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76 articles

Green-shingled roof: a DC institution lives on…in the shadow of a shiny megaplex. 

The immediate area surrounding DC’s Union Market has witnessed a remarkable surge in population, activity, and energy over the last five years.  I deliberately use the word “surge” instead of “resurgence”, because the “re-“ prefix is a misnomer; it implies that the action to which it appends (the “surge”) has happened a second time.  But

Kokopelli: a mascot for Moab?

The earth has revolved around the sun quite a few times since I patronized a restaurant called Kokopelli’s, a little boutique burrito joint on an obscure intersection near Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, which did not re-open after Hurricane Katrina.  (Yep, that long.)  Time has relegated this hapless sole proprietorship to such obscurity that there’s

Towamencin Shopping Village: a strip mall, all dressed up for a date, but not a single suitor. (MONTAGE)

I’ve featured more derelict malls and shopping centers than the average reader can shake a selfie stick at.  (An apt reference, since the oldest chroniclers of struggling retail—the sites DeadMalls.com and LabelScar.com—haven’t received updates since the popularization of the selfie stick.  But they were great sites when I first started blogging!)  As far as depressed

Closed bank building, but with a twist: can it thrive with robo-tellers?

I promise—cross my heart and hope to die—that I didn’t plan this blog article in light of recent events.  A single closed bank branch is hardly cause for alarm, especially compared to what’s been happening to the entire operations of some fairly large banks these last few weeks.  And we may still be fully in

The last Sears in Maryland: a final sympathy visit while in hospice care.

This is probably beating a dead horse: it’s Sears article.  Again.  I’ve featured the declining department store many times on the blog; back in the early 2010s, it was still a ubiquitous presence in American malls.  And I last covered Sears just six months ago, when I found an operating store in Francis Scott Key

Family-run fiascos: small business as a coronavirus casualty deserves a post-mortem.

As the end of 2022 approaches, it’s essentially a truism that coronavirus-inspired closures devastated many small businesses.  For a brief period, the unemployment rate was as high as 14.4% (the rate in April 2020), a condition on par with the peak of the Great Recession, but it got there much more quickly this time around. 

Clandestine kitchens: restaurants that showcase their greatness by being obscure.

“Don’t be so humble.  You’re not that great.” ~Golda Meir Ever come across a business that seemed to go out of its way to hide its presence?  One that didn’t announce itself prominently from its front entrance, but instead seemed to downplay its own name, its logo, its fundamental identity?  It’s hard to understand why

The Starbucks logo gets entrepreneurial elevation near the lowest point in the world.

It should come as no surprise that a successful brand, once vindicated through repeated growth and revenue amidst expansion, should explore its opportunities in other countries.  This tendency is such common knowledge that it influences global consumer culture almost unconsciously.  Long gone are the days where we might have pondered, “[McDonald’s] is everywhere I go

Kokopelli: a mascot for Moab?

The earth has revolved around the sun quite a few times since I patronized a restaurant called Kokopelli’s, a little boutique burrito joint on an obscure intersection near Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans,

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