putting blocks of ice in your heated rooms, you'd expect your heating bills to rise.

In dry air, it might not be a significant rise, but you could also use a line (ow). But heating your house enough to run a swamp-cooler is not obviously efficient.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:46 AM
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I am really interested in the dehumidifying heat exchanger, though. Where does the condensed water go?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:49 AM
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They don't condense water, or at least mine doesn't. It vents the indoor air and brings in outside air.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:02 AM
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Having said that, one of the optional extras for mine is a condensate drainage kit, so maybe some do.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:07 AM
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A literal heat-exchanger almost has to get rid of condensate, as heated house air is generally carrying more humidity than exterior air can


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:17 AM
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They could just drool down the wall like air conditioners, though.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:19 AM
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re: 323

I'm not really sure what point you are making? Are you claiming that the small drop in the ambient room temperature in the room we are drying laundry in, is going to make a significant difference to how much gas we are using to heat our flat? And that that difference is going to be similar on cost to the cost of using a multi-kW electric dryer? In which case, that's clearly bollocks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:21 AM
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re: 324

It's plumbed in.

http://www.titon.co.uk/pages/products/ventilation-systems/mvhr/hrv-1-q-plus.php

Ours is an earlier model in the same range. It has a drain fitting for the condensate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:28 AM
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I don't think it's a small rise in heating effort to dry things. I think it's a big rise hidden at the margin of overall heating costs, plus gas is often more efficient and may be cheaper than electric.

Evaporating water is *really energy intensive* -- significantly more so than melting ice. You're not getting that for free. It may be that tumble driers have extra inefficiency, e.g. running at high temperatures to dry things faster. Fair test against ambient house drying would be a tumble drier of the same energy source running at its lowest recommended heat.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:32 AM
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It is clearly bollocks, but what I don't understand is why its bollocks. From a pure conservation of energy theory standpoint, the argument makes sense. And yet, I don't seriously believe that drying laundry by hanging it in the house makes a lick of difference with regard to energy bills.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:32 AM
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Evaporating water is *really energy intensive* -- significantly more so than melting ice. You're not getting that for free.

On the other hand, maybe you get some of the energy back when the added humidity later condenses inside your house.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:38 AM
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332 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:39 AM
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Good heating systems & terrible dryers, my guess. The MVHR looks great, I dream of it in the damp woods, but it's a continuous power draw to dehumidify. Possibly with damper air it doesn't work harder, you just recapture less heat, but then your heater runs longer.

You load a woodstove more often with wet wool in the room, I know that.

Oo, what does passivhaus do?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:42 AM
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333.2: I expect fungal metabolism is slightly warming, too.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:44 AM
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Passivhaus: they argue about condensing dryers or spend a lot on heat pump dryers. Some airing closets with their own heat & venting systems, so not piggybacking on the house systems.

I need JRoth. And Megan. And to go to bed.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 4:55 AM
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Also, clew seems to assume a significant damp problem, which is unusual in an urban environment. Our house isn't particularly damp. It has lost 1.5 degrees C (less in the bathroom, which is smaller and south facing) since the heating went off four hours ago, and it's unlikely to fall below 17 by the time it comes on again in another four and a half.I'm sorry clew's house is so damp, but tell me that's not normal, even in N Dakota or wherever s/he lives.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 5:25 AM
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North Dakota is not usually very humid in the winter. Seattle is near a non-tropical rain forest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 5:36 AM
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339. Oh. Remind me not to move there then. Sheffield is near a peat moor. The house remains obstinately at 17.5, although it's snowing outside, and the laundry is drying nicely.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 5:41 AM
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Snowing here also. Rain yesterday, so very icy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 5:49 AM
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Anyway, there's probably some reason that Seattle has many more people than all of North Dakota.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 6:01 AM
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Perhaps, like Manchester in England, it was built there because of the terrible weather.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 6:14 AM
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The wetness of Seattle is over-stated. Glasgow is noticeably wetter, both in terms of annual rainfall, and in terms of days of rain per year.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:10 AM
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re: insulation/heating, etc

We went away for a week, in December, and on the day we left it was below freezing ouside. We left the heating off. When we came back, it was 19 degrees. It really doesn't take a lot of heating to keep it at 21.

