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Modulars get modern.

Work commitments yet again prevent me from devoting time to lengthy blog posts the way I often would like, but maybe this is a godsend for my readers. My previous post on condo(m)s in Dayton managed to arouse more interest than I’ve achieved in some time. One topic from which I have shied for the …Read more…

Dressing the wounds with paint.

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My suspicion is that the majority of the readers here have at least a vague knowledge of the Broken Windows Theory, and how it can apply across a variety of social contexts. For the unacquainted, it’s simple: an inanimate object showing signs of neglect or a general lack of maintenance invites the further degeneration of …Read more…

MONTAGE: Curbing destruction by rethreading the button.

I’m back from a lengthy time away from Afghanistan and have been trying to plug away at another blog article that incorporates infrastructure from several different countries, as well as the implications on American energy efficiency. But, as is often the case, a shortage of good, specific photos has become my Achilles’ heel. I will …Read more…

There was a parking lot…now it’s a peaceful oasis.

Hardly a month goes by—perhaps more like once a week—without some new artistic endeavor depicting contemporary life synecdochically through paved surfaces. We can all think of one. Whether the first that comes to mind for you is a song by Joni Mitchell (or maybe David Byrne), a Terry Gilliam movie, or a Kurt Vonnegut novel, …Read more…

Dividing the loyalties at the bumper.

While I continue to sift through articles and scholarship on neighborhood associations in my free time, I’ve come to realize I’ve let the posts lag a bit too much. So I offer a quick rumination on a topic I love but haven’t featured much: license plates. Some states doggedly adhere to a certain design over …Read more…

Butts in the loo.

In many ways, this study serves as a companion piece to the previous blog entry. Both articles explore a social phenomenon that has swept the nation, largely manifested through increasingly palpable policy justified by the goal of providing for the common defense or promoting the general welfare. The previous post, scrutinizing passenger screening at airports …Read more…

Bucolic baristas.

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The coffeehouse isn’t just a destination for the bohemians these days. Long a mainstay in big cities, coffeehouses are visible now across all types of settings, from urban street corners to suburban or small-town strip malls, from tiny kiosks in parking lots to the exits of interstate highways. They have joined the ranks of 24/7 …Read more…

Meandering toward the Statehouse.

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The meringue follows the meat. After so much time and attention devoted to Jewish settlements in the South, it’s time to move to a simpler, less weighty topic—more of an anecdote. Several weeks ago, I took the High Street exit ramp to enter downtown Jackson, Mississippi from Interstate 55. My first time in the area …Read more…