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The Best Reason South Bend Should Become Famous

Image via Fogtown Neighborhood

It’s a stroke of luck when your small city has national exposure because a hometown guy becomes a plausible Presidential candidate.

But frankly I’d rather we became famous for a different reason: let’s be the community that finally figured out how to…

Image via Architectural Afterlife

The election is on top of us now and Covid dominates the news as well. But I’m trying to think about the long game here for a minute.

The title of this post is the question for lots of lovely, small, seemingly livable Rustbelt places whose populations have declined to…

In Memoriam: Bob Schwabach

An ebullient guy.

Jacob Titus, a key sparkplug in restarting South Bend’s engines

Early this year, before the COVID crisis had really emerged, a new documentary film about life in South Bend called Big Enough, Small Enough was released. It’s a mix of great drone footage, interviews, and street-level scenes of this grungy-hip town which several of the interviewees describe as “just right”…

Some thoughts on our upcoming city elections here in my town…

“The core question is: What can we create together?” (Peter Block)

A few years ago, I heard that our Valpo Mayor Jon Costas was recommending a book called Community, by Peter Block. …

What Does a Healthy Downtown Look Like?

This post is about defining a town’s success in terms of its small businesses and their ability to start up and then thrive. Specifically, it’s asking: how many local families is this downtown supporting? Is that number growing or declining?

It is also…

A Cold War Memoir in the Form of a Travelogue

“We [Russians] are an exception among people. We belong to those who are not an integral part of humanity but exist only to teach the world some type of great lesson.”

— Pyotr Chaadayev, Philosophical Letters (1836)


My old…

Review of Nathan Schneider, Everything for Everyone (Nation Books, 2018)

Are Millet’s gleaners a foreshadowing of today’s precariat workforce?

If I were in charge of the world — or at least in charge of Nation Books — I would probably keep the slightly mysterious title of Nathan Schneider’s remarkable new book, Everything for Everyone. …

Polish crowd celebrating anniversary of Solidarity movement.

Solidarity Hall was born out of a post-2008 yearning to find a third way, some vision of social and civil reconstruction which could lead us out of the mental and literal prisons of past systems.

Our watchword was a mix of the wisdom of the elders and a newfound radicalism, that of Dorothy Day, E.F. Schumacher, Wendell Berry, Cornel West, Rebecca Solnit, and many others.

Elias Crim

Civic entrepreneur

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