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18 articles

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

Philly’s subway entrances: should we cast great infrastructure in iron or cast it away?

As a general rule, the major public works initiatives of America suffer an almost complete bifurcation in our broader societal gaze: between the deliberately ornamental versus the purely utilitarian. We clutch our pearls in attempts to salvage the former—even if many critics impugn these embellishments as kitschy, schlocky, or some other great Yiddish adjective. Their

The restaurant scene of Columbia Heights: in here, it’s always Tuesday.

This post serves more as a prelude to a forthcoming, lengthier rumination on retail conditions in Columbia Heights, a Washington DC neighborhood I have explored multiple times in the past.It is among the oldest “suburbs” platted outside of the original l’Enfant plan for the capital region. I apply quotes to the word “suburb” because, though it

Green street in Seattle: over the long term, will it put the City in the red?

By this point, the term “green building” has more or less entered common parlance: even if a sizable majority of people don’t know exactly what it entails, they can form a reasonably well-educated guess from the adjective. And, extending those contextual cues, they can speculate with similar accuracy on “green design”, since it loosely applies

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

MONTAGE: When the pursuit of all things suburban becomes a religion, Part II.

Part I of this photo-heavy blog article provided an overview of the history of the Village of Kiryas Joel, a rapidly expanding enclave of Satmar Hasidic Jews tucked in the woods of Orange County, about 60 miles north of New York City. Surrounded by what would appear to most viewers as pretty standard post-war suburban

The College Avenue Interurban: Stop-by-Stop Snapshots, Part II.

My previous blog post used College Avenue as a launchpad for exploring how Indianapolis had once earned the moniker “Interurban Capital of the World”. College Avenue, heading from downtown northward to Broad Ripple Village and beyond, was one of many routes of this predecessor to today’s light rail that used Indy as a hub. The

The College Avenue Interurban: Stop-by-Stop Snapshots, Part I.

It’s been some time since I’ve included a post that emphasizes pictures over text, but my goal of one pic-heavy post per month is about to expire for March, so here it goes. This one can’t even claim complete originality: Urban Indy has featured several thoughtful posts on the city’s old streetcar/interurban network, devoting specific

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