Monthly Archives: August 2010

Vestigial Judaism, Part I: Louisiana small town archaeology.

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Americans tend to be restless. Amidst all differences in ethnicities, religions, national origins, and political allegiances, one trait that seems to unite the people of this country is our unrelenting propensity to move. I’ve blogged about it in the past, and it was obvious then that it wouldn’t be the last time: physical manifestations of …Read more…

Streetscape enhancements in a spray can.

Most of us living in reasonably large metropolitan areas have witnessed the fallout from the bursting real estate bubble—one of several, successive machine-gun misfortunes to befall our economy during this ruthless recession. Even if you don’t live in a city that has suffered as greatly as Las Vegas or Phoenix or Naples, Florida, you most …Read more…

The cruel hand of improvement takes a swipe.

I have made a real attempt in this blog to hide my dislike for the word “progressive”—the truth is, I explicitly try to avoid using it whenever possible. When I have let it slide, I nearly always find myself framing the word with those irritating, ironic quotes, as though there’s a current of mockery underlying …Read more…

Let the feet do the wayfinding.

Among the quietest, most modest recent additions to the American landscape are aids for the visually impaired. With little fanfare, they have proliferated in the past decade; perhaps it is to be expected that this has happened discreetly, since the target constituent cannot see them. In an increasing number of downtowns, one hears a voice …Read more…

Rolling back the pages of mega-retail history.

I’ve referred several times in the past to a labelscar without acknowledging that the term is hardly part of everyday idiom. A popular retail website/blog might share the name, but that doesn’t mean it has more than niche appeal. But it also isn’t particularly tough to figure out. It usually involves little more than the …Read more…

Brick roads don’t always lead to Oz.

While this blog post won’t win any awards for brevity (would my blog ever win such a prize?), it surely surpasses all others for the simplicity of the concept. The photo below details the sidewalk upgrade component of a traffic improvement initiative in the Southdowns neighborhood of Baton Rouge. The area represents a banner opportunity …Read more…