The search "small towns" yielded
90 articles

Gas stations that lack that certain human touch, yet still strike gold.

I am by no stretch anywhere near the most well-traveled person in this fine country—that’s a singular achievement, and I’m many tens of millions of ranks below that elusive, eternally unknown #1.  But I’m not badly traveled: in 2021 I finally made it to Alaska, my 50th state (a pretty clichéd 50th state if you

Corner commercial lots: are they worth more? You can bank on it.

As recently as my last blog article, I alluded to an unusual dichotomy in the value of corner parcels: for the most part, residences on street corners are less valuable than homes on the rest of the block.  People don’t the reduced privacy one expects when a property fronts two streets, when they can easily

Georgetown Circle: cutting the corners out from the old courthouse square.

Where I grew up in the Midwest, most county seats enjoy an almost overbearingly consistent urban form at their historic core.  With few exceptions, they feature the archetypal courthouse square.  The four blocks fronting this courthouse—the four sides of the square—serve as the commercial core, with a variety of different sizes of 19th century buildings:

Area of Refuge in upstate New York: more than just shelter from a six-month snow season.

I generally try to avoid two consecutive posts in the same state, but I can’t help myself this time around.  And frankly, the location—the geography, the jurisdiction—isn’t really all that significant.  Though these images come from upstate New York (as the title indicates), the issues that they raise could just as easily be anywhere in

Sweet Escape: cleverly combining two fun pastimes so the axe hits the bullseye.

As the year winds down, I intend to avoid any aphorisms or wisdom accrued over the past year—far too cliché.  New Years Day is, after all, a capricious imposition of significance to a 24-hour period that otherwise if fundamentally like any other.  Just an arbitrarily agreed-upon point on the elliptical orbit.  Why impart words of

Epiphany Church in Valdez, Alaska: a hybridization of denominations?

The religious landscape in America is changing.  This isn’t a revelation (pun intended), nor is it particularly novel; it’s always been changing. The media and think tank buzz about the nation’s growing secularization is so abundant these days that it’s impossible to ignore.  It takes no great deal of detective work to find evidence that

Lettering and logos: typographical goofs range from cryptic to charming.

Coming from a family that worked in the advertising industry, I cannot help myself by focusing occasionally on the use of lettering, symbols, or other carefully positioned typographic strategies to help galvanize an advertising logo into a widely successful brand.  More importantly, I can’t help but focus on the non-successes—those examples where, even if the

Cycle tracks in small towns: North Beach, Maryland has one, but does it really work?

Do you remember the good old days of bicycle advocacy, back when the prevailing ambition was the introduction of bike lanes, buy applying solid stripes on the pavement?  If you’re older than twenty, you probably should remember those days; they weren’t that long ago.  As recently as the mid-2000s, the standard for bike-friendliness was bike