Sunday, July 17, 2016


We think zoning in our cities is a blessing. We imagine that the wealthy should be living in their own part of the city, while the middle class live elsewhere, and finally, the welfare population need to be "zoned" into their own tribal territory.

Here is what zoning did to Syria.

There is a city in America which is absolutely unzoned. This is because it came into existence about 300 years ago when zoning was unknown. This city is Nogales, Arizona. Ironically, there is no racism in Nogales. Both Hispanics and Anglos are bilingual in the extreme.

I have been on the sideline listening as an Anglo and a Hispanic are talking. When they get to a word in the other language that is better than what they are speaking, they switch, use that word, but amazingly they go right on the the second language and don't realize they did it.

I have tuned pianos in Nogales in grand villas of the very rich which were built right next to very simply humble homes, and the people living in them are very friendly. In the evening in Nogales, after supper, the people go out and stand in the streets and talk while the kids play. 

The 130 produce brokering companies in Nogales are stuck in corners all around the city in residential areas. The only ones who suffer are the truck drivers who pick up and deliver to these companies.

Nogales is the most friendly, prosperous, and civilized border city in America.

Then, I think of Los Angeles and all its careful zoning. It seems that every ten blocks a new ghetto begins. I am not talking about a racial ghetto. I mean a social and class ghetto. No wonder Americans no longer know their neighbors. No wonder it is so easy to start a street riot.

This is not a White issue. 

It is a serious issue for 100% of us. Where do the civil rights leaders live, in the welfare district? No, they live in Beverly Hills or out on Long Island. I tuned a piano for an NAACP director for an Arizona city. He lived in a palace in the upscale area of town. H was not about to live with the low income Blacks.

There is a real issue here in architecture and zoning.