The search "taste culture" yielded
185 articles

Folk pop: the classic Mail Pouch Tobacco ad gets the meme treatment. For better health.

I’ve never bothered to discern what Pierre Bourdieu would probably brand the “echelons of taste” that distinguish “folk” from “pop”.  Their thematic intersection owes a great deal to the fact that they share a prosaic, anti-elitist undercurrent, but the commonalities probably don’t extend much further.  While both folk and pop eschew the highbrow ethos that

Rax Roast Beef: a peek inside one of the last locations of a once-mighty 80s chain.

“Fast food with style.”  That’s the motto that I, coming of age in the late 80s and early 90s, associate the most with Rax Roast Beef.  But let’s face it: when this formerly thriving restaurant began floundering, the slogans shifted with the seasons.  Thirty years later, it’s hard to say which marketing campaign is the

Anthony Santaniello: a eulogy for a lover of subways.

In what is a first for American Dirt—and what I hope not to become a regular occurrence—I offer a tribute to a fellow urbanist and friend.  Longtime employee of Philadelphia City Planning Commission and then Philadelphia Streets Department, Anthony Santaniello passed away on October 21st.  Anthony wasn’t just a casual follower of the work on

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

Vintage retail video: is Kmart in 1999 better than anything today?

After inadvertently stumbling across some vintage footage of shopping culture from yesteryear, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is it reasonable, at this point, to compare the revolution in how we consume goods with the old cliché of a boiling frog?  How much longer before we the frogs feel the temperature climbing?  Using any vintage

Burnett Plaza: where human-centered architecture almost gets the shaft.

Poking out over the squat, one-story barbecue joint in the photo above is a relentlessly iterative office building, with not a single variation in its fenestration across all thirty-nine of its upper floors.  Windows look the exact same, row after row after row.  The only exception is the far left and far right of this

Brand refresh: Barnes & Noble goes on a tear. No books destroyed in the process.

A quick look at the photo above and it should be obvious that something’s afoot at this particular location of Barnes and Noble.  Incidentally, I only heavily scrutinized a Barnes and Noble once before, also in Maryland, when I noticed a repositioning of merchandise within the interior just a few months ago.  This time, the

Castle on a cul-de-sac: homes like this will always exist. But that doesn’t mean they’ll survive.

It’s rare that I feature two back-to-back articles on the same subject, and even rarer that the subject includes massive, opulent houses.  But these houses—each one a castle, or what we would contemporaneously (and pejoratively) call “McMansions”—are the backdrop for what ultimately is an entirely different focal point.  Over on Geist Reservoir, in the northeastern

Anthony Santaniello: a eulogy for a lover of subways.

In what is a first for American Dirt—and what I hope not to become a regular occurrence—I offer a tribute to a fellow urbanist and friend.  Longtime employee of Philadelphia City Planning Commission

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