Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

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We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that financially depends on that good/service will gravitate toward the less stringent side of the boundary line. I’ve pointed this out before when …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…

Art space to ad space.

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My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  It looks at Indianapolis International Airport (IND), which, when the new terminal opened in 2008, received accolades for the sensitive integration of public art throughout the premises.  Six years have passed, and most–but not all–of the artwork remains.  But now, virtually every surviving flat service gets monetized: …Read more…

The greasy spoon straddles the Pacific.

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As much as I’d like to commend the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson, I have to confess: I love billboards. Maybe I’ve spent too much time living in parts of the country where the landscapes offer relatively little variety, and the billboards help compensate for monotony. But I also love the flattest, most treeless stretches …Read more…

Billboards blowing hot and cold.

After yesterday’s lengthy musings on strip malls, I’m going to spare the readers (and myself) a lengthy polemic on billboard proliferation and ensuing blight. But I had to show this beauty from Atlantic City, NJ, taken on a frigid winter day a few years ago: But what about this particular slab of rotting particleboard? Such …Read more…