Yogi Berra, baseball catcher, urban theorist and aphorism machine, dies at 90

The late Yogi Berra was well-known as a catcher, but better known these days as the spinner of great aphorisms that we use again and again. My favorite is his complaint about a St. Louis restaurant that got really popular: Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. I use it all the time to describe things like New York's High Line Park or Times Square. Then there is that indispensable planning tool: You can observe a lot by watching. Mike is fond of Deja vu all over again and The future ain’t what it used to be. There's one that Katherine might like about bringing up kids: I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

No doubt his funeral will be crowded; as Yogi noted, You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours. Here are some examples of how we used and misused Yogi's great lines; Credit where credit is due.

The Future Ain't What it Used to Be!

France XXI CenturyWikimedia/Public Domain In 1900, Paris hosted the World Exhibition (known in French as Exposition Universelle). For the occasion, Jean-Marc Côté and other artists created a series of drawings showing what France was predicted to be like in the far off future, the year 2000 (which to us is already receding in the past -- time flies!). More in TreeHugger

The future of transportation, as imagined by Disney in 1958 (video)

Future of transportation DisneyYoutube/Screen capture The future ain't what it used to be Part 2 More in TreeHugger

Deja vu all over again: Michigan auto dealers sneakily try to lock Tesla out of the state

Tesla P85D with Michigan textTesla/Promo image When the incumbents do everything in their power to keep you out of the market, rather than try to compete with you directly on the merit of their products, you know you're on to something. More in TreeHugger

Déjà vu All Over Again: A 2013 Home 3D Printer Is Like a 1983 Dot Matrix Printer
JukiDot Matrix Printers Were So Futuristic!/Screen capture

In 1977 Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp, one of the biggest mini-computer companies said "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." He claimed he was misquoted, but the quote stuck as a classic representation of a guy so out of touch that he didn't see where his own technology was going. There are a lot of people saying exactly the same thing now about 3D printers, and they are wrong for exactly the same reasons. More in TreeHugger

Is the High Line Park "A Tad Fatuous" or "A Gorgeously Executed Gem"?

crowded high lineLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

When I tried to walk the High Line on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in May this year, I could only think of Yogi Berra's line about a restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." I wondered if it was going to be killed by its own success while I marvelled at how well it was done. More in TreeHugger

Yogi Berra, dead at 90. Here's the New York Times obituary and a great list of quotes in the New York Post.

Tags: Urban Planning


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