Life

Three workers pose separately inside a public market in Mexico City.

Inside a Mexico City ‘Market On Wheels’

Why the roving vendors of Ruta 6, one of Mexico City’s Mercado Sobre Ruedas, keep at their craft, and maintain customers despite the rise of Walmart.

A block of shuttered two-story buildings

Can Poletown Come Back After a General Motors Shutdown?

The 33-year-old GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant was renovated less than five years ago. But now that it’s shutting down, some residents are hoping to right a wrong.

A church in Detroit just before its demolition in the early 1980s

A Documentary Looks Back at GM’s History in Detroit’s Poletown

“These people responsible for this are worse than the communists in Poland,” one local said when General Motors razed the neighborhood in the early 1980s.

A large detached dwelling on Oahu, one of the Hawaiian islands

On Oahu, a Debate Over Honolulu’s ‘Monster’ Homes

Critics say the massive homes are code-dodging rentals. Others say space for extended-family home-share is necessary to manage the high home prices in Hawaii.

Long Island City, Queens residents in a park.

What New Yorkers Really Think of Amazon HQ2

More than half of them welcome the tech giant, according to a Quinnipiac poll. But support varies by borough, and race.

A vegetable farm next to high-rise apartments in Hong Kong.

Just How Much of the World Is Urban?

Experts at the European Commission assess the world as more urban than experts at the United Nations or New York University do. We need to resolve this debate.

A screenshot of Cambridge University’s map of murders in medieval London.

Mapping the Gruesome Murders of Medieval London

Using coroners’ records from the 1300s, Cambridge researchers reveal what violence looked like in a dangerous city with little law enforcement.

IKEA plans to boost its online offerings and open 30 smaller stores in city centers over the next two years.

Why IKEA Wants to Move Downtown

The retail giant plans to open a series of “city center” stores, starting in Manhattan. It’s a notable departure from its usual big-box suburban megastores.

What the Ultrarich Really Want

There’s a reason many aren’t satisfied with the wealth they already have.

A worker serves customers at a New York diner as the result of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is shown on a TV screen.

The Political Differences of the Creative, Service, and Working Classes

What do the three classes think about issues like gun control, immigration, women’s rights, and unionization?

A school bus in Queens.

NYC and Amazon Have a School Plan for HQ2 Families: Wait and See

There aren’t many plans for how Amazon HQ2 families will integrate into New York’s notoriously challenging school system if they aren’t already locals.

Nothing Says Midwest Like a Well-Dressed Porch Goose

How a concrete waterfowl in a funny outfit conquered the heartland.  

What’s Really Happening to Retail?

Manhattan’s shuttered storefronts tell a larger American story: Only Amazon-proof businesses can now survive in brick and mortar.

The opulent anteroom to a ladies' restroom at the Ohio Theatre, a 1928 movie palace in Columbus, Ohio.

The Glamorous, Sexist History of the Women’s Restroom Lounge

Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish?

The Google logo outside its Beijing campus

Inside San Jose’s Deal to Develop a Google Campus—Sans Tax Incentives

San Jose’s mayor says he wants the deal to be the ultimate foil to Amazon’s HQ2 process. Will the community agree?

A photo illustration of a San Francisco Muni bus driver.

What You Should Know About Your Bus Driver

A driver’s-eye-view of what it’s like behind the wheel of a city bus, from a San Francisco Muni bus driver.

A cash register is pictured.

New York’s Small Businesses See a Glimmer of Hope Against Rising Rents

Leaders at the city and state levels say they’re prepared to address the closure of mom-and-pop shops, but some key hurdles may stand in the way.

View of traffic in Long Island City, Queens, looking over the bridge to Manhattan.

Amazon’s HQ2 Search Was About Specialized Talent

Amazon chose Long Island City and Crystal City based on talent. But talent isn’t generic: The search for HQ2 was about particular types of it.

Why So Many People Hate Winter

Science suggests that there are two types of people who tolerate the cold well. Sadly, I’m neither.

Riders exit the Boston MBTA green line

Why Is Your State Red or Blue? Look to the Dominant Occupational Class

States with more working-class voters are solidly red; those with a dominant creative class are solidly blue; service-class heavy states aren’t easily defined.