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Creating Artsy Moscow; Tracking Change in a Corner of LA

Welcome to Curbed's weekly roundup of architecture, real estate, and urban planning-related feature stories. Please be in touch if you have a story to recommend.

1. The restaurant pictured above, Door 19, is a pop-up restaurant in a Moscow penthouse. The penthouse itself is for sale, and, the Guardian explains, it is just one element of ArtKvartal, a district-slash-gentrification-plan that will carve out a space for artsy types in Moscow.

Kuba Snopek, a lecturer at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow, describes the redesign of VDNKh, as a kind of "hipster Stalinism". "It's strange to have a strong Stalinist space, which is actually fashionable and tries to be very light," he says. "It's very interesting to see how these spaces are accommodating things which in the west are associated with freedom and liberal tendencies." Noting the turn towards fixing up public spaces, Snopek says that Russia tends to look towards the west for architectural trends. "But it's always happening with some lag and it always comes up a bit different," he says. 2. Four reporters and producers who work for the Wealth & Poverty desk at Marketplace opened a bureau in Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood to get a close-up view of gentrification in progress. The result is a thorough examination of how the area has changed and which residents do and don't see themselves as gentrifiers.

Paul is a newcomer, but he doesn't consider himself a gentrifier. He witnessed the effects of gentrification up close in San Francisco and was saddened when high-end restaurants began to replace taquerias in the Mission District. He sees similar dynamics at play in Highland Park, and he's put off by the sense of exclusivity that he feels many higher-end businesses exude….'A lot of the cafes, I feel unworthy walking in,' Paul said. 'Because the waiters seem much more hip and interesting than I am, and I'm like, intimidated. And some of the things on the menu, I've never heard of before.'" 3. Horace Walpole, the Englishman whose The Castle of Otranto is considered the world's first Gothic novel, also had an obsession with a Gothic house he purchased in Twickenham at age 30. A story in Longreads describes the house, Strawberry Hill, in all its glory:

Then he started on the interior. At first, his friends greeted his plans to re-do the house in a Gothic style with some mock-horror. As the biographer Ketton-Cremer notes, this was not because it was a new idea, but because it was a slightly out-of-date one. A fashion for Gothic recently had enjoyed a brief, bright flare of popularity in England and the style was now viewed, in Wapole's set, as a little outré and (dread!) middle-class. So beyond the obvious eccentricity of the undertaking, his ambitions must have seemed strangely out of step at first—as if he'd taken the most Pinteresty of Pinterest boards for inspiration. 4. Washington D.C. has relatively strict rent control laws, but somehow, landlords keep finding ways to get around them. The Washington City Paper investigates.

There's one more provision that gives landlords a way to boost their revenue by more than the usual limits. When a unit becomes vacant, the property owner can raise the rent by up to 30 percent, as long as it doesn't exceed the rent for at least one comparable unit in the building. (Regardless of comparable rents, the owner is entitled to a 10 percent hike.) So landlords stand to profit when their rent-controlled tenants move out—and they often take advantage by nudging them out the door. · Recommended Reading archive [Curbed]