This week’s #Urbanist Goodreads are about faraway places

This week let’s go an adventure. We’ll start in Whittier, Alaska, a town where most residents live in a massive apartment building repurposed from an old military barracks. Then we’ll head to a room Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to see what you can rent for $500. Scars from the Troubles, the decades long reign of terrorism and violence between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, still cut through the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Finally, a sprawling, beautiful collection of photographs and essays from northern Russia. Welcome to Whittier, Alaska, a Community Under One Roof – NPR “Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. But if you’re picturing a small huddle of houses, think again. Instead, on the edge of town, there stands a 14-story building called Begich Towers — a former Army barracks, resembling an aging hotel, where most of the town’s 200 residents live.” How do you avoid sixty mile an hour winds in the dead of an Alaskan winter? Simple, you just make it so you never have to go outside. My Tin-Roofed Outbuilding in Dar es Salaam – The Billfold “So I have a small, very lived-in place in an unfashionable neighborhood, and it’s not all that cheap. That’s just Dar. I’m here on a research Fulbright, which pays enough to live on but not a whole lot more. I’ve mostly lived in much cheaper towns, so I find myself counting my Tanzanian shillings when making small purchases in a way I never have before. Luckily, some things in the city are very inexpensive,…