Empty airport: the consequences of a corona-driven collapse in air travel (MONTAGE).

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

Gas station dysfunction: prices rising even faster than Venezuela.

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

Tanks on the border, but it isn’t a military strategy.

For a commodity as market-sensitive as petroleum (let’s call it “gas”), a featurette on pricing is less likely to be indicative of market trends than, say, certain perishable goods (which induced considerable hardship on dairy and grain farmers these last few years) or certain appliances (in which the decline in demand has bankrupted several high-profile

CityWay Phase Two: retail retreat and its impact on the street.

My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  It focuses on the CityWay mixed-used development in downtown Indianapolis, which includes a few hundred apartments, multiple restaurants, a hotel, and a multi-level YMCA.That’s phase one, at least.  Now the developer is embarking on Phase Two, which will double the apartment units (to nearly 500), add some

In Central Falls, a strip mall is still salvation.

Even in the best of times, the opening of a new strip mall rarely if ever gets anyone’s pulses racing. This one, on the southern boundary of Central Falls, Rhode Island, a suburb of nearby Providence, is no different.The only characteristic that distinguishes this is a certain three-letter adjective that appears in my first sentence—a word

Subsidization and its discontents.

My latest just recently went to post at Urban Indy. The subject, a parking garage in an Indianapolis neighborhood, might seem dry or parochial to those outside of that metro region, but it speaks powerfully about the potential pitfalls of poorly prepared public-private partnerships.  Here’s the garage: It sits at a prime corner in Broad

Bridging the gap between state budgets.

The unincorporated community of Upper Black Eddy clutches the western bank of the Delaware River as though its existence depends upon the aquatic arterial. Because it does.        It’s so small, the Census doesn’t even track it. Despite the fact the hotel operated by the Black family first operated at least 150 years ago, the

On healthy main streets, securing a tenant involves less cosmetics and more mathematics.

Any visitor who stumbles upon the main street of Bethlehem—the second largest city in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley—is likely to presume or speculate that it’s a prosperous town. And, in most respects, it is: well-maintained streetscapes with sidewalks of brick and slate; an mix of old and new buildings, most of which are in excellent condition; a

MONTAGE: An abandoned building is bad enough. But what about an abandoned campus?

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a mostly photo-driven blog article, and I can’t think of a richer array from recent years than that of Dana College, a private educational institution founded in Blair, Nebraska. Originally affiliated with the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Association (the denomination and nationality of the original pioneer founders), various

Tanks on the border, but it isn’t a military strategy.

For a commodity as market-sensitive as petroleum (let’s call it “gas”), a featurette on pricing is less likely to be indicative of market trends than, say, certain perishable goods (which induced considerable hardship

In Central Falls, a strip mall is still salvation.

Even in the best of times, the opening of a new strip mall rarely if ever gets anyone’s pulses racing. This one, on the southern boundary of Central Falls, Rhode Island, a suburb of

Subsidization and its discontents.

My latest just recently went to post at Urban Indy. The subject, a parking garage in an Indianapolis neighborhood, might seem dry or parochial to those outside of that metro region, but it

Bridging the gap between state budgets.

The unincorporated community of Upper Black Eddy clutches the western bank of the Delaware River as though its existence depends upon the aquatic arterial. Because it does.        It’s so small, the Census