-- In Commentary, John Podhoretz vividly describes his longtime neighborhood, the Upper West Side, its descent into crime and dysfunction beginning in the 1960s, and its eventual triumph over those ills. "That it might once have been considered the city's worst is very nearly science-fictional today," he writes, "as it bustles with high-end baby strollers pushed by parents hurrying to homey restaurants on Amsterdam or Columbus or making their way to Central Park. But in 1961, 84th Street was a nightmare, and something had to be done." The immediate reaction, which involved a volleyball net, only made matters worse -- but the neighborhood's revival causes the author to say, "To hell with nostalgia."

-- The New York Times reveals the origin the phrase, "If you see something, say something."

-- In a long OC Weekly piece, Gustavo Arellano tells the story of a Mexican American man in World War II era California who fought for the right to live in a white neighborhood, and changed the course of the American Civil Rights movement when he won.  

-- Next American City says that while Manhattan is making a prominent street into a pedestrian thoroughfare, other locales are reintroducing cars into failed business districts where foot traffic is lacking.

-- Spotted on the Upper East Side: bedbugs infesting the apartments of the rich. New York Magazine reports.

-- The best part of this slide show on the world's best biking cities? The photo that accompanies the Amsterdam entry.