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Adult-oriented businesses in the burbs: a veritable lion’s den for innocent impalas.

Several years ago, a perfectly ordinary drive-thru Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Indianapolis flourished, collecting business both from locals in the area (near the south side enclave of Southport), and, most likely, people passing through the city along Interstate 65, for which there was an exit ramp from Southport Road just a few hundred feet

Cumberland MD: where ancient Americana rolls out a welcome mat to trendy townhomes.

There was probably a point in history when virtually every American had heard of Cumberland, Maryland.  Not only that, it’s reasonable to surmise that a significant proportion of Americans had passed through it.  Aside from the fact that, for most of Maryland’s history, it was the state’s second largest city (its “Queen City” behind Lord/King

Clandestine kitchens: restaurants that showcase their greatness by being obscure.

“Don’t be so humble.  You’re not that great.” ~Golda Meir Ever come across a business that seemed to go out of its way to hide its presence?  One that didn’t announce itself prominently from its front entrance, but instead seemed to downplay its own name, its logo, its fundamental identity?  It’s hard to understand why

Bicycle boulevard in a crunchy college community (Ithaca)—and good at getting over gorges.

Bicycle boulevard: it’s not just another alliteration that’s fun to say (as they usually are).  It’s a topic for which aficionados have more answers than there are people asking the questions, which I recognize isn’t exactly a selling point .  But since this isn’t always a blog for dilettantes, i’ll posit those questions nonetheless.  What

Squat toilets in National Parks: America’s number two best idea.

Over the years I’ve shown enough preoccupation with toilets that it should probably become a separate keyword, right up there with “historic preservation” and “adaptive reuse”.  But it’s kind of embarrassing to elevate loos to the same level as genuine urban revitalization strategies.  Still, it’s hard to deny the cultural importance that restrooms have; they

Gas stations that lack that certain human touch, yet still strike gold.

I am by no stretch anywhere near the most well-traveled person in this fine country—that’s a singular achievement, and I’m many tens of millions of ranks below that elusive, eternally unknown #1.  But I’m not badly traveled: in 2021 I finally made it to Alaska, my 50th state (a pretty clichéd 50th state if you

Wildlife fences in Western Colorado: are they keeping out or letting out the elk?

The fencing that line both sides of Interstate 70 in western Colorado may lack the iconic character of those creosote-lined barriers that flank the highways surrounding Lexington, Kentucky’s horse country.  The green of those rolling Appalachian hillsides offers a critical backdrop to the black-as-pitch (literally!) wood that lends structure to the fences in the Bluegrass

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