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December 3, 2017

San Francisco: The Embarcadero


Looking back at the Embarcadero waterfront: Perhaps the best thing that happened as a consequence of the Loma Prieta Earthquake was the demise of the freeway that once dominated this area.

San Francisco has a storied freeway history. There were once grand plans to build a web of cross-city freeways. These plans fell to the determined opposition from the city’s residents. In the end, only the stubs of the planned highways were built. San Francisco remains to this day without a through freeway link between the US Highway 101 to the north and south of the City. Though it is less convenient for drivers, there is little doubt blocking the construction of the cross-city freeways preserved the character of many San Franciscan neighborhoods. (more…)

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France: Provins


Provins’ formidable ramparts

Entry 873 on the UNESCO World Heritage list is titled, “Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs.” UNESCO’s listing honors Provins role as the location of one of the Champagne fairs, an annual cycle of trading fairs held in towns in the Champagne and Brie regions of Northern France in the Middle Ages. These fairs were crucial to the medieval European economy and were integral to the early development of international trade and the wool industry. At their height, in the late 12th and the 13th century, the fairs linked the cloth-producing cities of the Low Countries with the Italian dyeing and exporting centers. (more…)

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