It’s rare that I feature two back-to-back articles on the same subject, and even rarer that the subject includes massive, opulent houses. But these houses—each one a castle, or what we would contemporaneously (and pejoratively) call “McMansions”—are the backdrop for what ultimately is an entirely different focal point. Over on Geist Reservoir, in the northeastern
I promise—cross my heart and hope to die—that I didn’t plan this blog article in light of recent events. A single closed bank branch is hardly cause for alarm, especially compared to what’s been happening to the entire operations of some fairly large banks these last few weeks. And we may still be fully in
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
Multidirectional sign at a mall restaurant: a guide to the restroom, but why not steer people back to the mall itself?
I rarely feature a one-photo blog article, but this post is an example where I have no real choice. I took a single photo on a lark, not realizing at the time that it would generate a significant analysis that justifies other photos to help flesh out the argument. Thankfully, as is often the case,
For the last decade or so, it’s been not too difficult to spot a specific type of vehicle parked on the street or driveway in residential neighborhoods. Here’s an example in a quiet lower-middle class part of Alexandria, Virginia: Yes, it’s the formerly ubiquitous (but hardly obsolete) food truck. Before its explosion in popularity about
For much of the twentieth century, it was an all-too-common occurrence: an old commercial structure in a declining downtown struggles to compete with the strip malls cropping up everywhere on the outskirts. Over time, the old building—retail on the first floor, office or warehousing on the next two/three/four levels—becomes functionally obsolete. It’s drafty, the plumbing
Branding the boundary-line: when one side of the border crossing builds a landmark…and absorbs all the monumentality.
Author’s Note: This article on a landmark was originally intended for Urban Indy, but technical problems at that site prevent its publishing. I will link this article to the intended source once we are able to address those problems. The City of Indianapolis deploys the word “monument” far more than most American cities, and not
Less than a month ago, I availed myself of a long-planned opportunity to travel from the mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, using a flight a purchased several weeks before the world’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic had set the turbulent economic and social course for 2020. Obviously there are others before me—people who took this risk
After a few too many COVID-obsessed articles, it’s time to take a breather with a more time-tested topic that I hope will soon become salient in the blogosphere once more: off-line shopping, specifically in the form of malls. As I prep for articles more substantial, I think I’m at least somewhat overdue for a revisit
A small gas station in a little-known part of the east side of Baltimore is offering the nation’s best deals on gasoline. Here’s a pic taken from this past Friday. Can’t really get a better deal than that. It’s amazing how the Shell station in the background can even compete. But if I closed out