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206 articles

Bigger Washingtons (Part II): the remaining cities that honor George.

Continuing from where Part I left off, this article will explore the remaining 15 municipalities named Washington in the United States, the District of Columbia excluded.  Ranking them from least to most populous, the previous article covered the smallest eight; this will conclude with the seven bigger Washingtons, up to the most populous of all.

Dueling dollar stores in a small town: why would identical companies share a party wall?

During the season of giving, it’s not likely that most people’s first notion of a repository for seasonal gifts is a dollar store.  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, you name it. I suppose I’m making an elitist generalization here: after all, many people lack the wherewithal for purchase gifts anywhere other than a dollar store.  Furthermore,

Gourmet grocer with a vague name. There’s more to it than just “gourmet”.

Slaters Lane is a disproportionately important street in Alexandria, Virginia, considering its brief length.  From end to end, it measures only a half of mile, and an additional 500 feet of that length is a stub that dead-ends into an office/residential complex near the Potomac River a bit further eastward.  But the other ~2100 feet

Color choice: a gladiator match between brand green and brand red, in a strip mall coliseum.

The infamous book How to Lie with Maps initially offered a light-hearted attempt to explore how maps can entice, mislead, inflame, and generally propagandize, often without necessarily depicting anything geographically untruthfully.  Juxtapositions (not always to scale), labels, color choice, and infographics can all endow an editorial skew on what seems like objective spatial representation.  And

DC food desert: South Anacostia has a single holdout supermarket.  Will it survive?

The term itself doesn’t usually require much explanation, even if most people have never used the it in everyday conversation.  They automatically know what a food desert is.  For those who don’t, it takes very little to conceptualize: if a person lives in an urbanized area—and most Americans do—odds are good that he or she

Westwood Kmart: the company closes another. And then there were two.

All too frequently, what I expect to be a “small” subject ends up blowing out of proportion.  For example, the last two articles took significantly more time and effort than I expected.  The research bore fruit, and I struggled to constrain my analysis to a mere 1,500 words.  Now I’ve finally found a subject that

Drive-thru pharmacy: a tactic to prevent merchandise shrinkage…by shrinking?

From soup to nuts, pharmaceuticals are facing no end of scrutiny these days.  Whether it’s based on their ability to dodge regulatory oversight, the tendency for pharma developers to purchase political influence (these first two factors obviously go hand-in-hand), their correlation to various widespread drug dependencies, or their often indirect but undeniable role in organized

Vintage retail video: is Kmart in 1999 better than anything today?

After inadvertently stumbling across some vintage footage of shopping culture from yesteryear, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is it reasonable, at this point, to compare the revolution in how we consume goods with the old cliché of a boiling frog?  How much longer before we the frogs feel the temperature climbing?  Using any vintage

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