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17 articles

Mall rot: how they do it in Dixie.

This blog is due for another photo montage, and while the subject this month is hardly original, it remains one of my favorite: the always fascinating dying mall. I’ve explored several examples in the past: two in Indianapolis and one outside of Detroit. But dying malls are hardly relegated to the Midwest—all across the country,

The heart of a state, encased in stone.

The average well-traveled person who looks at the remarkably uniform street walls below will likely draw a conclusion that the photo comes from Washington DC. After all, with the alabaster facades, the prosaic fenestration, and—most tellingly—the uniform height of all the structures, the photo could capture a typical avenue in the sprawling central business district

E-flatulence.

I will likely be away from the blogosphere for a few days starting tomorrow, as I embark on a brief road trip across rural Appalachia. In anticipation of these travels (which will inevitably require me to visit a few gas stations), I offer this classic marquee in front of a station on the outskirts of

Improving urban bikability amounts to more than just spinning wheels.

It’s not just for the Dutch anymore. The inclusion of infrastructure to accommodate bicycles has, at least in the US, finally entered the mainstream, most likely far later than in most other developed countries that are less dependent upon the automobile. While some large American cities introduced segregated bicycle facilities as early as the 1970s,

Baba ghanoush in a ketchup dispenser.

It is nearly impossible to engage in any extensive study on the built environment without exploring how widespread cultural practices or beliefs have shaped the visible results. The simplest and purest goal of this blog—to look at the world around us and ask “What does it mean?”—would crumble if I avoided any exploration of that

Retail’s softer side.

Of all the major department stores hoping for bang-up business over the holidays (at least compared to the 2008 nadir), perhaps the one that’s been the quietest in recent years is Sears. For over half of a century, the Sears, Roebuck and Company was the number one retailer up until the early 1980s, before the

Ambiance can be bought through a few seeds.

While I’ve borrowed other people’s pictures in the past as a basis for analysis, this may be the first time in which the revelation itself is not my own. I had been living in New Orleans for six months at the time a friend came down to visit. After spending the first night in the

Mall rot: how they do it in Dixie.

This blog is due for another photo montage, and while the subject this month is hardly original, it remains one of my favorite: the always fascinating dying mall. I’ve explored several examples in

The heart of a state, encased in stone.

The average well-traveled person who looks at the remarkably uniform street walls below will likely draw a conclusion that the photo comes from Washington DC. After all, with the alabaster facades, the prosaic

E-flatulence.

I will likely be away from the blogosphere for a few days starting tomorrow, as I embark on a brief road trip across rural Appalachia. In anticipation of these travels (which will inevitably

Baba ghanoush in a ketchup dispenser.

It is nearly impossible to engage in any extensive study on the built environment without exploring how widespread cultural practices or beliefs have shaped the visible results. The simplest and purest goal of

Retail’s softer side.

Of all the major department stores hoping for bang-up business over the holidays (at least compared to the 2008 nadir), perhaps the one that’s been the quietest in recent years is Sears. For

Ambiance can be bought through a few seeds.

While I’ve borrowed other people’s pictures in the past as a basis for analysis, this may be the first time in which the revelation itself is not my own. I had been living