I don't think it's ever gone below 19C inside, even in mid-winter, with no heating.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:12 AM
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That's 66 regular. We keep our thermostat set at that during the winter. It's probably $250 a month to keep it at 66.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:18 AM
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I'm so confused. If there's that little heat exchange with the outside, then where does the moisture go? If you left your house unheated while you were there would it get really damp?

Do you share walls with any neighbors?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:23 AM
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Apparently clothes dryers are just insanely inefficient.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:26 AM
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I think the best way to see what's going on would be to find the energy usage of a "drying cabinet" (which is a standalone machine using a similar technique to drying rooms) to a dryer. But I can't find anything doing that comparison.

A little poking around suggests that the real problem with dryers is less heated tumble-drying as such, but the fact that they typically vent hot wet air directly outside. Using a heat pump tumble dryer to save that heat cuts energy use in half.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:43 AM
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We vent the dryer exhaust into the house in the winter. That probably only works with an electric dryer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:44 AM
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I don't think it's ever gone below 19C inside, even in mid-winter, with no heating.

My flat never went below 21 this winter. I had to set the thermostat to 23 a week ago just to check the heating still actually works, as I hadn't turned it on since I moved in.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:53 AM
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Sounds like we need to import a bunch of British people to teach us how to do insulation better over here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:57 AM
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But there's a trade off, good insulation without anything else causes moisture problems. You can't just dry clothes indoors in a well insulated house and not get a wet moldy house unless you're doing something else to deal with the moisture.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:00 AM
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Also "flat" means neighbors. Of course if you have downstairs neighbors you never have to run your heat, you just use their heat. This is why New Yorkers use so little energy.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:01 AM
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It was a ridiculously mild winter in London, to be fair. We had one "cold" week and that was about 0 degrees. But, yes, between the heat exchanger and the insulation, my flat is by far the warmest home I've ever lived in.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:07 AM
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I found buying a washer/dryer in Austria way more stressful than I had anticipated. The typical thing is to have washers in the apartment's bathroom or storage room, but traditional US-style hot-air dryers are rare, and our storage room doesn't have a good way to vent the air from one. We ended up ordering an Ikea washer-dryer combination machine, which was expensive, probably won't dry all that well, isn't very environmentally friendly when drying, and has a low drying capacity, but which nevertheless seemed the most sensible compromise. It seems that most washers here take forever (multiple hours!) in exchange for lower water/electricity usage, and I'd rather leave the stuff in there for 4-6 hours and have it all done than have to be there to transfer it to a separate dryer after 2-4 hours. Ugh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:11 AM
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European washing machines are the worst. People must just change clothes way less often, because otherwise everyone would be driven mad by how long laundry takes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:15 AM
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2-4 hours? Our fancy new He washer only takes a bit over an hour and that's with an extra rinse cycle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:18 AM
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353 is a good point, but a combi requires an external vent anyway, so if you dry your washing in the same room as the boiler, which you probably do, it's fine.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:19 AM
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356. What sort of washers do they sell in Austria for standard? The longest cycle on ours is just over an hour (without tumble dry, obvs).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:21 AM
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We don't even have a boiler.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:21 AM
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re: 347

That's what the heat-exchanger/condenser is doing. It's exchanging air with the outside via a powered fan system and a drain into the waste water system.

I suspect it's all new environmental/building regs, and the requirement to provide EPCs.

https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates

Charlie would know a lot more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:24 AM
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The best part about European washing machines are all the completely inscrutable ideographic symbols for the 10 million different settings.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:26 AM
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The concept seems clear enough, but I never heard of that kind of thing being put on a house here. We just vent outside through a pipe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:26 AM
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2-4 hours? Our fancy new He washer only takes a bit over an hour and that's with an extra rinse cycle.

FWIW, my Bosch combination machine does the washing part of an ordinary cycle at 30 degrees in just over an hour, and then dries for another two hours.

Can't imagine buying an Ikea machine, but presumably it's a white label machine from some ordinary manufacturer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:27 AM
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Better if it's really Ikea. "After 5 hours of assembly it looks roughly the shape of a washing machine, but I still have a few mysterious parts left over. Oh well, let's give it a try!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:28 AM
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356. What sort of washers do they sell in Austria for standard? The longest cycle on ours is just over an hour (without tumble dry, obvs).

