After seventy years of steady and often astronomical growth—from 1940 to 2010—suburban Fairfax County Virginia finally slowed in the 2010s to a more modest pace. It had no choice. This county opposite the Potomac River from Washington DC is developed across about 75% of its 390-square-mile land area. Even more impressive is that isn’t even
As I fine-tune and finish up a much longer blog post, I wanted to fill this dry spell with some amusing content that serves as a follow-up to an unexpectedly popular blog post from about a year ago. I noted last spring the strange, recent proliferation of bumper stickers (magnets in actuality) alerting passers-by of
By far the most common keyword I’ve used in this blog is “signage”. At the time of this post, I have written 205 articles that feature the topic. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s a blog on the built environment, and signs are ubiquitous anywhere humans have a presence; additionally the fundamental
It’s hard to imagine this in 2022, but there was indeed an era when meme was not a part of common parlance. Such a time may be hard to conceive for the Generation Zoomers, but most older Millennials and all Xers can recall when they somehow knew and fully understood what the term means, even
Billboard blight for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd: there’s nothing to promote when the commuters stay at home.
Just a few days ago, I left Manhattan for Astoria via the recently renovated Queens-Midtown Tunnel—not something I have ever done, but a route that I would think thousands of other people travel on a daily basis. Something tells me, though, that this routine experienced a staggering drop approximately one year and four months ago.
Salvaging the subject of strip mall soulfulness for a second study, I present a regional shopping center of no great distinction. Much like the suburban structures of the previous article, Eagleridge Shopping Center is unusually coy about its name; the massive sign facing Interstate 25 forces the title to the absolute bottom. Most people probably
By this point, we’ve all encountered the legions of business closures induced by COVID-prompted shutdowns of commerce and travel over the last year. I’ve tried to avoid too much of the cynical coverage of vacancies, instead focusing on clever strategies that various storefront retailers have deployed to generate sales from a carryout vantage point, when
I’m going to go out on a limb with this mini-post. Maybe I’m the only one who has noticed this, but in my opinion, we sure seem to see a lot more of this feature these days. I’m referring to the decals above the rear bumper on this car. Which one am I talking about?
Graffiti Highway in the Keystone State: the histories of two abandoned roads are as different as their spraypainted messages.
In urban America, it’s a common occurrence for an executive body to determine that a small segment of a public right-of-way should no longer function as a transportation conduit. For whatever reason, that 300-or-so feet of roadway is obsolete. Perhaps it’s because it no longer leads to anything; it was a dead-end that provided access
My latest article just went up at Urban Indy. It’s a familiar subject to those who know this blog well: another ghost bike, this time in the largely suburban, automobile dependent streets of the south side of Indianapolis. Unlike my very recent article on a ghost bike in Albuquerque, this one almost certainly signifies a