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Wisconsin Avenue, a tony street, has a row of trashy homes. What gives?

By and large, what people refer to as Northwest DC—especially the area west of Rock Creek Park—has never faced the problems of disinvestment and depopulation that plagued much of the capital city in the 1970s and 80s.  Even at that point when Washington DC was “the murder capital of America” (as it was for a

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.

Street sweeping: the cumulative effects of neglect aren’t easily swept away.

In 2024, it’s a rare moment when Washington DC is competently providing a municipal service we should all expect…and yet somehow, in this case, it’s disappointing.  I recognize that this is really my problem: my intent with this article was to say, “Here what a road looks like without street sweeping for an entire year”. 

Heritage infrastructure in Homecroft: when evoking the past, size matters.

Many, many years ago I featured some heritage infrastructure in the quasi-autonomous Indianapolis enclave of Homecroft.  If the most appropriate descriptor for a place like Homecroft is “quasi-autonomous enclave”, it goes without saying that it’s an unusual place.  The community (which functions largely as a neighborhood) sits about seven miles south of downtown Indianapolis as

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

Church conversion, from pizza pie to piety. And garlic knots for the communion host?

Social critics have asserted for decades that American religiosity is in a state of decline.  In recent years, they have grown more confident.  And they certainly have evidence: churches are closing left and right across the country, a condition that accelerated during the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns.  Additionally, polls show a reduced percentage of American

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

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