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Showing posts from July, 2016

NYC Chronicles: The Churches

As a blood-bought, born again, and redeemed Christian, I took a special interest in the churches of NYC.

Their architecture, their locations, their histories, their abilities to "draw all peoples" (John 12:32). People of varying ethnicities, languages, and cultures were stopping by these churches to take in their elaborate decor and experience. Their physical looks alone evoke a sense of reverence.

I will never forget driving by the Abyssinian Baptist Church on Sunday morning and seeing the unending line of people (many tourists among them) waiting to get inside for one of the church services. Or, the high occupancy of pews inside the Trinity Church (yes, from National Treasure). There remains widespread amazement of the strength, resilience, and strong ties to American history of St. Paul's Chapel. The Times Square Church sits literally in Times Square.

Interestingly enough, the doors of the Abyssinian Baptist Church and the Mother African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion…

NYC Chronicles: Funding Infrastructure

The sheer volume of NYC's infrastructure is in and of itself, fascinating.

Roads, bridges, airports, waterways, those wide and inviting sidewalks on Times Square, streetlights, mass transit, and railroads that collectively support one of the world's largest cities must be funded somehow.

I can imagine NYC has no shortage of tax revenue streams- my parents and I were certainly contributors last week.

It is only a wonder as to what the real fiscal needs are to maintain such a large and in-demand infrastructure system. I know it is not cheap.

It seems to me that high personal incomes (anyone who can afford to rent an apartment in Manhattan is not poor), a solid stream of business investment, and tourism dollars create a combined solid tax base.

Strikingly enough, in 1975 NYC almost went bankrupt.

I do not believe The City that Never Sleeps has such tax revenue shortages today. In six days in The Big Apple, all I saw was economic vibrancy unmatched by any locale that I have ever se…

NYC Chronicles: Economic Development at a Glance

Upon visiting, you cannot help but notice NYC's vibrant economy. It is layered and, from looks on the surface, stable.

As one of our tour guides put it, NYC's leading industries are FIRE: Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. 
As a guess, having done no prior research, I would add Healthcare, Media Production, Entertainment, Fashion, and Tourism to this list.
NYC daily reaps the benefits of a diverse local economy.
As a critical component of the Big Apple's development, the City's infrastructure must also be noted. 
NYC's robust transportation systems enable growth: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, the RFK Airport, the LaGuardia Airport, the Hudson River, the East River, the New York City Subway, and the nonstop work of road repairs throughout the City. 
Combined, these infrastructure assets and investments contribute to an environment conducive for commerce on a macro level.
I am sure I sound like a cheerleader for NYC, but this is …

NYC Chronicles: The Introduction

My parents and I arrived back from our week-long NYC vacation this morning.

We had a blast! Just the three of us in The Big Apple.

NYC is a fascinating city. It is like no other place on earth. It's vibrant, lively, moving, crowded, packed, interesting, historical, free, bright, and HUGE!

We ate, laughed, ate, walked, ate, prayed, ate, explored, ate, shopped, ate, relaxed, and oh yeah- ate.

I will share my experiences, thoughts, and observations in subsequent posts. But before any further posts about The City That Never Sleeps, I'll leave with this statement of both fact and opinion:

If You Haven't Been to NYC Yet, Make it a Priority to Go. The City is Incredible.

The Important Industry of Tourism

Today, cities and towns are developing and promoting their tourism industries as critical parts of their economic development strategies. And, rightfully, they should.

Tourism is not just the week-long family vacation. Tourism happens anytime some one from outside of your community spends money in your community.

When these visitors "import" cash into your community, they are officially supporting local tourism.

The more money a visitor spends in your community, the less you, the local resident, have to pay for better streets, roads, parks, law enforcement, and other public amenities you may enjoy.

Tourism has a tremendous economic impact on communities. Tourism:

Supports local businesses, which creates and supplies jobsDiversifies the economy, so the community is not dependent on one or two industriesCreates a multiplier effect to support other complementary and non-tourism related industriesIncreases the tax base to pay for public services and amenitiesCreates business oppo…

A Short Course on Economic Development

Please enjoy this video by my favorite economic development author, Maury Forman.

As an intern at the Metro Atlanta Chamber back in 2012, I was given most of his library of economic development books and I still hold them close even to this day.

You will find he has a great foundational understanding of economic development.


John 16:33 Breakdown

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
A quick Scripture breakdown. I hope this encourages you.

"These things I have spoken." Jesus says "Pay attention!" If the Lord does not have our attention, we are bound to miss something."... in Me you may have peace." Jesus is our peace. Real peace is not when the storm ceases. Real peace is when you have peace in your storm. If anything other than God is our "peace," it will eventually fail. Money, work, people, acceptance, all these are not sustainable sources of peace. They are up and down. Not so with Jesus. He is always the same. He never changes and neither does the comfort, peace, and mental clarity that He offers. "... you will have tribulation;" No one is exempt from tough times. In fact, Jesus is guaranteeing it. He Himself traveled a rocky road whil…

July 4th: Commemorating American Independence

Happy 4th of July! I hope you and your family have enjoyed this day, as has mine.

Lots of food, fun, and fireworks later, I gave some thought to the meaning of July 4th.

After independence was won from the British, the newly-found United States of America faced several pressing issues. There were some things America had going good, and some things that were not-so-good.

An entire continent abounding in vegetation and far from European interferenceA youthful population of about 4 million, and half of it around 16 years old or youngerLots of opportunity for property ownershipCommitment to the ideals of independenceNearly unanimous consensus that the first chief would be George Washington Not-So-Good: A republican government on the scale of United States had never been establishedGovernmental authority was stigmatized, frowned on, and could potentially be overthrownNo common history or common experience as a nation, other than the war itselfExponential growth of the African slave p…