It’s hardly surprising that I might begin a brief blog article with a trash can. Lord knows I’ve featured items even more banal as the central subject. But trash cans in the era of COVID take on an added weight, even when they tend to remain unusually empty. (And COVID is a subject that at
Roadside grave markers in New Mexico: bike or cross, they suggest a story. Which is sometimes better than telling one.
Six years ago, the idea of ghost bikes began to haunt my imagination (pun fully intended). These homegrown commemorations intrigued me so much that they served as the feature within my first of many articles for Huffington Post. While that news outlet no longer appears to have the financial solvency to support independent bloggers, the
I’ve always been partial to seasonal displays—to any arrangement of objects, shapes, or colors that defies its backdrop and commands attention simply for being different. I think, in recent years, it’s become a more common sighting in grocery stores for all variety of holidays, not just because food manufacturers capitalize on special occasions to market
Given the patchwork of regulatory subcultures that our country’s federalist system inevitable creates, it should come as no surprise that this vast, diverse country is eliciting widely variable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the key metrics—confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries—and in the fuzzier, day-to-day manifestation of this most acute of public health
Brookings, the southwesternmost municipality in the state of Oregon, features a main street with a level of business activity that betrays its general charmlessness. Plenty of similarly sized communities would kill to have a downtown with a low level of vacancy, a fully functional old-school cinema, and even a few white-tablecloth independently owned restaurants.
By this point, it’s not unusual to encounter a series of trash receptacles in public places, each with distinct labels, allowing passers-by to sort and separate recyclable from non-recyclable waste. On a college campus, it would be far more surprising if a row of receptacles weren’t standing sentinel at every prominent node; the opportunity to
This article will feature an assertion I’ve made in the past, and I have ruffled feathers for it then. In all likelihood, I’ll ruffle a few more this time around. Yet I’m sticking to my guns. So here goes: far too many communities embrace the notion of urban parks as an absolute good—of parks for
Cliché though it may be, the world offers plenty of evidence that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Travel through the most rugged parts of West Virginia, and it’s easy to find a small burg nestled in the valley between uncompromising hills. Human settlements stretch far north of the Arctic Circle, with Inuit populations
Many years ago I wrote an article exploring how trees of the palm family are widespread throughout southern Louisiana (specifically the New Orleans region), though they are not indigenous. In other words, they grow there quite easily but it is not their native habitat. If anything, the presence of palms in the southern US—or at
Within the lower 48, one the humblest of great border crossings is the Delaware Water Gap, separating Pennsylvania and New Jersey.My use of an oxymoron—“humblest” coupled with “great”—is deliberate. Because in most respects (certainly from a flatlander like me) it’s a geographic marvel, yet, outside of the surrounding region, little evidence suggests that it’s a