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Photo: The Apple Store at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City. The store is actually underground, accessed through stairs or an elevator in the glass box. (Fletcher6)

Silicon Valley wants to rethink city life 19 MIN, 17 SEC

The Carnegie Library in Washington DC's Mount Vernon Square,
which Apple will convert into one of its "town squares."
Photo by Mark Schierbecker

Tech companies are disrupting city life in all sorts of ways, from AirBnB to ridesharing and food delivery to self-driving cars. And cities are impacting tech. DnA talks to CityLab's Kriston Capps about the latest developments.

Apple announced last week that its stores will be rebranded as "town squares," in which the public can gather in "plazas," browse new products on their "avenues" and take classes in their "forums."

Why is Apple borrowing the language of city planning? And should they be setting up shop in hallowed architectural buildings, like Washington DC's Carnegie Library?

The announcement of a vending machine startup Bodega ignited cries of racism and tone-deafness. Is a vending machine that uses facial recognition software to predict your purchases anti-urban? And why does Silicon Valley produce so many apps that serve young bachelors?

And while Amazon promises to breathe new life into the city that wins the bid to host its second headquarters, is the company's online retail business sucking the life out of Main Street? And do Apple's "town squares" bring the customers back?

Kriston Capps, The Atlantic's CityLab (@kristoncapps)

CityLab: DC's Carnegie Library is turning into an Apple store
Financial Times: Apple stores are not 'town squares' and never should be
Atlantic: The great thing about Apple christening their stores 'town squares'
CityLab: Here is everything wrong with 'Bodega,' the startup that destroys sodegas
Scientific American: Why vending machines are not bodegas

Meet the artist: Stacy Michelson 10 MIN, 6 SEC

Stacy Michelson and the Good Food picnic blanket she designed
Photo by Christopher Ho

Green tea boba with a goofy face, smiling cheeseburgers and winking slices of pizza. These are just some of the characters in a line-up of fun food and other creatures drawn by Stacy Michelson, the artist behind the Good Food tote bag, and now the Good Food picnic blanket. We talked to Michaelson about making band T-shirts in high school, how Japanese snack food wrappers inspired her wacky creations, why adult coloring books are trendy and the secret to becoming an artist: just do it.

Stacy Michelson, artist (@stacymichelson)

What do we want? A 'Good Food' tote bag!
Stacy Michelson's Instagram feed
Stacy Michelson's Etsy shop

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