Amoco ascending: an oily American icon comes out from retirement.

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

A casino in Laguna Pueblo keeps the slots spinning, but with an unusual gatekeeping strategy.

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

Produce market provocations: even at the wholesome country general store, sex sells.

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

In small biz, do red-letter signs yield red-letter days?

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

BrandBox at Tysons Corner Center: a shrewd pop-up solution, a Band-Aid, or a tourniquet?

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

The Sandusky Mall’s precipitous fall.

While this article treads across some familiar territory—dead and dying malls—it arrives through a different lens: the eyes of a friend and fellow devotee of interesting landscapes. I blogged many years ago about Sandusky—specifically an unusual Value City Furniture in the heart of downtown—but I spent very little time in the area that one would

Lidl Express: a broadly visible German grocer opts for an obscure American rollout.

The store featured in the image below isn’t likely all too familiar to many Americans, but it’s possible that it soon will be. As far as I know, it’s the pilot location for a convenience-oriented spinoff of Lidl (rhymes with “needle”), a long-successful German grocer that has been scoping the American market for a point

The Sandusky Mall’s precipitous fall.

While this article treads across some familiar territory—dead and dying malls—it arrives through a different lens: the eyes of a friend and fellow devotee of interesting landscapes. I blogged many years ago about