Ones like this: Wash time standard 60ºC cotton programme at full load: 236 minutes.

Insane, right?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:28 AM
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Sounds like we need to import a bunch of British people to teach us how to do insulation better over here.

No, no, our free-market system where landlords get to decide what to do and tenants have no idea what the landlords have decided to do works the best.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:28 AM
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367: Yes! Inscrutable symbols! "I wash my clothes at 30 degree flower--not 30 degree hand, mind you--with check mark above lock."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:30 AM
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Yeah, I think it's actually an AEG. It was still probably a terrible idea, though, because it would cost another €200 or so to get it installed by Ikea, whereas, if we'd gone to MediaMarkt, installation would have been €80 or so. We did it because ... I don't know, the 5 year warranty, I guess--the MediaMarkt ones were all 2 years, but 10 on the motor system--and a belief that Ikea's whitelabeling probably meant a discount over the actual item. But right now I have no idea what we're going to do about installing it--I wandered into a local appliance store over the weekend, and they only install their own stuff. Ugh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:33 AM
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I'm just sort of overwhelmed by how expensive and time-consuming it is to entirely furnish a large apartment from scratch. Which, yeah, I know, shouldn't exactly be a surprise to a 34 year old.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:34 AM
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367. Right, insane. Our 60 degree cycle takes about 75 minutes (I've never timed it, but thereabouts). To be fair there's also a 95 degree cycle which takes a little longer, but we never use it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:44 AM
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Our 40 deg cotton cycle takes 4 hours, which is mad, but that is the upfront time. The machine adjusts for weight so smaller loads take less. I think the very long cycles are meant to be more water and power efficient. There are short cycles, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:04 AM
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The wetness of Seattle is over-stated

The PNW has a Mediterranean climate, so despite the fabled damp we can go through an entire summer with maybe three rainy days. The rest of the time, the wetness generally isn't overstated, even if the rainfall amounts are less than in places without constant bone-chilling drizzle. This year is just weird, though. It's been balmy and dry, and the cherries have been in bloom for a week or so.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:33 AM
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What would happen to wet clothes hung outside in below freezing weather? I mean, they'd freeze, but would they somehow dry out in a reasonable amount of time? (I don't know, sublimation or something?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:35 AM
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375. Not in a measurable length of time. I mean, spring would roll around and it would get warmer and eventually the clothes would dry and apart from the insect infestations and the bird shit it would be cool, but meanwhile you'd have had to buy a whole new wardrobe while you waited.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:43 AM
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Probably depends on how far below freezing, how much wind, and so on.

(What sort of terrifying mutant insects do you have in the UK that are actively infesting things left outdoors in freezing weather?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:46 AM
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Maybe it doesn't stay below freezing for a decent amount of time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:52 AM
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In my neighborhood, the frozen clothes would be stolen by drunken undergrads.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:55 AM
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I've somehow managed to lose my keys at home. I must have had them last night to get back into my apartment. I'm starting to suspect my subconscious, desperately wanting to skip today's faculty lunch and meeting, of having woken me up in the middle of the night to hide them somewhere.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:01 AM
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Have you checked the doorknob? That's where my keys usually are when I can't find them in the other usual places.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:04 AM
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I have checked the doorknob.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:04 AM
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Thanks, though. I'm puzzled. There are only three places I have ever consciously left my keys, and it's not in any of those.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:06 AM
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As an inveterate key and other small object loser, when I'm really having trouble finding something, it's usually in a place I think I've already checked. That is, I'll check my bag in a cursory way, check another couple of places, realize that they're 'lost', and start really searching. And a couple of hours later, recheck my bag, which I thought I'd already checked, and they were there all along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:09 AM
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All of the seat cushions. Anywhere your pants and jacket might have ended up, if you keep your keys in a pocket. Then start thinking about weird places like on top of bookshelves, back of the medicine cabinet, whatever. Replay what you might have been doing when you could have distracted yourself.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:09 AM
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Inside a coat pocket, wrapped up in a glove.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:21 AM
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You left your keys in the kitchen, on the counter next to the refrigerator.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:22 AM
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D'uh. Too late.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:23 AM
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386: But now it's too late and you have to miss the meeting. Darn!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:27 AM
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Thanks, subconscious!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:30 AM
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Inside a coat pocket, wrapped up in a glove inside an enigma.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:39 AM
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> i
a bronze key, wrapped in a leather glove

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:41 AM
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||

Anyone who's reading my comments in the hopes of keeping up with Buck's career, he's just launched a new publication-thingie about enterprise computing (I think?). If you're interested, it's at theplatform.net .

