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82 articles

Most controversial blog posts: a truculent top five (plus one).

With another year coming to a close, and ushering in what will be the start of my fifteenth year at this blogging venture, I decided to attempt something that is mostly good for a laugh: a ranking list.  A listicle, if you will.  Since this is a blog whose most loyal followers are relatively few

Takeover ad space on construction barriers: bringing wolves back to the henhouse?

Take a look at the eyesore there in the center-left of the photo, there with the “FOR LEASE” sign draped across the third floor.  Such a humble, ugly little building…and what a contrast to everything else around it!  I first explored this derelict structure over five years ago, in the terminally transitional Columbia Heights neighborhood

Footbridge folly: a century-old pedestrian amenity faces a decade of reckoning.

The US earns its reputation for encouraging urban auto dependency, largely by eschewing any good provisions for pedestrians and reducing far too many of its streetscapes to vehicular sewers.  Nonetheless, now and then we can come across some remarkable little pedestrian provision that surprises us.  And it doesn’t have to be in a historically pedestrian

Cor blimey!  Manhattan’s Irish pubs continue to languish in purgatory. 

Surely I’m not the only one who remembers learning about the tragic story of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius onto the ill-fated Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD.  I think it’s something many of us in the Midwest learned even in elementary school.  Our teachers described to us, in vivid detail, how it all

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ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point.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