Social distancing sidestep: the DC restaurants that buck the trend.

I rarely feature material as timely as this; in fact, I deliberately avoid content with a short shelf life, mainly because, if one posts as infrequently as I do, one has little to gain from an article whose relevance will fade within 72 hours, as advancements on the subject quickly supersede it.  But in mid-March

Rethinking a restroom from just the right angle.

I have yet to create a special tag or keyword on my blog for my numerous articles on public restrooms. Perhaps I should. Sometimes I feel like a letch for writing about them so much, and yet I know I’m hardly alone having a certain fascination—not only in the interior design, but the engineering for

Well-regulated suburban development: hardly off the rails.

A railing on a sidewalk may seem like a humble installation, in the context of the vast strip mall that surrounds it. And it is. But it does seem odd, almost random, based on the environment. Why does this twelve-foot stretch of sidewalk need two railings when nothing around it has them? A view from

The ramp without a purpose: handicapped design swings and misses.

Public accommodations for persons with disabilities have expanded so significantly in recent years that the juxtaposition of a staircase and a ramp scarcely raises an eyebrow. We see it all the time. And that’s perfectly normal: after all, it’s been the law since 1990.  But how are we supposed to respond when we see handicapped

Unisex restrooms: a truce amidst the eternal battle.

In an era when unisex facilities have escalated into a nationwide debate, it’s comforting to see that one family operation hasn’t forgotten what its like to be a little lighter on its feet.  This sign was quite the novelty when I saw it at a café in southern Mississippi several years ago; since then I think

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most of these zombie subdivisions, the developer had already installed water/sewer, at least some of the paved roads, streetlights, road signs, maybe even

Undone by the dome.

Strolling through the town of Bowman, North Dakota last summer (which is how one gets around if one finds oneself in Bowman…obviously), I came across a pretty slick looking geodesic dome home. We see these from time to time. After all, they were quite the fad for a few years, peaking around 1970. While I

Sterling silver in a sandwich.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how, in this day and age, it’s nearly impossible for a storefront in the middle of a city block to secure a tenant. The population density usually just isn’t great enough. If the storefront is on a corner, it could work, and if it’s in the middle of

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then save heritage, I also know that the most sincere efforts can go up in flames when couched in the liberal use of

Provisions for our peccadilloes.

Virtually every top-down policy yields a bottom-up response. And is there any policy out there that isn’t to some degree top-down, at least in the nature of its implementation? This isn’t rocket science, but if we learned from the undesirable consequences elicited by well-intentioned policies, we may be far charier to legislate. But then there

Unisex restrooms: a truce amidst the eternal battle.

In an era when unisex facilities have escalated into a nationwide debate, it’s comforting to see that one family operation hasn’t forgotten what its like to be a little lighter on its feet.  This

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most

Undone by the dome.

Strolling through the town of Bowman, North Dakota last summer (which is how one gets around if one finds oneself in Bowman…obviously), I came across a pretty slick looking geodesic dome home. We

Sterling silver in a sandwich.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how, in this day and age, it’s nearly impossible for a storefront in the middle of a city block to secure a tenant. The population density

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then

Provisions for our peccadilloes.

Virtually every top-down policy yields a bottom-up response. And is there any policy out there that isn’t to some degree top-down, at least in the nature of its implementation? This isn’t rocket science,