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:43 AM
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You really want Germans for the insulation: they also know about Passivhaus, although this is becoming more widespread.

British people - a lot of them anyway - are still obsessed with old buildings and will put up with terrible energy performance and discomfort. Ever-present dampness and these strep temperature gradients near the walls, windows. But living in a new building makes me very happy, and I like being warm very much.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:48 AM
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enterprise computing

There's a Star Trek thread already.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:52 AM
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I've been trying to be cold more often to see if brown fat won't make me thin. I think it's been working. Possibly only because it's too cold to walk clear to McDonald's for breakfast every morning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:54 AM
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392: leather thong.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:56 AM
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And it's an iron key. Or maybe you weren't making an allusion to Hume or Quixote. I haven't read the thread.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 10:56 AM
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No, not well read enough for that allusion. Just thought it sounded adventure-gamey.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:01 AM
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The key attacks the windmills, and in an astounding flurry drives the windmills away.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:04 AM
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You are in a maze of twisty little allusions, all alike.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:08 AM
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393: I can see why he gets confused with Brian Lehrer.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:19 AM
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Close to a foot taller, and much better looking in person. But there is something there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:24 AM
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when they don't housekeeping will always bring you one on request

A fucking hotel in downtown Miami gave me one that a previous guest had ruined (I assume by using a too-high setting on a something synthetic), causing me to put a big black smudge on the front of the shirt I was wearing to a wedding the next day. Fortunately, I was wearing a jacket, so said smudge was not apparent, and there was no reception where one might wish to dance jacket-free. I liked that shirt a lot, although in retrospect it wouldn't have aged well, so perhaps for the best.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:27 AM
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re: 394

Yeah. And you don't even have to go that far back to get into the really energy inefficient. The last-but-one place we lived in was, I think, a l60s low-rise block, 8 or 9 floors. We were on the 5th. Beautiful building. Ours still had a lot of the original decor, so it had this Don Draper sort of vibe. Big, airy, mid-century modern sort of look. The place could have been made to look amazing, with minimal work. But, when they designed it, they clearly hadn't factored in heating costs. It was endlessly cold no matter how much you chucked into heating it.

Our current place, we spend, roughly 20%, I think, of what we spent on bills in that one.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:30 AM
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a drain into the waste water system.

Which is just agonizingly wasteful. It's condensed water! Or, phrased differently, distilled. And it's going down a drain to someplace where it will be treated before being dumped into a river.

I mean, I get that it's a small volume, but it's a small volume of something pure being mixed, literally, with shit. For no reason other than convenience.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:38 AM
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So, ideally, the dehumidifier would drain into a series of reusable drinking water bottles? Or something else?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:41 AM
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When AB was a baby, her folks lived in a small flat near her dad's army base in Germany. He mom used to line dry her diapers in the unheated attic, where they would often freeze before drying. Perhaps the technique was to get the drippiest drying done up there, and then finish them in the apartment.

I could ask her mom at dinner tonight, but for the most part my MIL doesn't have memories of AB's youth, just isolated anecdotes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:42 AM
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407: Well, in truth, you'd have to actively maintain the system* to keep the condensate drinkable, but routing it inside for use in a toilet tank would be simple enough.

*or have a needlessly complex system


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:44 AM
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That makes sense. I was kind of thinking that dehumidifiers I've encountered in the wild always smell vaguely musty. But for filling a toilet tank or similar, I get it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:46 AM
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A little poking around suggests that the real problem with dryers is less heated tumble-drying as such, but the fact that they typically vent hot wet air directly outside.

