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61 articles

Mailbox mirth: even our homes can put on the “weekend clothes”.

No doubt we can find whimsical people everywhere we go, but a established urban neighborhood, regardless of the socioeconomics, isn’t particularly likely to offer one of these: Somewhere, amidst the directional arrows for Key West, Cape May, and Bourbon Street, there seems to be a mailbox. And just down the street, there’s another oddity:Yes, the

The Wharf of Washington DC: the shopping destination of the hour (but not the day).

Ever since it opened in late 2017, Washington DC’s mixed-use waterfront development known as The District Wharf (“The Wharf”) has become a premier attraction for locals and visitors who are in the know. Unlike so many riverfront investments in recent years, it doesn’t look like a single developer conceived it, even though it owes most

Tendencies in the Tenderloin, a neighborhood that polarizes.

My first blog post in San Francisco is atypical (if anything about this blog topic could ever be considered typical), but it’s probably a significant one given the socioeconomic context. The wealthy core to one of the richest regions in the country—probably among the wealthiest in the world—San Francisco is also the only city I’m

Skid Row in Delaware: if it can claim The First State, it can claim them all.

Maybe your first thought, when you see the words in the photo below, is from the hirsute, late-80s metal band. Maybe it’s from the frequent references in the Roger Corman movie and subsequent off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors. And maybe it’s the reference to the neighborhood just southeast of the heart of downtown Los

Now that we’ve commercialized the facelift, it’s time to domesticate it.

Most of us who have spent any time in a city have come across at least one of these before, even if it didn’t necessarily stand out. It’s a building (or cluster of buildings) with an aged façade, concealing a much more contemporary structure behind that wafer-like sheath. The preferred label (morphologically incorrect though it

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most of these zombie subdivisions, the developer had already installed water/sewer, at least some of the paved roads, streetlights, road signs, maybe even

Chatham Park: a great new development under threat by its own neighbors.

My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  I’ve covered the proposal multiple times in the past.  A developer in a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood called Chatham Arch wants to repurpose the site of a long-underutilized old elementary school, occupying an entire block.  It currently looks like this: He wants to transform it to this: A mix

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most