Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Preorder the paperback edition of Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City


The revised and updated paperback edition of Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City is forthcoming in February 2021. 

Preorder now with Amazon and other booksellers. Or preorder directly from the University of California Press here and get a 30% discount. Just use coupon code 17M6662 at checkout.





PRAISE FOR TEARDOWN

“One can read Teardown and go 'My, my, my! What a horrid town! Thank God I don't live there!' Oh, but you do. Just as the 'Roger & Me Flint' of the 1980s was the precursor to a wave of downsizing that eventually hit every American community, Gordon Young's Flint of 2013, as so profoundly depicted in this book, is your latest warning of what's in store for you — all of you, no matter where you live — in the next decade. The only difference between your town and Flint is that the Grim Reaper just likes to visit us first. It's all here in Teardown, a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once great American city.”
– MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER, AUTHOR, ACTIVIST

“A poignant, often funny look at an iconic Rust Belt city struggling to recover.”
– VANESSA BUSH, BOOKLIST

“Young shines a spotlight on a broken city and the efforts of those desperate to save it, but this is also the story of a man confronting a crisis of identity and finding hope where there seemed to be none.”
– PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Armed with an aluminum baseball bat and a truth-seeking pen, Gordon Young returns to the post-industrial wasteland of his hometown — Vehicle City, aka Flint, Michigan — in search of a derelict house to buy and restore. At least that's his cover story. Young's true mission is to reclaim his past in order to make sense of his present. If you're bewitched by the place where you grew up, you'll find comfort and a sense of home in the pages of Teardown.”
– JACK SHAFER, POLITICO


Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Streets of San Francisco: Chevy Nova

An iconic Chevy Nova, hillside in the smoke and fog, on Dalewood Way near Mt. Davidson.



Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Streets of San Francisco: Buick Electra

Buick Electra 225, complete with gold spoke rims on Terry Francois Blvd. in San Francisco.



Sunday, June 14, 2020

Black Lives Matter



Photographer Jake May of MLive.com highlights local artists and volunteers who painted a Black Lives Matter mural on a block of Martin Luther King Avenue near downtown Flint on June 14. See the series of photos here.




Monday, April 13, 2020

Come what may, this is where we'll remain, in this world with one moon


Just finished Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, which I guess is my official coronavirus novel. Started it when things were normal, chopped up into three volumes to lighten my commute on Caltrain. Finished it in the midst of shelter-in-place, its ending seeming all too prescient.
“I still don't know what sort of world this is, she thought. But whatever world we're in now, I'm sure this is where I will stay. Where we will stay. This world must have its own threats, its own dangers, must be filled with its own type of riddles and contradictions. We may have to travel down many dark paths, leading who knows where. But that's okay. It's not a problem. I'll just have to accept it. I'm not going anywhere. Come what may, this is where we'll remain, in this world with one moon.”

― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Flint and Michigan's Bellwether 5th District

Not an endorsement, just an analysis of Flint's Congressional district as the Michigan primary unfolds:
"Finally, if it’s a bellwether district you’re after, look no further than the 5th District. Racially, this Flint- and Saginaw-based district looks like Michigan as a whole, although it is also one of the least wealthy and college-educated districts in the state. We’re forecasting Biden to get an average of 52 percent here and Sanders to get an average of 41 percent, which closely matches their expected statewide performance. Sanders winning here on election night could be the first sign that a statewide upset is brewing."
See 538's breakdown of the entire state here.




Thursday, January 23, 2020

Flint, Meet Murakami


Sound familiar?

"The town was home to many kinds of people. In the eighteen years I lived there I learned a great deal. My emotional roots are there, and almost all my memories are connected to the place. Nevertheless, the spring I entered university, I heaved a deep sigh of relief when I left.

I still come back for spring and summer vacation, but basically all I do is drink beer."

— Haruki Murakami, "Hear the Wind Sing," 1979