Two lanes diverge on a road, and I took the time to blog about it.

Generally, when I stumble across an unusual bit of infrastructure, I can figure out what’s gong on after some careful scrutiny. But bicycle and pedestrian markings have gotten so variegated and complicated that, more often than not, I’m left scratching my head. I pondered the rationale for a weird crosswalk in Baltimore a few months

Tri-State Mall: not yet dead, but gangrenous.

I’ve encountered some pretty bleak suburban shopping districts in my day, but Delaware’s Tri-State Mall, just a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania state line in the Philadelphia suburbs, ranks near the top. Notice I said “near the top”. It’s not number one: I can’t quite place it at the same tier as the Bannister Mall

Logos in limbo: why Pizza Hut, which is everywhere, can’t find its niche.

If we view advertising while wearing our semiotic skullcaps, we’re bound to come up with widely different conclusions than when we espy a brand, passing along in a car, simply for its promotional message. But that’s the point. When it comes to ads, who cares about the explicit—what the ad is actually saying? It’s the

A hydrant below sea level: raising the stakes for mitigating property loss.

A bizarre piece of infrastructure like this will inevitably captivate a few more curiosity seekers than yours truly. As a Google Images search would prove, I’m not the first to snap a pic of something like this. Still, a fire hydrant elevated about 18 inches off the ground is hardly a typical sight even in

The postmodern storefront: a custodial closet at the main entrance.

The placement of windows or other apertures in a building—what the wonks generally call fenestration—can and should respond powerfully to the environment. In an urban setting, a well-designed older building on a commercial main street will nearly always have bigger and bolder windows on the first floor, to showcase the retail or merchandise-oriented businesses, especially

Tri-State Mall: not yet dead, but gangrenous.

I’ve encountered some pretty bleak suburban shopping districts in my day, but Delaware’s Tri-State Mall, just a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania state line in the Philadelphia suburbs, ranks near the top. Notice