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Lunchtime Thinkage: Why Do We Live in LA, Anyway?

In 2000, Atlantic magazine writer Virginia Postrel owned two houses: one in LA and one in Dallas. Seven years later, the value of her LA home has doubled, while her Dallas home sold for $6,500 less than the purchase price. That comparison kicks off her looping but interesting essay on red states vs. blue states, land-use restrictions, "supercities" like Los Angeles, and why the hell we put up with this goddamn city. And here's your answer to why everyone looks like you:

"The unintended consequence of these land-use policies is that Americans are sorting themselves geographically by income and lifestyle—not across neighborhoods, as they used to, but across regions. People are more likely to live surrounded by others like themselves, creating a more-polarized cultural map." · A Tale of Two Town Houses [The Atlantic]