For the small handful of people who are this blog’s devotees, the image below may be a tiny bit familiar. I’ve covered this small subdivision in New Albany, Indiana once before. The name is Pickwick Commons, an age-restricted townhome development in which the retirement-age residents retain (at most) a small garden plot to cultivate, but
Hoboken, New Jersey isn’t a particularly obscure suburb. Peering right across the Hudson River toward Greenwich Village, it’s a fortuitously located municipality that basically everyone in metro New York knows. Odds are good that most adults living in the tri-state area have passed through it at one point in time. Tiny though it may
Even as a child, I can recall the family trips down to Florida or South Carolina, witnessing all those high-rise apartment and condo buildings, each one of which had its own balcony. Sometimes two. And I remember noticing how there never seemed to be anyone out using them. Needless to say, I didn’t understand real
The larger and more densely populated a community is, the more byzantine and stringent its regulations become. This statement may not quite pass as a truism, but it comes close, especially in a country with a governing system as decentralized as the United States. Simply put, the principles that characterize individual liberty become harder to
Front yards in the Federal City: even the close-knit rowhomes feature green plots for garden gnomes. Or (since it’s Capitol Hill) political signs.
In these polarizing and emotionally fraught times, it has ostensibly become far more common for people to announce their political loyalties from the front yards of their homes—not just by promoting the campaigns of preferred candidates, but (at least in recent years) to overtly declare one’s stance on a certain issue, or even to declare
In April of 1967, the City of Montreal unveiled an unprecedented architectural showpiece, attendant to hosting the International and Universal Exposition, an event that most people referred by its catchier abbreviation “Expo 67”. This spectacular feat in construction owes a great deal to tradition. Starting with the the World’s Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World’s
A trip to the Dallas Metroplex last fall helped acquaint me with a characteristic to Texas street subdivision design that I had never noticed before: the unusual prevalence of the back alley, even in housing built within the last 25 years. While it’s possible this never struck me in the past because it’s a Dallas
The quirky house: whether Queen Victoria or Hogwarts, the intrigue survives long after the original owners have departed…if they ever even left.
While virtually all of my blog posts begin in some way with an anecdote, not all of them are as referential as this one. And rarely does the tangle of references give me such a great opportunity to promote another friend’s creative ventures as seamlessly as this But here we are, with a chance to
The caliber of playground amenities in our urban parks has improved and diversified considerably in recent years. I can remember when I was a child: it was typical for each piece of equipment to sit in isolation, almost forcing the kids to decide between playing with one another or engaging with the equipment and making
While almost all urban aficionados have heralded the revitalization we have witnessed in downtowns large and small across the country, the sticklers and control freaks among us have continued to cavil about one nagging shortcoming: the form of mixed-use and multifamily projects has disproportionately favored big lots with monolithic structures that, while certainly better than