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Linguistic strategy at Trader Joe’s: the recipe to a beloved chain’s success.

Saying “I like Trader Joe’s” isn’t very edgy; it’s not going to instigate a revolution anywhere.  They aren’t exactly fighting words.  Ranking right up there with California phenomenon In-N-Out Burger as one of the least controversial chains that dole out food, a person is far more likely to provoke fisticuffs for saying “Trader Joe’s is

Where have all the lightning bugs gone?

I’m not an entomologist—not even of the armchair variety.  Nor am I a conservationist, or a meteorologist.  My schooling in ecology does not extend beyond a single graduate-level course that dealt with how urban development disrupts various animals’ habitat and migration patterns.  And it is that course content that I can apply against a backdrop

Defensive urbanism: homeless face hard, heavy new hurdles. Jersey style.

It’s been almost two years exactly since I featured various metal rods, rings, and ridges carefully positioned at select locations in various parks and civic plazas in Oakland and San Francisco.  Aside from alliteration, these rods, rings, and ridges shared one ambition: to prevent people from engaging in certain undesirable activities at these public gathering

Flag Day celebration (and quiz)! How one PA steel town bravely recognizes its past.

It’s Flag Day!  And it’s kind of remarkable how, given my blog’s fixation with flags over the years (including some very creative flag reimagining), I’ve never really covered this 75-year-old holiday, commemorating the 247th anniversary of a distinct American flag.  Yes, it was June 14th in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress adopted an official

Blank wall bravado: a trendy neighborhood’s supermarket is more and less than meets the eye.

This article represents an interesting first.  Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long—15 years of blogging!—for someone to approach me about this while I was out snapping pics for my blog.  Given that I have over 20,000 photos consisting primarily of mailboxes, parking meters, cracked curbs, lonely utility poles, labelscars, and miscellany that would only

Sign regulations: what it looks like if your town generally lacks good ones.

“Signage” has long been the most prominently used keyword here at this blog.  Within its respective jurisdiction, a municipal planning community fixates more than the average person—more even than me—on signs: their placement, size, color, luminosity, content, what can exist.  The American Planning Association (APA) routinely devotes webinars like this on the subject, and, at

Transmission towers need booster seats too. Allegedly.

Some infrastructural features are so ubiquitous and operate so effectively behind the scenes that they become almost invisible—like most utility lines.  Compared to many developed nations, the United States still has a sizable portion of its electrical and telecomm wires hoisted high into the sky through utility poles.  In fact, outside the densely populated downtowns

A downtown without clear pedestrian advocacy: the Fort Worth example.

Many years ago—before I even had conceived of this blog—I was an intern for a university semester at WalkBoston, which was (and remains) the signature pedestrian advocacy organization for Bean Town.  Founded in 1990, it was the first of its kind in the country.  Since then (and since my internship), WalkBoston’s scope and ambitions have

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Where have all the lightning bugs gone?

I’m not an entomologist—not even of the armchair variety.  Nor am I a conservationist, or a meteorologist.  My schooling in ecology does not extend beyond a single graduate-level course that dealt with how

Transmission towers need booster seats too. Allegedly.

Some infrastructural features are so ubiquitous and operate so effectively behind the scenes that they become almost invisible—like most utility lines.  Compared to many developed nations, the United States still has a sizable

Recent Comments

Recent Comments