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249 articles

Towamencin Shopping Village: a strip mall, all dressed up for a date, but not a single suitor. (MONTAGE)

I’ve featured more derelict malls and shopping centers than the average reader can shake a selfie stick at.  (An apt reference, since the oldest chroniclers of struggling retail—the sites DeadMalls.com and LabelScar.com—haven’t received updates since the popularization of the selfie stick.  But they were great sites when I first started blogging!)  As far as depressed

Dusk to dawn parking restrictions: why so hard to enforce?

I’ve seen some creative attempts to manage and control on-street parking, most of which don’t seem to work as intended, precisely because they’re creative.  Regulating how people use the margins in a public right-of-way doesn’t really leave much room for creativity, because, when it comes to conveying that law to the lowest common denominator, creativity

Closed bank building, but with a twist: can it thrive with robo-tellers?

I promise—cross my heart and hope to die—that I didn’t plan this blog article in light of recent events.  A single closed bank branch is hardly cause for alarm, especially compared to what’s been happening to the entire operations of some fairly large banks these last few weeks.  And we may still be fully in

Masking rules modified: small businesses play the UNO reverse card.

I’ll try not to get smug about this, but bear with me if I’m a little sententious about the ironies I’m witnessing, particularly regarding social distancing and masking rules for which we are rapidly approaching the three-year corona-versary.  I’ll concede this much: few municipalities if any are still actively imposing restrictions at this point.  Not

Most controversial blog posts: a truculent top five (plus one).

With another year coming to a close, and ushering in what will be the start of my fifteenth year at this blogging venture, I decided to attempt something that is mostly good for a laugh: a ranking list.  A listicle, if you will.  Since this is a blog whose most loyal followers are relatively few

Rural strip mall: why struggle for tenants, when there’s nothing else around?

When it comes to human-conceived implements—tools—the maxim “form follows function” usually applies.  Whether it be a saw, a trowel, a baster, or a protractor, the object in question has evolved to fit the best intersection of ergonomics (most conducive to the human hand) and its capacity to achieve a desired result as a certain implement:

Takeover ad space on construction barriers: bringing wolves back to the henhouse?

Take a look at the eyesore there in the center-left of the photo, there with the “FOR LEASE” sign draped across the third floor.  Such a humble, ugly little building…and what a contrast to everything else around it!  I first explored this derelict structure over five years ago, in the terminally transitional Columbia Heights neighborhood

Adult-oriented businesses in the burbs: a veritable lion’s den for innocent impalas.

Several years ago, a perfectly ordinary drive-thru Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Indianapolis flourished, collecting business both from locals in the area (near the south side enclave of Southport), and, most likely, people passing through the city along Interstate 65, for which there was an exit ramp from Southport Road just a few hundred feet

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