Road trips on I-70: looking for quirky Americana? Any red dot on the map will do.

As someone who enjoys long road trips (perfectly fine if they’re solitary), I can never get enough of the small, often amusing telltale indicators of the cultural composition that distinguishes a place.  The visual shibboleths, if you will.  Venturing across Interstate 70, one of the oldest, longest, and most heavily traveled segments of the original

A strip mall can house a tapestry of tenants. Including once-mighty churches.

About eighteen months ago I explored an isolated example of a trend that has become increasingly common: the vacating of old church buildings by their original founding congregations.  In some cases, the old church benefits from monumental architecture, making it suitable for adaptive reuse, particularly as an events planning or catering facility that can capitalize

Front yards in the Federal City: even the close-knit rowhomes feature green plots for garden gnomes. Or (since it’s Capitol Hill) political signs.

In these polarizing and emotionally fraught times, it has ostensibly become far more common for people to announce their political loyalties from the front yards of their homes—not just by promoting the campaigns of preferred candidates, but (at least in recent years) to overtly declare one’s stance on a certain issue, or even to declare

Summit, New Jersey: does a promenade between two buildings represent an opportunity gap?

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

Corvids or COVIDs? A brief meditation on a misinterpretation.

It’s rare—maybe even unprecedented—that I have created an article based almost completely on a social media conversation.  This probably has something to do with the fact that I’m not a heavy social media user.  But I’m relenting this one time because I want to churn out a quickie article as I prep for a longer