bark park at The Blairs apartments, Silver Spring MD

Pint sized bark parks: when an undefined patch of land is going to the dogs.

I’m not sure what it is, but something about the downtown to the unincorporated Washington DC suburb of Sliver Spring, Maryland seems have spawned a number of unusual urban forms: acute angles, bizarre protrusions, and neglected little corners.  I’ve written about this once before: how a building’s orientation and street frontage created a little storefront

In the urban jungle, a crosswalk for guineafowl.

As I manage issues regarding data migration from my old computer to new—apparently a process that, so far, has involved over four hours with tech support and no success—I must resign myself to another mini-post to keep things going when time is scarce.  On a bright May morning, I was trolling around downtown Trenton, New

Fort Worth Stockyards get a slice of New York chic–but in the form of a ground beef patty.

From the looks of things, the Fort Worth Stockyards are in the midst of a slow-motion renaissance.  I’m hardly an expert on the subject, but I’d wager that the multiblock district–which is apparently the only surviving stockyard left in the country–is among the biggest attractions in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, certainly as far as

The stick-built home isn’t always the flimsiest.

Cliché though it may be, the world offers plenty of evidence that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Travel through the most rugged parts of West Virginia, and it’s easy to find a small burg nestled in the valley between uncompromising hills. Human settlements stretch far north of the Arctic Circle, with Inuit populations

Panda politics: a new diplomacy for the nation’s capital.

Some time overseas has kept me out of the blogging loop for much of this month, but I’m back now. And while I work to catch up on something more substantive, I offer this little ursine divertissement, from a bus stop in Washington DC: It doesn’t take a great social critic or an expert in

The dog park: more possibilities than you can shake a stick at.

By this point, they’ve become almost as multifaceted as the dog breeds themselves.  Much like murals, bike lanes, and decorative sidewalk benches, the dog park has become a fundamental amenity in urban settings…and not just the alpha and beta cities. The gamma, delta, and yes, even the communities that many would hesitate to call a

Creature comforts, reinforced with concrete.

Traveling along I-78 through northern New Jersey, about twelve miles west of Newark, drivers experience a reprieve from the endless array of New York suburbs as they speed through the Watchung Reservation.           On a map, it looks like this:But, despite the fact that it’s fundamentally a forest preserve, the infrastructure is a bit more sophisticated

And on the seventh day…He created a market.

With this article I venture into what may prove one of my most overtly political topics ever, possibly against better judgment.  Yet I wade into these waters as a deliberate challenge to myself, since I strive to separate the intensive political controversy that this tourist attraction elicits from what I think is more interesting and

Even the cows can be crooked.

Across most cultures, the animals that comprise what we would call “livestock” remain remarkably similar. Chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses are reliably visible in countries with widely variable climates and levels of industrialization. Some of this may be due to a commonly cultivated taste for the meat, milk, and eggs of these

A new shade of pastoralism.

An exploration in unfamiliar territory can often make the typically mundane landscape features pop out. This doesn’t require a great understanding of psychology: when we don’t know our surroundings that well, the employment of the senses becomes more of a conscious act. Much of western Kentucky, of which I am more familiar, is embedded in

In the urban jungle, a crosswalk for guineafowl.

As I manage issues regarding data migration from my old computer to new—apparently a process that, so far, has involved over four hours with tech support and no success—I must resign myself to

The stick-built home isn’t always the flimsiest.

Cliché though it may be, the world offers plenty of evidence that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Travel through the most rugged parts of West Virginia, and it’s easy to find

Creature comforts, reinforced with concrete.

Traveling along I-78 through northern New Jersey, about twelve miles west of Newark, drivers experience a reprieve from the endless array of New York suburbs as they speed through the Watchung Reservation.           On

And on the seventh day…He created a market.

With this article I venture into what may prove one of my most overtly political topics ever, possibly against better judgment.  Yet I wade into these waters as a deliberate challenge to myself,

Even the cows can be crooked.

Across most cultures, the animals that comprise what we would call “livestock” remain remarkably similar. Chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses are reliably visible in countries with widely variable climates and

A new shade of pastoralism.

An exploration in unfamiliar territory can often make the typically mundane landscape features pop out. This doesn’t require a great understanding of psychology: when we don’t know our surroundings that well, the employment