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
We expect fancy displays at Macy’s for Christmas sales events. But Kroger or Albertson’s on St. Patrick’s Day?
We all have our weird hobbies, or even just predilections. For many years, I’ve been interested in art brut or outsider art—that is, any artistic expression in which the creator is largely untrained, self-taught, or taught outside of an academic setting. Such an aesthetic position may seem synonymous with folk art or naïve art—the former
When green means stop: the impact of classic neon lighting in the wireless era, from West Virginia with love.
If a good sign is worth more than its weight in canvas, plastic, fiberglass, cardboard, or whatever material helped birth it, a good old sign earns even more accolades, as multiplied by the number of years it has done its job. (Weight of the material multiplied by its age?) The perseverance of a good sign
A few years ago, while roaming the streets of central Allentown, I saw what had to be a relic from a previous generation: the classic red, white, and blue of the Amoco logo. The torch and oval were so ubiquitous and iconic that even Americans born after 1990 should recognize them—maybe even those who were
On a sun-drenched stretch of I-40 in New Mexico, conveniently situated between nowhere and Purgatory (but not the ski resort outside Durango—that’s in Colorado, silly), the weary motorist who can’t quite make it to Albuquerque might find this massive casino complex a welcome reprieve.It’s the Route 66 Casino Hotel, one of numerous gaming facilities in
Am I the only one who has noticed the growing presence, particularly in the last few years, of restored advertising banners on the sides of brick buildings, like we used to see in days of yore? Most people know what I’m talking about; here’s an example in a well-preserved historic district a few blocks east
The southward drive down Delaware State Route 1 (Coastal Highway) toward the beaches is long (by Delaware standards) and none too visually arresting, but peppered along the corridor are some whimsical finds that keep things interesting. I’ve pointed them out in the past. Now, just outside the small city of Milford we see another example
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
As I prep for a much longer, photo-heavy blog article, I offer this brief filler, with a new take on some familiar material: a declining, heavily vacant strip mall in a suburban area, this time in metro DC (the Maryland side).We’ve all been here before: these days, blighted strip malls are just as common in
Long a means of securing seasonal tenants in shopping centers, the pop-up shop has only emerged as a standard bearer for retail nodes within the last five years or so—about the same time that economic forecasters began realizing how badly online shopping was undermining conventional bricks-and-mortar retail. And that’s how they work: they fill a