Monthly Archives: August 2015

Provisions for our peccadilloes.

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Virtually every top-down policy yields a bottom-up response. And is there any policy out there that isn’t to some degree top-down, at least in the nature of its implementation? This isn’t rocket science, but if we learned from the undesirable consequences elicited by well-intentioned policies, we may be far charier to legislate. But then there …Read more…

When a vintage sign is like a fine wine.

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While I suspect virtually every adult has at one time experienced some sort of nostalgia, we all have different stimuli. It’s that much more appealing when it’s unexpected, which was exactly the case when I was out recently along a major highway in Dover, Delaware’s rapidly growing capital, and I saw this sign. Unexpected and …Read more…

A traveler’s guide to the penitentiary.

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Along any stretch of highway, it’s easy to imagine feeling at least a little unsettled if you drive past this sign:This is exactly what one encounters heading northward along I-75 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 20 miles south of Sioux Sainte Marie and the Canadian border. In most respects, it’s a notice we all can …Read more…

Tossing historic accuracy out the window.

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Don’t let the naysayers sway you. Historic preservation aspirations can harmonize with the private sector. In fact, it’s happening now more than ever, and it’s depending far less on pubic sector intervention than ever before. With increasing frequency, entrepreneurs are mobilizing to salvage buildings or prominent features deemed under threat, either from redevelopment or decay …Read more…

A colorful patch on a faded pair of slacks.

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At a primary intersection in the weather-beaten downtown of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, I came across this little row of storefronts.Truth be told, the photo is deceptive. I positioned the camera so that the street rests in the center, only to conceal what is going on at the periphery.   Perhaps the reader/viewer can already tell, but …Read more…