I’m not sure what it is, but something about the downtown to the unincorporated Washington DC suburb of Sliver Spring, Maryland seems have spawned a number of unusual urban forms: acute angles, bizarre protrusions, and neglected little corners. I’ve written about this once before: how a building’s orientation and street frontage created a little storefront
Café Dolci on Market Street: will defensive downscaling (and social distancing) pave the way for more microretail?
In the approximately eighteen months since I walked along the underachieving arterial of Market Street in downtown San Francisco, its character has changed far more than anyone might expect. For such a prime thoroughfare in such a densely populated city, it’s surprisingly mediocre in terms of the density of foot-traffic, which, not surprisingly, leads to
As cites grow and urbanization spreads outward, the most common practice is to build new roads or to expand the capacity of the existing ones. I don’t think this merits much of an explanation. Of course, as the population increases, an elaborate network of roads becomes more essential, to accommodate both people and (inevitably) their
German Street in Shepherdstown, WV: where, instead of a curb at the sidewalk, there’s a fence. And shrubs.
The prosperous little municipality of Shepherdstown, fortuitously situated along the Potomac River in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, boasts a charming three-block main street, German Street, with nothing but locally owned establishments, achieving almost perfect occupancy amidst its variegated, well-maintained 19th century buildings. It’s an enviable arrangement, no doubt enhanced by its location in
Usually I like my articles to be “outside of time”—that is, I avoid subjects that are completely beholden to some current event. But by March of this year, that all changed. How couldn’t it?! It was virtually impossible to avoid the coronavirus, both artistically and epidemiologically. (I still estimate there’s about a 50% chance that
The City of Easton, among the oldest in Pennsylvania and one of only three places to receive an official public reading of the Declaration of Independence, contains a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at the center of the city’s circle, a landmark that sets it apart from most smaller American cities.The circle rings the landmark.Across most
Given the patchwork of regulatory subcultures that our country’s federalist system inevitable creates, it should come as no surprise that this vast, diverse country is eliciting widely variable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the key metrics—confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries—and in the fuzzier, day-to-day manifestation of this most acute of public health
I’ll concede at this point that small town revitalization has become sufficiently commonplace that finding a new example is hardly revelatory, even for those who aren’t really attuned to that sort of thing…because they never visit small towns, or because they just don’t care. It’s even less of a surprise if the municipality in question
The vehicularly inclined among us have probably noticed how, in recent years, various cities have adopted new stripes, bollards, stanchions, and sometimes modified curbs that make it highly inconvenient to make right turns. Yes, this is deliberate. No, it’s not happening to give motorists a hard time, though it definitely doesn’t make things easier, which
Pedestrian crossing signals: the old standard is almost obsolete. No need to lose our heads over it.
I no longer have a computer and therefore must use loan machines for the time being to complete any and all blogging work. Fortunately, I have a new machine on the way, and this one will have astronomically higher-grade memory (16 GB, which is great for me), so it will allow me to complete work