So it’s not quite the great Evelyn Waugh novel—in fact, sociologically it’s about as far as can be—but it’s the closest I can come up with on this side of the pond that offers a proximal pun. It’s rare that I revisit an old post so shortly after the first time around, but I found
For much of the twentieth century, it was an all-too-common occurrence: an old commercial structure in a declining downtown struggles to compete with the strip malls cropping up everywhere on the outskirts. Over time, the old building—retail on the first floor, office or warehousing on the next two/three/four levels—becomes functionally obsolete. It’s drafty, the plumbing
Mixed-use town center as the new “organic” downtown: how distinct can they be if they become as commonplace as malls?
The mixed-use town center is a novelty across much of the county. A metropolitan area of one million people is unlikely to have more than one or two of these newfangled nodes, which typically combine housing, retail, offices, hotels, garage parking, and maybe even an institutional use like a school, a library, or a municipal
Breezewood. It sounds like it could be the name of a stereotypical suburb to a major Midwest city (Chicago definitely comes to mind); it also sounds sufficiently generic that one might expect a dozen towns scattered across the country with the name. Negative on both counts. There’s only one Breezewood, and it’s not a suburb
Catering to canines: Love’s Travel Stop shows its love for man’s best friend through complimentary dog parks.
The lumpy landscape of eastern Ohio, near the small city of Zanesville, doesn’t offer much in the way of urbanization, certainly not compared to the far more industrialized, flat, western half of the state. So motorists traveling along Interstate 70 must be strategic about where they go to tank up, both their car and their
Chipotle bucks the struggling restaurant trend, by predicting the future. What’s so tricky about that?!
A year ago, the prevailing wisdom among urban analysts was that restaurants would serve as the lodestar for any further downtown revitalization. I shared this sentiment, particularly in recognizing the recent, fashionable emergence of the food hall–a smattering of diverse small-kitchen eateries under one roof. The reality seemed, then as now, that most other retail—certainly
It’s hardly surprising that I might begin a brief blog article with a trash can. Lord knows I’ve featured items even more banal as the central subject. But trash cans in the era of COVID take on an added weight, even when they tend to remain unusually empty. (And COVID is a subject that at
It’s not every day that a person stumbles across a location that he or she had recently read about in the news, completely unintentionally. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year as I nudged my way forward, from a side street onto Colfax Avenue, the main east-west arterial in Denver. And low and behold:
I was recently quoted in an Indianapolis Monthly article celebrating the 25th anniversary of downtown’s Circle Centre Mall. As anyone who has visited recently can attest, there’s not a great deal to celebrate at this point. I’ll concede that my last visit was in early 2017, shortly before the closure of Carson’s (at that point the only
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