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This week’s city reading: the cases for coffee-shop laptopping, Monocle magazine’s apartment-building, and Seoul street-eating

In Defence of the Coffee Shop Laptopper (Kate Symondson, Times Literary Supplement) ‘Data scientists and an entrepreneur-blogger, Sam Floy, created a series of heat maps correlating “on-the-up” neighbourhoods with coffee shop density. This “Coffee and Chicken shop method”, as it has come to be known, demonstrates that homebuyers ought to opt for an area where there is a high density of coffee shops, a low density of chicken shops, and low house prices.’

What Happened to the American Boomtown? (Emily Badger, New York Times) ‘The places that are booming in size aren’t the economic boomtowns — the regions with the greatest prosperity and highest productivity. In theory, we’d expect those metros, like the Bay Area, Boston and New York, to be rapidly expanding, as people move from regions with high unemployment and meager wages to those with high salaries and strong job markets. That we’re not seeing such a pattern suggests that something is fundamentally amiss. The magnets aren’t working.’

Los Angeles Is Ready for the Next Mobility Revolution (Julia Wick, Citylab) ‘The importance of the basics—and the depth of the gulf between our varied, glittering futures and the daily reality of being a transit-dependent Angeleno—was particularly apparent once I exited the mobility revolution and made my way to the bus stop. I narrowly dodged one of the candy-colored rolling mules as I exited the temporary festival grounds, and then walked a supremely pedestrian-unfriendly half-mile to catch an express bus that spent 20 minutes circumnavigating downtown traffic before even beginning its westward crawl.’

Monocle: You’ve Seen the Magazine – Now Buy the Apartment (Rupert Neate, The Guardian) ‘Patrons sipping lattes and cappuccinos at the Monocle cafe in London’s Marylebone district said they’d be keen to move into a Monocle-designed apartment if they could afford it.’

How Did the Tube Lines Get Their Names? A History of London Underground in 12 Lines (Jonn Elledge, Citymetric) ”Since the integration of the tube network under the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, the city authorities have succeeded in creating precisely no new major underground railways without naming them after the royal family. And this is why we will never have true equality in Britain.”

The Allure of Pojangmacha (Yoon Min-sik, Korea Herald) “Despite the overpriced and sometimes questionable food, dim lights, inconvenience of plastic tables and chairs along with not-so-friendly owners, Koreans continue to seek comfort in the flimsy red tents of pojangmacha.”