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Glenwood Springs: so much to do that they could only fit some of it under a bridge. (MONTAGE)

Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a fun town.  That’s its brand.  It aspires to be one of America’s most recreationally-minded small municipalities—really more of a tiny city—and it routinely makes the top 10 lists among various outdoor-centric periodicals, as I covered once before.  Sometimes it reaches a bit further, placing on lists of all-around best and

Hopscotching: supermarkets locate and re-locate. Why can’t gyms?

My latest article is on Urban Indy. It represents a sort of sequel to an article I wrote about 18 months earlier, where I followed a single Kroger supermarket on the south side of Indianapolis as it kept changing locations–four separate places in about twenty years, all new construction. And none of those locations were

Pizzeria conversion: with one city’s Italian loss is another’s gain.

It’s a busy time of year and I need to meet my monthly blogging goals, so I’m going to cheat a little bit and piggyback on my previous article.  To be frank, it’s a double-cheat, since I usually try to avoid featuring the same state for two blog articles in a row.  But here I

Church conversion, from pizza pie to piety. And garlic knots for the communion host?

Social critics have asserted for decades that American religiosity is in a state of decline.  In recent years, they have grown more confident.  And they certainly have evidence: churches are closing left and right across the country, a condition that accelerated during the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns.  Additionally, polls show a reduced percentage of American

Anthony Santaniello: a eulogy for a lover of subways.

In what is a first for American Dirt—and what I hope not to become a regular occurrence—I offer a tribute to a fellow urbanist and friend.  Longtime employee of Philadelphia City Planning Commission and then Philadelphia Streets Department, Anthony Santaniello passed away on October 21st.  Anthony wasn’t just a casual follower of the work on

Color choice: a gladiator match between brand green and brand red, in a strip mall coliseum.

The infamous book How to Lie with Maps initially offered a light-hearted attempt to explore how maps can entice, mislead, inflame, and generally propagandize, often without necessarily depicting anything geographically untruthfully.  Juxtapositions (not always to scale), labels, color choice, and infographics can all endow an editorial skew on what seems like objective spatial representation.  And

Custom racks: a stylish place to park your Cannondale. Or canine.

Bicycles may never become a primary means of getting around in the United States, at least not to the degree that they are in, say, Denmark or Netherlands.  Our cities are too spread out, cars have (at least until recently) been comparatively cheap and easy to own, and—perhaps most important of all—a majority of Americans

DC food desert: South Anacostia has a single holdout supermarket.  Will it survive?

The term itself doesn’t usually require much explanation, even if most people have never used the it in everyday conversation.  They automatically know what a food desert is.  For those who don’t, it takes very little to conceptualize: if a person lives in an urbanized area—and most Americans do—odds are good that he or she

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Anthony Santaniello: a eulogy for a lover of subways.

In what is a first for American Dirt—and what I hope not to become a regular occurrence—I offer a tribute to a fellow urbanist and friend.  Longtime employee of Philadelphia City Planning Commission

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