By and large, what people refer to as Northwest DC—especially the area west of Rock Creek Park—has never faced the problems of disinvestment and depopulation that plagued much of the capital city in the 1970s and 80s. Even at that point when Washington DC was “the murder capital of America” (as it was for a
I didn’t approach the year 2024 with the expectation that I would devote multiple articles to the sorry state of urban public land, but here it is: the second feature already on the topic for January, and it most certainly isn’t going to be the last. Incidentally, that previous article was a bit of a
In 2024, it’s a rare moment when Washington DC is competently providing a municipal service we should all expect…and yet somehow, in this case, it’s disappointing. I recognize that this is really my problem: my intent with this article was to say, “Here what a road looks like without street sweeping for an entire year”.
My latest article is on Urban Indy. It represents a sort of sequel to an article I wrote about 18 months earlier, where I followed a single Kroger supermarket on the south side of Indianapolis as it kept changing locations–four separate places in about twenty years, all new construction. And none of those locations were
All too frequently, what I expect to be a “small” subject ends up blowing out of proportion. For example, the last two articles took significantly more time and effort than I expected. The research bore fruit, and I struggled to constrain my analysis to a mere 1,500 words. Now I’ve finally found a subject that
First-time visitors to the town of Bel Air, Maryland aren’t likely to be surprised by what they see—at this point, a well-kept small-town main street isn’t exactly a rarity—but chances are it’ll still charm them. After all, Bel Air is a distant suburb of Baltimore – Charm City. It’s the seat of government for Harford
Alexandria, Virginia, a place I cover frequently in this blog, is a medium sized city of considerable affluence. Sitting directly across the river from the District of Columbia, it predates the founding of our nation’s capital by a good forty years, meaning it never intended to function as a suburb. Neither a national capital nor
When it comes to establishing a cultural or sociological partition between civic art and graffiti, I recognize that I often have to walk a fine line. After all, I’ve chronicled enough murals on the sides of buildings—some publicly sanctioned, others not so much—to judge when the artistic effort is going to stand the test of
Towamencin Shopping Village: a strip mall, all dressed up for a date, but not a single suitor. (MONTAGE)
I’ve featured more derelict malls and shopping centers than the average reader can shake a selfie stick at. (An apt reference, since the oldest chroniclers of struggling retail—the sites DeadMalls.com and LabelScar.com—haven’t received updates since the popularization of the selfie stick. But they were great sites when I first started blogging!) As far as depressed
Student ghetto: West Virginia’s contender for #1 party school delivers a triumphantly trashy microcosm.
As garbage-strewn as my last article was, it was a pristine Eden compared to the content in this one. And though the example I’m about to feature is the worst I’ve seen, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be that hard to spot similar settings that out-trash the photos here. Just go to the closet