Podcasts of the Week Ending December 8


On the Media :: Whose Streets?

An expose on news media coverage that biases the priority of the automobile and questions the “heartwarming” stories of people walking long ways to work and transit inequality.

BackStory :: Forgotten Flu

100 years ago, a deadly influenza tore through the United States killing people in their peak of health.

Code Switch :: The Story of Mine Mill

The history of a radical leftist union that organized miners and millworkers in Birminham, Alabama, bringing together Black and white workers at the height of Jim Crow in the 1930s-1960s.

The Memory Palace :: Revolutions

A tribute to the humble – and noisy – washing machine.

99% Invisible :: Oñate’s Foot

The controversy over how Albuquerque would commemorate the conquistador who some see as New Mexico’s founding father and others see as a mass murderer

Nobody’s Home :: “Brown in a Different Way:” The Gentrification Dilemma

Nobody’s Home is a miniseries focusing on the problem of vacant housing in the United States.  It’s strange to listen to in Boston where the shortage of housing is the big problem.  But this episode on gentrification and the long history of inequality in housing ties both issues together well.

Podcasts of the week ending September 15


The Memory Palace :: Lost Locusts

The sound design of this podcast really sells the panic and hopelessness of plagues of locusts in the 19th century plains, and a good explanation of why they ended.

99% Invisible :: The House That Came in the Mail

The history of kit homes sold by Sears, Roebuck from catalogs. Additionally, the story of how adaptive reuse is transforming the distinctive architecture of former Sears plants in cities throughout America.

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 14


Code Switch :: Location, Location, Location

The history of housing segregation and how it underlines every serious social issue in America today.

60 Second Science :: Old New England Underground May Be Spry after All

Uh-oh! Tectonic activity underneath New England!!!

AirSpace :: 2001: An AirSpace Odyssey

1968’s weirdest science fiction film and it’s long-lasting affect on the culture of space exploration.

JP A to Z: T is for Three-Decker #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


T is for Three-Decker

The three-decker (sometimes called triple-decker) is a type of apartment building that is prominent in eastern Massachusetts but rarely found elsewhere.  It’s a simple design in which each of the three floors is a single apartment.  These were built primarily from 1870s to the 1920s as an economical way of housing lots of immigrant workers, but having more light and fresh air than row houses.

I’ve lived on the top floor of a three-decker for 18 years now, first in Somerville, now in JP.  Because the floorplan is virtually identical, I find myself having memories of things happening in this house and then realizing that they happened in the previous house.  Most three-deckers are pretty simple, unadorned wood-frame structures.  But on Brookside Street in Jamaica Plain there are a series of three-deckers with decorative elements of Victorian architecture styles known as The Seven Sisters (sadly, one of them burnt down so only Six Sisters survive).

Three Deckers
Some of the surviving Seven Sisters.

Post for “T” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.