Just to flag this, this is precisely the answer to clew's question: both a dryer and a drying cabinet convert [cold] wet clothes and energy into dry clothes plus warm, moist air. But only one of them keeps this valuable warm, moist air inside the house.

Moby's inward-facing vent gets around this problem, but A. only works with electric dryers (generally less efficient, and a horrible thing in coal-reliant regions), and B. produces a stream of hot, damp air, which isn't actually a good thing. The nice thing about a drying cabinet (unvented) is that you're very gradually humidifying air that (in winter) could use it. Not dissimilar to people who keep a pot of water on their wood stove (or radiator, sometimes): it's not "free", but it's in some ways preferable to the dry heat that it displaces.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 11:51 AM
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valuable warm, moist air inside the house.

Valuable sometimes, RATHER THE OPPOSITE at other times.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 12:07 PM
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Yes. In the summer, I want the moist to go outside.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 12:10 PM
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I want the moist to go sit in the corner and think about what it has done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 12:12 PM
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Black mold is what happens when moisture thinks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 12:23 PM
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Racist.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 12:25 PM
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Since the whole discussion is about winter drying, and since there are few, if any, places where heated indoor air isn't on the dry side (as defined by e.g. ASHRAE indoor air quality standards), I stand by valuable. I'd add that 411.2B addresses the primary way in which it would be RATHER THE OPPOSITE.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:48 PM
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I don't think the whole discussion is about winter drying. So there!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:53 PM
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YEP. ITS MOLE.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 1:55 PM
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In the summer, everybody dries their clothing on a line outside unless that would somehow involve more work and/or exposing underwear holes to the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:00 PM
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Well, the clew part of the discussion is all about winter drying, since the claim is all about using either a boiler or a dryer to warm the things.

If it's summer and it's too rainy for the laundry line, I suppose you can run a dehumidifier in the room with the damp clothes.

Hmm. This makes me think that, for my client who's putting a bedroom in her (walkout) basement, I should spec damp-resistant drywall. Especially the bits next to where she'll be keeping he interior drying lines.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:27 PM
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Wet clothes hung out in dry windy freezing weather get dry. It's called freeze-drying and works very well, except that it's about as awful a chore as I can remember.

-----

I'm going to have to ask around about who in Seattle has dry indoor air in winter, who has a dehumidifying heat exchanger, and who would like one. Dry air is not a problem we generally face. Nothing outdoors has been dry since November, despite an unusual number of blue-sky days between our unusually heavy rainstorms. (Thank you, Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.) We have forced air (gas) in an imperfectly sealed wood house, and keep it as cold as we can before settling damp damages the books. In-laws have radiant heat in a brick house and need to either run a dehumidifier or literally mop water off the windows a couple times a week, and they have new kitchen and bath vents. It's *damp* in the winter. And Seattle is a lot warmer, sunnier and drier than the Olympic Peninsula where my mother lives.

Dunno about Glasgow. Friends who lived in Wales say it's similar.

(This has been brought to you by the rearguard action of Lesser Seattle, failing at anti-boosterism for thirty years.)

When my mother built her (Rastra, very tight) house, she was required by code to put in a lot of passive venting -- that is, to introduce leaks. I don't think the powered dehumidifying system was even in the standard options, or maybe we didn't recognize the acronym, because it's so suitable I'm considering getting one for the barn/shop/dorm/storage. But the building codes change slowly and are very poorly localized. (Fair, JRoth?)

Great rearguard approach from someone with a US-standard, waste-the-hot-air dryer trying to recapture the heat here. And hey, the very last two plots summarize the answer: even an approximation to MVHR is way, way more efficient than running the furnace longer. *That's* why you don't notice the extra energy from drying clothes in ambient air, because you have the right HVAC approach for the problem. Still not free.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:31 PM
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421.3: oh, just spec this nifty MVHR and she won't even have damp drywall.

It isn't surprising that US-style dryers are maximally destructive. They're a 1960s consumer norm. See also, insinkerators, no neighbourhood shops, electric ceiling heat.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:38 PM
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I never heard of electric ceiling heat, but I really enjoy the insinkeratoring of stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:40 PM
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Which is just agonizingly wasteful. It's condensed water!

