The title is a riff on the town I live in, Traverse City, MI.

I’m not trying to tear the place down or anything–Traverse City is a beautiful place with lots of interesting and kind people in it. But “Adverse City” does sometimes reflect my experience of northern Michigan. The job market is tight, intellectually stimulating jobs are particularly hard to come by, it snows every day from Halloween to Easter, and the cultural atmosphere sometimes seems rather limited and retrograde when compared to New Jersey, where I used to live.

I also use “adverse” in the sense of “going in the opposite direction” in reference to myself. I tend to be a bit contrarian. I don’t trust the consensus on a lot of things, and I like putting people’s assumptions to the test. (Hopefully my own as well as others’.)

Over time, as I fill these pages with my contrarian and sometimes cranky views and arguments, I hope this will become indeed an “Adverse City” for people who cherish unexamined assumptions about the world. Also, I am fascinated with cities and how people, goods and information travel through and between them. The fascination of cities is all the accidental juxtaposition they force on us as this process takes place. I’m hoping for something like that here, though on a strictly voluntary basis!


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