When a state chooses to feast on its identity, what does it use to fill its plate?

It is completely unreasonable for me to use license plate background art as a synecdoche for a state’s prevailing ethos, but I’m going to do it anyway. Why not? The design of a license plate is broadly attempting to achieve this effect, more so than even a flag. Whether license plates originally intended this or

It’s just our skyline; pardon our dust.

Indianapolis International Airport (IND), the top-ranked airport in the nation for service quality six years in a row, offers an appealingly simple navigation and aesthetic experience that no doubt helps it maintain its high ranking. Navigation-wise, it should be easy: it is neither a large nor particularly busy airport (though big and busy enough to

Old Town Mall MONTAGE: life after people, a mile from Baltimore’s downtown.

Just a few weeks after a moribund mall montage, I’m back, despite the fact that these photo-heavy articles take forever and a day to create. But I can’t resist: like the Midtown Mall in Worcester, this retrograde retail ruin gets little coverage. It’s not a conventional suburban mall—it’s an urban setting, and, also like Midtown,

When steeples compete with summits.

The river-to-rail city of Cumberland, nestled between the prodigious hills that dominate western Maryland, may not be thriving, but it sure offers some charming, timeless vistas.   As is too often the case, this photo only partially captures its objective: the Cumberland skyline—a city of churches. It isn’t a big city at all, so the

Sitting on the property, banking on its value to rise.

Despite the seismic cultural and political shift that typically takes place every four or eight years, Washington DC has enjoyed a growth trajectory that surpasses most other US metros. In the first ten years of the 21st century, the region grew 16.4% –fourth highest among the ten most populous metros, and it proved particularly resilient

In Mt. Adams, residential infill gets the old spit ‘n shine.

Residential infill development can—and often does—fail to integrate architecturally with the neighborhood that surrounds it. And that’s okay. Far more important than adherence to a certain vernacular is the physical form of the house. When looking at the front of the home square-on, does the layout emphasize a front door, a porch, a garage, or

GUEST POST: Monuments of the City – Part I.

And now a first (at least for me): a guest blog post. Two posts, actually. Steve Polston has followed my blog tirelessly over the years, and, though we have only occasionally lived in Indianapolis at the same time, he has long been generous enough to share with me his insights on landscapes, both in writing

Time heals non-organic wounds too.  

I’ve been hesitant to post this article, because it could easily appear like an indictment, especially considering I have not blogged about Manchester before. So, before I get too far I’ll continue with these two mitigating disclaimers: 1) what I’m observing could just as easily be on display in any other downtown, and 2) I

Who knew that the City That Never Sleeps had a narcoleptic neighbor?

As I prepare for some upcoming significant changes to my blog, I provide a sort of “placeholder” article as make the final modifications, which I will soon publicize. The placeholder motif extends to the content of this blog entry, where a window sign serves much the same purpose within its respective storefront. It’s simply announcing

It’s just our skyline; pardon our dust.

Indianapolis International Airport (IND), the top-ranked airport in the nation for service quality six years in a row, offers an appealingly simple navigation and aesthetic experience that no doubt helps it maintain its

When steeples compete with summits.

The river-to-rail city of Cumberland, nestled between the prodigious hills that dominate western Maryland, may not be thriving, but it sure offers some charming, timeless vistas.   As is too often the case,

Sitting on the property, banking on its value to rise.

Despite the seismic cultural and political shift that typically takes place every four or eight years, Washington DC has enjoyed a growth trajectory that surpasses most other US metros. In the first ten

In Mt. Adams, residential infill gets the old spit ‘n shine.

Residential infill development can—and often does—fail to integrate architecturally with the neighborhood that surrounds it. And that’s okay. Far more important than adherence to a certain vernacular is the physical form of the

GUEST POST: Monuments of the City – Part I.

And now a first (at least for me): a guest blog post. Two posts, actually. Steve Polston has followed my blog tirelessly over the years, and, though we have only occasionally lived in

Time heals non-organic wounds too.  

I’ve been hesitant to post this article, because it could easily appear like an indictment, especially considering I have not blogged about Manchester before. So, before I get too far I’ll continue with