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As roadside travel plazas get plush, why not make every old rest area a more welcome center?

The fate of interstate highway rest areas in the 21st century has been checkered, to say the least.  As privately owned service stations become larger and posher, state-operated rest areas have found it increasingly difficult to justify their existence.  In the eastern US, familiar names like Wawa, Sheetz, Pilot, and Love’s have expanded their convenience

Arlington Temple United Methodist: the gas station church gets its own catechism.

The primary photo in this article features a landmark that is widely known to people in the greater Washington DC area, particularly those on the Virginia side of the river.  But it isn’t significant or important enough to have any clout nationally or even outside the region.  It’s a visual landmark in the sense that

How do can we tell if a restaurant is an ascendent chain? It calls itself “local”.

It’s been over a decade since I wrote about the fish, chop, and steakhouse known as Kincaid’s, a chain with a location in Carmel, Indiana (an Indianapolis suburb) that, based on my fleeting observations, was doing everything it could to downplay its very chainy-ness.   And that was the point.  The interior of Kincaid’s included

Sweet Escape: cleverly combining two fun pastimes so the axe hits the bullseye.

As the year winds down, I intend to avoid any aphorisms or wisdom accrued over the past year—far too cliché.  New Years Day is, after all, a capricious imposition of significance to a 24-hour period that otherwise if fundamentally like any other.  Just an arbitrarily agreed-upon point on the elliptical orbit.  Why impart words of

White stripes: in this context, the drums may be the most essential part.

It’s amazing the world of difference that a few stripes of paint can make.  Thirty years ago, the notion that various municipal public works departments would overtly reserve portions of our roads as exclusive lanes for bicycles was essentially an extravagance—a weird provision relegated to a few choice roads in college towns, which were the

Epiphany Church in Valdez, Alaska: a hybridization of denominations?

The religious landscape in America is changing.  This isn’t a revelation (pun intended), nor is it particularly novel; it’s always been changing. The media and think tank buzz about the nation’s growing secularization is so abundant these days that it’s impossible to ignore.  It takes no great deal of detective work to find evidence that

Are balconies an intrinsic value?

Even as a child, I can recall the family trips down to Florida or South Carolina, witnessing all those high-rise apartment and condo buildings, each one of which had its own balcony.  Sometimes two.  And I remember noticing how there never seemed to be anyone out using them.  Needless to say, I didn’t understand real

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Are balconies an intrinsic value?

Even as a child, I can recall the family trips down to Florida or South Carolina, witnessing all those high-rise apartment and condo buildings, each one of which had its own balcony.  Sometimes

Recent Comments

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