Life

Has a Map Changed Your Life? Tell Us About It.

As part of our series The Maps That Make Us, we’re asking readers to share mini-essays about a map that is especially important.

Police in a line; people sitting; a woman holding a photo of Castile.

A Black Minneapolis Artist Brings Hidden Communities to Light

Bobby Rogers’s art finds beauty and creativity in unseen communities, from black Muslims to Minneapolis gang members to faces of police brutality protesters.

An aerial photo of downtown Miami.

The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Friends Are?

Constant location-sharing is now the norm for some friend groups.

It's Time to Ditch Paper Straws, Too

They’re a single-use, disposable consumer item—a greener option, but not a green one.

Hong Kong’s Protests Have Cemented Its Identity

Chinese authorities have long sought to sway Hong Kongers, but more and more, residents of the city see it as being distinct from the mainland.

an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.

The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

a photo of the L.A. Metro Expo Line extension

Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

an illustration depicting a map of the Rio Grande river

Between Texas and Mexico, a Restless Border Defies the Map

In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.

a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it

How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

a photo of a beach cruiser bike.

The California Beach Cruiser Built a Bike Movement

In the 1970s, the signature fat-tired mobility mode of beach towns managed to turn vacationers into bicycle riders.

The Innovations of the Creative Class Affect a Rural Area’s Fortunes

A new study measures innovation and shows that when found in rural areas, it is tied to significant presence of the creative class.

Rockaway Beach is Disappearing and Resurgent All at Once

After Superstorm Sandy, New York City’s oceanfront neighborhood got a boost of investment. But that hasn’t stopped the waves from stealing the beach.

a photo from the film "Jaws"

All I Really Needed to Know About Cities I Learned From ‘Jaws’

Want to understand how public meetings work, the power of place-based branding, and why bad mayors keep getting re-elected? Look no further than Amity Island.

Children holding signs.

The Racism Behind Trump's New ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Policy, Explained

The changes to the “public charge” rule fit into a long history of attempting to restrict immigration based on race and ethnicity.

It’s Surprisingly Hard to Find Out How Rats Move Through Cities

To address rodent-related concerns, it’s useful to know how rats travel. Genetic testing might hold some answers.

Book covers of Native Country of the Heart and The Yellow House.

A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles

Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House and Cherríe Moraga’s Native Country of the Heart reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities.

Two women wave their phones in the air at a crowded music festival.

The Rise, and Urbanization, of Big Music Festivals

The legacy of hippie Woodstock is the modern music-festival economy: materialist, driven by celebrities and social media, and increasingly urban.

Staying Afloat on an Island of Wealth

Each summer on Martha's Vineyard, year-round residents and seasonal workers struggle to find affordable housing amid the island’s luxury real estate.

The New Servant Class

“Wealth work” is one of America’s fastest growing industries. That’s not entirely a good thing.

a photo of Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross talking with designer Thomas Heatherwick

When a Trump Donor Owns Stuff You Love In Cities

SoulCycle investor Stephen Ross faces criticism for hosting a Trump fundraiser. But he also funds sustainability research and urban mobility. It's complicated.