Alpha, New Jersey: The town the freeway DIDN’T destroy.

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Stretching 144 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to the Holland Tunnel just outside Manhattan, Interstate 78 is hardly among the longer limited-access highways in the country. And, while certainly busy, I’d imagine plenty other freeways out there link a greater number of major population centers than I-78. Elsewhere in New Jersey, the Turnpike unquestionably carries a …Read more…

Vestigial Judaism, Part III: Urbanization Along the Cotton Belt.

The first two parts of this lengthy exploration of southern Judaica attempted to re-acquaint the readers with what in this day and age may defy typical expectations: Jewish enclaves in small towns throughout the rural Deep South. From approximately 1850 to 1950, in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama—as well as the other southern states—immigrants from Germany, …Read more…

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…

MONTAGE: Small town in the big city.

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As an antidote to my previous, text-heavy post, I offer one that focuses almost entirely on images, looking at remnants of small towns and rural communities in Marion County that have long ago been engulfed by the continuous urbanization of the city of Indianapolis. I’m not the first to attempt this. Urban Indy has featured …Read more…