When a business hits the big time, it goes small.

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Hot on the heels of my article on a mac ‘n cheese food truck that made it to the major leagues—that is, as a standalone restaurant–I have stumbled across a sign for an eatery that seems to be adopting a similar approach: Yes, macaroni and cheese is incredibly en vogue at the moment, so it should …Read more…

What’s next? Drive-through dim sum?  

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Immigrant investment has breathed life into long-declining urban neighborhoods; why shouldn’t the same happen with suburban ones? Fifty years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that foreign-born populations tended to cluster most heavily in the central cities of major metropolitan areas. At the turn of the 19th century, it often consisted of newly arrived Western Europeans: …Read more…

At the Indianapolis City Market, the tenant’s the thing.

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I’ve covered familiar territory with my latest blog post–so familiar, in fact, that I decided to feature the full article on Urban Indy instead of here.   Yes, it’s the Indianapolis City Market once again.I first covered it in 2009, when the market was a sad place, plagued by vacancies, excessive seating (just about any …Read more…

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

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With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s not about finding the right tenant; it’s about finding any tenant at all. America is already among the most over-retailed countries, perhaps …Read more…

Consumerism stinks.

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Considering the ridiculous number of blog posts in public restrooms, someone eventually is bound to give me a cyber-swirly. Whatever that is. Hopefully it’s the worst that happens to me, considering most people’s attempt of shutterbuggery in the loo results in a call to law enforcement. Would it help if I came up with a …Read more…

Pulling out a few more of the stops.

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One of my lengthiest blog posts from last year, Can the Pipes Prevail? just got picked up by another online publication: The Episcopal Café.  The new article is here. Though significantly reduced in size from the 10,000+ word original, this version that I edited for Episcopal Café is, in many respects, more appropriate for American …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…

Can the pipes prevail? Part III.

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Part II looked at the nuts and bolts of the classical pipe organ. The third and final part, seen below, ventures more into sociological and theological territory, as my interviewees explore how a shift away from certain Christian denominations has caused the organ to recede from its former prominence—and what new generations of musicians are …Read more…