[sbs_tax tax="States"] [sbs_tax tax="Albany"]

Grants, New Mexico: where the ghosts of miners haunt a thriving prison industry.

Although the evidence of ghost towns proves that they exist (or have existed) throughout the country, most Americans invariably associate them with the frontier West: the High Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada; the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts.  We also customarily associate the emergence of ghost towns with mining, certainly more than

A new spin on the wheels of an old ghost bike, along Indy’s Madison Avenue.

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

Microretail in Midtown Manhattan (Part Two): can it salvage the city’s shuttered storefronts?

In this era of progressive retail collapse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to conceive of any viable long-term solution for the numerous, variegated, embattled storefronts across this nation of largely unregulated markets. It’s already bad throughout the suburbs, where strip malls, big boxes, and even formerly mighty regional malls are under such strain from their burgeoning

Super Bowl sales: intercepting the alligator pears before they pass the pigskin.

As much as I hate to rehash the subject of an old thread, I can now comfortably assert that what used to be speculation has now achieved corroboration. And it probably needs corroboration. After all, even after seeing the display at a supermarket in Pennsylvania, why would people instinctively associate football with avocados? But it’s

Mall’s end: brought to you by WBAL.

As a follow-up from my City Journal article last week on the end of retail (and especially malls), neighboring broadcaster WBAL-Baltimore (1090 AM/101.5 FM) asked me to do a brief clip on the future of malls for the Bryan Nehman show earlier this morning.  Nehman’s program runs on WBAL from 5a to 9a each weekday, and my

Circle Centre after Carson’s: a new life or euthanasia?

Ever pondered what might go into a spot when a downtown department store closes?  Well, I got the chance to do exactly that, and it has just appeared in the latest issue of Indianapolis Monthly. Okay, the photo above is a false alarm: it’s a pic of the Nordstrom that closed in the Circle Centre Mall

Viewing the stodgy charms of yesteryear…through a lens from to-day.

I’ve been wising up over the last few years to an escalating resurgence of the Victorian aesthetic throughout the Western world. Whether it asserts itself most powerfully in facial hair, comfort food, or a neo-Puritanism among our great social-media arbiters of taste, the Victorian revival seems most entrenched in the hippest, most urbane quarters. Take

Pedestrian upgrades: best intentions aren’t always enough to make the grade.

As pedestrianism intensifies and its strongest advocates promulgate the newest and best practices, we predictably witness compelling or examples well beyond the big-city antecedents. Not surprisingly, we witness the same incremental improvements in accessibility for persons with disabilities, often in tandem with pedestrian upgrades. This should come as no surprise: after all, sidewalks should serve

How parochial can public education get?

Though it sits on a prominent corner in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC, this repurposed old school building doesn’t hold a candle in opulence to some of the neighboring churches on 16th Street: It’s unlikely that many would consider it an ugly building, though I suspect historic preservationists would pull their hair out

Mall’s end: brought to you by WBAL.

As a follow-up from my City Journal article last week on the end of retail (and especially malls), neighboring broadcaster WBAL-Baltimore (1090 AM/101.5 FM) asked me to do a brief clip on the future of

How parochial can public education get?

Though it sits on a prominent corner in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC, this repurposed old school building doesn’t hold a candle in opulence to some of the neighboring churches on