Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Petrolicious, Pacific Standard, Yahoo! Autos, and Gotham Gazette.

How The Trailer Park Could Save Us All – Pacific Standard

What's going to happen with the Baby Boomers as they continue to retire? Suburbs are often a trap as they offer few transportation options for those who can't drive. The higher density of a Trailer Park makes a weird kind of sense.

One of the biggest questions facing the nation with regard to aging boomers is: Where are they going to live? The options amount to a tangle of euphemisms and politically correct titles: independent living, nursing homes, aging-in-place, naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs), retirement village, memory-care units, age-restricted communities. All this complexity disguises a simple fact about money, happiness, and aging: Seniors who can live on their own cost the country relatively little—they even contribute to the economy. But those who move into nursing homes start to run up a significant tab—starting at $52,000 a year. People who are isolated and lonely end up in nursing homes sooner. Hence, finding ways to keep people living on their own, socially engaged, healthy, happy, and out of care isn’t just a personal or family goal—it’s a national priority. Among seniors’ living options, there is one we overlook: mobile homes.

Via Digg



33 is my favorite number, so is it any surprise I love the Alfa Tipo 33 Stradale? Actually, I'd love it if it was the Tipo 34. Just look at it.

There is no such thing as a hyperbolic adjective when writing about the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale. What other word besides “stunning” could fittingly describe its delicate, beautiful lines? How can the elegant complexity of its engineering be conveyed without the use of “exquisite”? “Audacious” seems the only fitting word to explain a purebred racecar with license plates, whose short list of accommodations for street use were so minimal, so impractical as to exclude the fitting of locking doors or even side-view mirrors. “Innovative”, “timeless”, and “mind-numbingly gorgeous” round off this list of grossly inadequate descriptives—like with all great pieces of art the emotions elicited are simply beyond the limitations of human language. If we were face-to-face merely blowing air through our teeth and making weird facial expressions, that would say everything, but since that’s not an option, I’ll try to do it justice with this keyboard.

The hot, and merely lukewarm, models of the Shanghai auto show – Yahoo! Autos


This piece from Brett Berk captures the spirit in Shanghai and includes a startling fact right up front.

In the late 1980s, there were only 176 cars registered to private individuals in the entire nation of China. Those stats did not include the cavalcades of outmoded Hongqi limousines used to ferry about key Party members, which likely brought the total beyond the three-digit range. Still, contrast this with 2012 when, in what is now the world’s largest automotive market, nearly 20 million vehicles were sold.

The Remarkable Story Of How New York City Gets Its Water – Gotham Gazette


I love big infrastructure projects and this interview with author David Soll gets into the details of how New York City and the rest of the state attempt to make it work.

New York City [historically] is the economic engine of the state. Even though in the late 19th/early 20th century and beyond the Legislature is dominated by rural interests, there’s a recognition that New York City needs an adequate water supply to function. And if New York City falls apart, the state is not going to succeed. Through the democratic system, through the legislature, New York [City] is able to secure rights to take water from the Catskills. That’s the democratic part — they have to get permission from the state.

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Photos: AP, Petrolicious, Newspress, City of New York