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43 articles

Vandalism as a marketing campaign?  Apparently it’s just the City Way.

I caught wind of these competing, brightly contrasting layers of graffiti on a side street during my last visit to Indianapolis.  A rainbow of vandalism, so it seems. Sure, it sort of looks like tagging, but is it really fooling anybody?  The barely discernible reflection should indicate that these tags are behind a pane of

College Park: the Maryland uni town where retail should thrive. And doesn’t.

By this point, after two years of intermittent lockdowns and the ensuing impacts on businesses, we can all see it with our own eyes: retail is fickle.  I’ve written about this more times than I can count, since the very onset of this blog, waaaaay back when the biggest issue I could see was 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

Sizzlin’ Cafe: an aged sign that doesn’t stand the test of time.

Many years ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point.  Even if the paint is a little chipped or the letters a bit rusty—a tiny bit (not too much!)—a visibly old sign is a tacit

Bars on the windows in comfy little Malvern, you say? Have we come this far?

In these economically fraught times, it’s not always easy to find an urbanized restaurant/retail district where one can comfortably kick back a burger and a brew and feel safe, either from crime, civil unrest, or inconsistent enforcement of COVID precautions (depending on what you perceive is the greatest threat).  In 2021, the suburbs of large

bark park at The Blairs apartments, Silver Spring MD

Pint sized bark parks: when an undefined patch of land is going to the dogs.

I’m not sure what it is, but something about the downtown to the unincorporated Washington DC suburb of Sliver Spring, Maryland seems have spawned a number of unusual urban forms: acute angles, bizarre protrusions, and neglected little corners.  I’ve written about this once before: how a building’s orientation and street frontage created a little storefront

Habitat 67: did Montreal’s mega-manifestation manage to make modular marvelous to the masses?

In April of 1967, the City of Montreal unveiled an unprecedented architectural showpiece, attendant to hosting the International and Universal Exposition, an event that most people referred by its catchier abbreviation “Expo 67”.   This spectacular feat in construction owes a great deal to tradition.  Starting with the the World’s Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World’s

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