Tendencies in the Tenderloin, a neighborhood that polarizes.

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My first blog post in San Francisco is atypical (if anything about this blog topic could ever be considered typical), but it’s probably a significant one given the socioeconomic context. The wealthy core to one of the richest regions in the country—probably among the wealthiest in the world—San Francisco is also the only city I’m …Read more…

It’s just our skyline; pardon our dust.

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Indianapolis International Airport (IND), the top-ranked airport in the nation for service quality six years in a row, offers an appealingly simple navigation and aesthetic experience that no doubt helps it maintain its high ranking. Navigation-wise, it should be easy: it is neither a large nor particularly busy airport (though big and busy enough to …Read more…

Promoting American Dirt: when a boost goes bust.

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Hating social media in 2018 is about as edgy and anti-establishment as making fun of malls in the late 1990s: no one admits to actually liking either one of these communal-commercial spaces, but just about everyone uses them.  (Or, at least, they used malls twenty years ago.)  I have no doubt that if I were a …Read more…

Philly’s subway entrances: should we cast great infrastructure in iron or cast it away?

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As a general rule, the major public works initiatives of America suffer an almost complete bifurcation in our broader societal gaze: between the deliberately ornamental versus the purely utilitarian. We clutch our pearls in attempts to salvage the former—even if many critics impugn these embellishments as kitschy, schlocky, or some other great Yiddish adjective. Their …Read more…

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