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The Modern Urbanist's Guide to Life

Revisiting the Glitzy Safe Havens of NYC's Drag Ball Culture

The new documentary Kiki returns to a community for LGBTQ youths of color first examined in the landmark film Paris Is Burning.

Eric Miller/Reuters

Do You Want to Be the Mall of America's Writer-in-Residence?

The massive shopping center, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, wants to bring on an artist—to write in the mall, about the mall, and for the mall.

New World Symphony

Turning Street Noise Into a City Symphony

An MIT composer is collecting snippets of sound to turn Miami and Philadelphia into audio masterpieces.

David W Cerny/Reuters

NYC Readers! Come to Our Upcoming HappyHourLab

We’re trying something new, and we hope you’ll join us.

Pooja Makhijani

The Aging Immigrants Bringing a World of Dance to New Jersey

A troupe grooves toward empathy—and health—as local demographics shift.

AP

The South African Building That Came to Symbolize the Apocalypse

Ponte City, Africa’s tallest apartment block, is a mainstay of movies about the end of the world—but it was once an apartheid-era architectural triumph.

Rory MacLeod/Flickr

What Happens When a Local Restaurant Gets Famous?

For a little Vietnamese pho shop in Seattle, home to a three-liter noodle bowl, popularity was a boon and a headache.

Courtesy Maja Griffin

The Private Lives of Vacant Homes

An art installation celebrates the spirit of boarded-up blocks of Baltimore and Japan.

Nicola Urban, Tolmezzo, Italy

Tiny Libraries, Big Ideas

A design challenge asked architects, book enthusiasts, and doodlers to rethink the little free library.

Jim Bourg/Reuters

What a Refugee Chef Wants You to Know About the 'Day Without Immigrants'

Ryan McCaskey, the chef and proprietor at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Acadia restaurant, was evacuated from Vietnam as a toddler. Here’s why he shut down his restaurant in support of immigrant workers.

© Norm Diamond

The Personal Lives of Forgotten Trinkets

A photographer explores the emotional connections of mementos that change hands at Dallas estate sales.

Blair Thornburgh

Here Are the Gerrymandering Valentine's Cards You Need Right Now

Map enthusiast Blair Thornburgh is so fascinated by redistricting that she whipped up some love letters to democracy.

Matt Dunham/AP

How to Observe Your City

A new book offers a toolkit to help urbanites look closely and carefully.

Tanya Habjouqa/SocDoc Studios

Palestine's 'Speed Sisters' Are a Driving Force

The documentary about the Middle East’s first all-female race car driving team reveals the realities of life in the cities of the West Bank.

Jim Dyson/Reuters

Why the 'Planet Earth II' Episode on Cities Is So Startling

The new installment of the BBC show gives us a glimpse of our strange future.

Courtesy of GrokHome

What It's Really Like to Live in a 'Dorm for Adults'

I live in a “hacker house,” but I’m not a tech bro. Here’s why it’s not so crazy to share a home with 17 roommates.

Issei Kato/Reuters

More Data, Better Dining?

Damian Mogavero, a consultant, argues that analytics can help restaurants stick around.

Kfir Bolotin/City of Tel Aviv

The City Obsessed With Dogs Made an App Just for Them

It was only a matter of time before a canine-friendly app sprung up Tel Aviv.

Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The Great British Vegetable Crisis

Extreme weather has caused British vegetable shortages—but is the real problem an unsustainable food system?