New and Old #103
Friday roundup and commentary
Steak and Dessert Urbanism, Corridor Urbanism, Ben Kaplan, March 16, 2023
For suburbanites going to work, or to get groceries, or going out for a night out on the town all of these actions are inconvenient in the same way; you need to get in your car and drive somewhere. For a lot of people in urban neighborhoods, especially the urban neighborhoods that have undergone economic growth* in the past few decades, those things are not equally inconvenient. Going out for a night on the town, or to the farmer’s market, or getting a cup of coffee is walkable, but the boring errands life demands of you still require a car. It is likely your commute still requires a car. You’ve got steak and dessert right there, but there are no vegetables.
Kaplan is responding to/expanding on, with a literal take, a piece I wrote using “vegetables” metaphorically. It’s a really great response that engages with my original piece and also stands as a short article on its own. Check it out.
Meet Warmed-Over Flavor, the Phenomenon That Turns Leftovers Funky, Serious Eats, Kyle Frischkorn, September 25, 2019
I cook a lot, but I don’t know a whole lot of food or kitchen science. I have, however, noticed this stale, unpleasant flavor that leftover chicken picks up. This article goes into the science of it, and how home cooks can reduce it. Interestingly, it has little-to-nothing to do with the quality of the meat. It’s a cellular thing!
Decker also says it probably doesn’t matter how the chicken is raised—whether it’s organic, free-range, or raised in feedlots. “The only thing that would help would be to feed the chickens vitamin E,” he says. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that makes its way into cell membranes and protects them from degradation, but, while Decker notes that some vitamin E is generally fed to all livestock, putting an entire barnyard on a high-antioxidant diet just to control WOF wouldn’t be cost-effective.
Akron photographer captures mall nostalgia and decline, Ideastream, Jean-Marie Papoi, December 16, 2022
Akron native Jessica Anshutz grew up three miles from Rolling Acres Mall and jokes that it was her childhood home.
“My dad is a bricklayer and one of his very first jobs was working at Rolling Acres during the building of the mall,” Anshutz said. “So quite literally from the first bricks of that place, my family has been involved. It was always a presence in my life.”
When Anshutz started her photography project, that mall had already been abandoned for years. It all happened very quickly, didn’t it?
“I’m not advocating for these places to be saved, but I do think it’s important for photos and the folklore of a mall to still exist,” she said.
Preservation doesn’t have to be physical.
Fast Fashion Brands Are Distorting Charity Shops, Everpress, Sophie Benson, January 2023
Once a hotbed for affordable quality clothing, rare finds and cheap fun vintage, charity shops are now stuffed to the rafters with the same generic, trend-led products you’re faced with online and in every other high street shop.
While PLT asserts its donations have saved a whopping 100 tonnes of clothing saved from landfill, it fails to mention the sole reason these clothes exist is its own overproduction and failure to forecast demand. “If something is going to be donated new with tags, it didn’t need to be created in the first place,” says author and consultant Aja Barber, who has been tracking the rising presence of new fast fashion in charity shops on her social media channels for some time.
Check out Adam Minter’s book Secondhand for a really deep dive into this sort of thing. He covers, for example, the fact that many products today are so poorly made that they’re essentially worthless secondhand; nuisances and expenses rather than resources for the thrift store industry.
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