‘hybrid car’

China’s transition from an investment-driven to a consumer-led economy bears similarities to driving a hybrid car. While the driver may prefer to use the car’s greener electric engine, he can find that, when it lacks torque, he is compelled to switch back to the more traditional gas-guzzling form of propulsion.

This analogy, which comes from Tim Adams, president of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), an industry association, frames the challenge for Beijing as it seeks to boost the power of a consumer-oriented “new economy” that relies on service industries, technological upgrading and greener living.

-James Kynge ‘China’s new economy groups outperform‘ Financial Times

‘high-rent blight’

Abandoned storefronts have long been a hallmark of economic depression and high crime rates, but the West Village doesn’t have either of those. Instead, what it has are extremely high commercial rents, which cause an effect that is not dissimilar. “High-rent blight” happens when rising property values, usually understood as a sign of prosperity, start to inflict damage on the city economics that Jane Jacobs wrote about.

-Tim Wu ‘Why are there so many shuttered storefronts in the West Village?‘ The New Yorker (2015)


‘you can talk to Them any time’

I began to get a certain glimmer of Robert’s world. They, with a capital T, are always abut to do something. To me, They are sitting around at Oscar’s at five o’clock and you can talk to Them any time, for one round of drinks; the trick is to know when They are telling the truth and when They are faking you out.

-‘Adam Smith’ The Money Game

‘not in me’

The churches of Greenwich Village had this second-century quality. In Manhattan, Christianity is so feeble its future seems before it. One walks to church past clattering cafeterias and glowering news vendors in winter weather that is always a shade of Lent, on pavements spangled with last night’s vomit. The expectantly hushed shelter of the church is like one of those spots worn bare by a softball game in a weed-filled vacant lot. The presence of the city beats like wind at the glowing windows. One hastens home afterward, head down, hurrying to assume the disguise–sweaters and khaki pants–of a non-churchgoer. I tried not to go, but it was not in me not to go.

-John Updike ‘Packed dirt, churchgoing, a dying cat, a traded car’