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Area of Refuge in upstate New York: more than just shelter from a six-month snow season.

I generally try to avoid two consecutive posts in the same state, but I can’t help myself this time around.  And frankly, the location—the geography, the jurisdiction—isn’t really all that significant.  Though these images come from upstate New York (as the title indicates), the issues that they raise could just as easily be anywhere in

Yes, we still have no bananas: worm’s-eye assessments of corona after two years.

We have now reached, almost to the day, the point when the majority of US states, taking the lead from a national disaster declaration, began issuing safety precautions in an attempt to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), better known as COVID-19, the number attributing the year in which epidemiologists

Black bollards: the Las Vegas Strip’s newest no-armed bandit.

I made an unusual and subtle discovery during my last trip to Las Vegas. (Let’s be fair now; it was only my second time there ever.  I’m hardly a regular, and I was a kid during the previous visit.)  Despite my limited experience there, I could tell almost immediately that the powers-that-be were engaging in

Sizzlin’ Cafe: an aged sign that doesn’t stand the test of time.

Many years ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point.  Even if the paint is a little chipped or the letters a bit rusty—a tiny bit (not too much!)—a visibly old sign is a tacit

Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.

As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…

Aberdeen XChange: a growth machine that choked before the engine’s finished revving.

In the Baltimore exurb of Aberdeen, Maryland, a brand-new strip mall sits on a corner at a moderately busy intersection, awaiting a tenant.Aberdeen XChange is not bad looking, as strip malls go. It aligns with contemporary architectural standards for this type of thing: its chief cladding materials consist of tan fake stucco (probably EIFS) and

At the ballpark, a patch of the outfield gets left unmowed.

The transformation of Washington DC’s Navy Yard over the last fifteen years has been astonishing, and though I cannot account for it from firsthand experience, I don’t need to: a quick trip using the archive tool with Google Street View will show how much development has taken place since 2007, when Google first introduced the

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city has yet attracted both a vibrant nightlife and a steady core of permanent residents. And some prominent hotels to boot. Only a

Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.

As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city