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Amor Fugit by Alexandra Duncan
Babymouse: The Musical by Jennifer Holm
The Broken Ear by Georges Remi Hergé
City Makers by Remi A. Nadeau
Cowboy and Octopus by Jon Scieszka
Crow Call by Lois Lowry
The Department of Mad Scientists by Michael Belfiore
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
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The Light, The Dark and Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus
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Night of the Ninjas (MTH #5) by Mary Pope Osborne
Peppermints in the Parlor by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
The Real Martian Chronicles by John Sladek
San Francisco Then and Now by Bill Yenne
The Secret Lives of Fairy Tales by Steven Popkes
Selfless by David Michael Slater
Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple
Strange But True America by John Hafnor
Sugar Would Not Eat It by Emily Jenkins
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

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City Makers: 11/09/10

cover art

If you read my review of Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, you know about my abandoned research. Since I was looking for the origins of certain city oriented conventions that we now take for granted, I was eager to find source material. At the same time, UCLA was retrofitting its main library and in the process was culling the shelves. Every so often they'd have a book sale and I'd snatch up any of the older books I could. One of my favorite finds was The City-Makers by Remi A. Nadeau.

The book was first published in 1948. It covers the earliest days of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Nadeau outlines how various economic factors compelled the sprawling growth that's now associated with the Los Angeles basin and neighboring valleys: ranching, mining, railroads and real estate. As the book only covers the 1800s, the entertainment industry isn't included for discussion.

What fascinated me most was the financial influence of Bay Area venture capital. Orange Grove, which later became part of Pasadena, was funded by venture capital from Leland Stanford.

That's something that continues to this day. The projects have changed over the years but they are still being funded by Northern California money. When I was at UCLA we worked in computer labs funded by Silicon Valley money. The Labs had been destroyed in the Northridge earthquake (1994). The caveat to the money was that "new media" which included web design had to be taught. That's how I ended up on my career path.

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