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Holiday season supermarket displays: colors, curios, and comestibles.

When most Americans hear the phrase “holiday season” they tend to think of the end of the year—generally the time frame from Thanksgiving to Christmas (or Hanukkah), then to New Year’s Day  But our appetite for celebratory gestures—and the marketplace’s zeal to respond to it through commodification—has essentially expanded the holiday season to Halloween, given

Navy Yard apartments (MONTAGE): Aspirational consumption, flaunted in photography.

For those who don’t go to malls regularly—which, in 2020, it’s safe to assume is most of us—we’ve probably stopped thinking all that much about the act of shopping altogether.  By and large, it’s no longer a peripatetic activity.  But there was a certain mystique toward the idea of walking confidently down a street—or, more

Wegmans: the grocer whose Valentine’s offering has got some real meat on it.

I generally shy away from seasonal postings, but sometimes it’s hard to resist.  And since I’ve got several irons in the fire right now regarding bigger, weightier, more robust posts, I feel compelled to send out some Valentine’s Day wishes…in the form of some choice cuts of meat. While rib-eye steak isn’t everyone’s top pick

Forest Fair Village, Part II: a lesson in how not to create a regional mega attraction.

The previous half of this mega-blog post explored Forest Fair Village pictorially, showing what happens when an investment company is left wringing whatever remaining profit they can derive from an almost completely dead attraction.  This mall—98% vacant yet also 98% open to the public—is hardly unique, even by Cincinnati standards, which, like most metros of

In small biz, do red-letter signs yield red-letter days?

As I prep for a much longer, photo-heavy blog article, I offer this brief filler, with a new take on some familiar material: a declining, heavily vacant strip mall in a suburban area, this time in metro DC (the Maryland side).We’ve all been here before: these days, blighted strip malls are just as common in

One restaurant, two continents: culinary fusion or just confusion?

On a busy stretch of highway in southern Delaware, just a few miles away from the surging beaches, the motorist will encounter yet another of several grindingly predictable strip malls. It’s small, as one would expect in a semi-rural area (getting more so to the west, the same direction my camera lens was pointing). The

Self-serve from a sleeper: train cars out of context to coax new customers.

Growing up on the south side of Indianapolis (the city limits but still highly suburban in character), one of the most coveted places to celebrate birthdays for the under-ten set was in a tiny McDonald’s operating out of a repurposed train car. And to this day, a popular, long-standing accommodation in downtown Indy is the

Smutty suggestions through shed sales. Because why not?

As I work slowly toward a goal of boosting my number of monthly posts through the occasional Mini Post of No Consequence, I’m forced to reveal that I can hardly resist a good pun. Unfortunately for my readership, I’m just as prone to capitulating on a really bad pun as well. I probably lost a