My dryer has a condenser, so I just dump the water back into the washer. I'd imagine you could do the same with dehumidifier water if you do enough laundry.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:43 PM
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Wouldn't you say precipitated water? "Condensed water" sounds like a joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:56 PM
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Wait, what's wrong with insinkerators?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:56 PM
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They have dog eyes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 2:59 PM
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Gas -> liquid = condensation.
Dissolved -> solid = precipitation. Meteorologists are idiots.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:03 PM
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Well, the clew part of the discussion is all about winter drying, since the claim is all about using either a boiler or a dryer to warm the things.

If it's summer and it's too rainy for the laundry line, I suppose you can run a dehumidifier in the room with the damp clothes.

Summer or winter, a lot of people over here don't have an outdoors to put their drying.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:03 PM
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But the building codes change slowly and are very poorly localized.

Absolutely true.

RE Seattle dampness, it did occur to me that the places most likely to have a winter damp issue are those where it's not actually that cold out. No matter how damp the air feels at 33° and high humidity, that doesn't translate into much interior moisture once the air is heated to 68°. But 65% at 56°? That's still going to be humid inside, and then condense on cold surfaces overnight. That said, ASHRAE's standard is a max of 65% RH indoors (dew point of 62°), which, at 68°, is higher than Seattle is forecast to get in 9 of the next 10 days.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:17 PM
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Have spent the last few minutes trying to think of a way to recover the energy used to get damp clothes dry, and have nothing. Except perhaps the partial workaround of saving some clothes in a damp state until a very hot day, then putting them on instead of running the air conditioning.

And cooking produces a lot of moisture, and showering, etc. One bit of good news is that if your house is well insulated and decently airtight, a high humidity level (which will likely be temporary in any case) is unproblematic; you won't get condensation onto cold walls, and hence you shouldn't get mould (mold).


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:19 PM
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Maybe you could think of a way to make composting as emotionally satisfying as chucking stuff down the insinkerator.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:24 PM
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What could be more emotionally satisfying than composting? Transforming rotting garbage into sweetsmelling soil before your eyes? Composting and grilling are the two things I regret about not having a yard. (In theory, gardening. In practice, I'm not really that into gardens. Too ephemeral.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:32 PM
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I've heard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:37 PM
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If outdoors air will dry clothes, a rack by an open window?

Seattle is having a very early spring this year with a very low snowpack. It used to be grey into April. ...Modified rapture.

We also had an unusual week of sunny snow and chapped faces. Usually winter dryness, like summer mosquitoes, are a pleasure for others.

Charlie W, a heat exchanger that has condensation is recapturing energy of evaporation. One could...put a tiny Pelton wheel in the drain line? (You can't win, you can't break even...)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:40 PM
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Anyway, crushing garbage to bits and not having to carry more stuff outside are both appealing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 3:41 PM
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Torrey Pine would you please email me?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 6:08 PM
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431: That said, ASHRAE's standard is a max of 65% RH indoors (dew point of 62°), which, at 68°, is higher than Seattle is forecast to get in 9 of the next 10 days.

Right. Seattle's dew point tends to range between 30° and 50° during the winter months. (Scroll down to find dew point chart here. )


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 6:14 PM
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I so so so SO wish we had municipal composting. It would fill me with rapture.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:23 PM
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I will stand for nothing less than state-run composting. Because federalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:28 PM
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I can only wish that my house were tight enough that I could do something about the humidity. Currently 66F and 22% RH indoors. But the house is so poorly sealed that even if I turn on the whole-house humidifier (steam injected into the forced-air system), for 30 kWh/day I can raise that to maybe 27% RH.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:33 PM
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I have actual scales on my skin from the dry air. I want to move into one of those old houses with steam heat. Except that I really like my current ability to pay the gas bill and still afford drinking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:39 PM
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We have municipal composting but I want what I misread 440 as, "musical composting."


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:17 PM
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Link in 439 is almost as thorough as Seattle's municipal composting.

The dewpoint numbers look not so damp, but of three microfiber cloths hung over the porch rail yesterday two are still very damp & one dry-ish. And today was, unseasonably, so sunny the shadows had edges. This is not air to dry my jeans in.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:19 PM
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445: Yes, Weatherspark is great. First learned about it here from ogged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-15 7:36 AM
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