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

Portland: the apex of bike-friendliness—by American standards.

During my first visit to the West Coast in many, many years, I encountered the following sight on an unseasonably cold Friday morning in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood of Portland. It might not seem terribly striking to readers of this blog from other countries—just a normal street scene. And even Americans may see nothing

If a tree grows in Brooklyn, then Queens can claim an entire garden.

When a settlement grows suddenly and rapidly, it’s common for the new development to completely overwhelm everything that preceded it: not just for the older settlement to get engulfed in the new, but for it to disappear completely. It’s happening all over the fast-growing areas of the American southwest, particularly states like Texas, where formerly rural

Power centers: where beauty is in the eye of the consumer.

Particularly in the last few months, this blog has honed in on retail trends that usually point to the slow demise of the conventional, enclosed, middle-class shopping mall. I just can’t get enough of the topic. And most evidence suggests that, with the possible exception of the high-end ones, the mall is typically failing to

MONTAGE: Teardowns: cleaning out the residential wardrobe.  

A topic as prominent as teardowns deserves a vigorous analysis, which I’m prepared to offer at some point in the near future. In the meantime, I hope to whet the appetite through this brief montage, to help familiarize those who otherwise don’t understand the context for this relatively recent phenomenon. But what is a teardown,

Why America deserves its retail blight.

My latest was just published in full at Urban Indy.  It focuses on a new greenfield development proposed in Greenwood, the first suburb just south of Indianapolis.  The proposal, at a site just off of I-65 at County Line Road, includes 700,000 square feet of retail in what is anticipated to function as a lifestyle center arrangement,

Hustling all the antiques under one roof.  

Even metros with the most resilient of economies couldn’t salvage many of their historic buildings downtown during the 1970s, the virtually undisputed nadir of urban America. The imbroglio facing most cities wasn’t just a lack of investment—there simply wasn’t even any psychological interest. (Not surprisingly, “interest” and “investment” go hand in hand…in more ways than

Preventing an Elm Street nightmare.

It’s a trend one encounters all across the country, in large towns or small cities, of varying degrees of economic health. Almost instinctively, we know when we’re there—in the oldest part of town, usually co-located with the downtown. For the most part, it’s hard not to miss the central business district, which often amounts to

MONTAGE: When the pursuit of all things suburban becomes a religion, Part II.

Part I of this photo-heavy blog article provided an overview of the history of the Village of Kiryas Joel, a rapidly expanding enclave of Satmar Hasidic Jews tucked in the woods of Orange County, about 60 miles north of New York City. Surrounded by what would appear to most viewers as pretty standard post-war suburban

Why America deserves its retail blight.

My latest was just published in full at Urban Indy.  It focuses on a new greenfield development proposed in Greenwood, the first suburb just south of Indianapolis.  The proposal, at a site just off of

Hustling all the antiques under one roof.  

Even metros with the most resilient of economies couldn’t salvage many of their historic buildings downtown during the 1970s, the virtually undisputed nadir of urban America. The imbroglio facing most cities wasn’t just

Preventing an Elm Street nightmare.

It’s a trend one encounters all across the country, in large towns or small cities, of varying degrees of economic health. Almost instinctively, we know when we’re there—in the oldest part of town,