Metropolis

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Metropolis is a column about the intersection of technology, business, and cities.

It’s not Instagram, but it may as well be. Tucson, Arizona, flaunts its star-filled desert sunset landscapes, taunting you with the thought that this could be your backyard view. Northwest Arkansas sells itself with a thrilling picture of…


A live music venue with shuttered doors. Old concert posters are taped up and a health mask is fluttering in the wind. There are graffiti markings over the closed pull down garage doors.
Jimmy Simpson for Marker

When the stage lights rose before the show on March 14, 2020, at Saint Vitus, a cramped New York City heavy metal bar, the venue felt a little more on edge than normal. In its near decade of shows, dance parties, and drinking, the intimate, dimly lit bar and concert…


An artistic rendering of a techno-futuristic city with modern skyscrapers and uniquely shaped structures.
Illustration: Comrade

In historian Ben Wilson’s new book on the history of cities, Metropolis, he notes that the ancient Mesopotamian settlement of Uruk, considered urbanization’s first draft, actually came thousands of years after an elaborate stone worship site was assembled on a mountainside in present-day Turkey. “The temple came before the farm,”…


Illustration: Maria Chimishkyan

“None of us knows how long this crisis will last,” pleaded Robert Reffkin in a letter to Nancy Pelosi and her Republican counterpart Kevin McCarthy in March. Reffkin, CEO of real estate startup Compass, was urging Congress to include independent contractors like real estate agents — some 2 million of…


Eviction protections have ended in many states, but the fallout from the pandemic rages on. Tenants are being evicted over video chat as the courts adjust to social distancing, and the government has shown little concern in addressing a housing crisis that affects Black and Brown renters the most.


A protest in front of the Jackson Courthouse by advocacy group KC Tenants against continued evictions during the pandemic. Photo: Brandon Frederick

It’s a Thursday morning in July at the Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City, Missouri and Judge Mary Weir is running one of four landlord-tenant dockets processing housing cases — usually landlords seeking to evict their tenants. These state courtrooms, which typically try cases involving payday lenders and financial…


Cheering a crowd of protestors from a stoop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images.

It pained Lynette Morrow that she was considering leaving Manhattan for the suburbs. But then again, nothing felt like it did before. “It’s not going back to normal,” she told the New York Times. “This is now going to be normal.” Mariam Zadeh, also from Morrow’s neighborhood of Battery Park…

Patrick Sisson

A Chicago expat living in Los Angeles, Patrick Sisson writes about the intersection of cities, business, and culture.

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