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47 articles

Corporate bookstores morph and recede: are they keeping up with the 1990s?

For the book-lovers among us, it’s hard to believe that Borders Books and Music has been defunct now for over ten years.  It was one of the first and most obvious high-profile casualties of Amazon, the latter of which nipped away at the revenue stream of what had previously been the nation’s largest bookstore, peaking

The last Sears in Maryland: a final sympathy visit while in hospice care.

This is probably beating a dead horse: it’s Sears article.  Again.  I’ve featured the declining department store many times on the blog; back in the early 2010s, it was still a ubiquitous presence in American malls.  And I last covered Sears just six months ago, when I found an operating store in Francis Scott Key

Rural strip mall: why struggle for tenants, when there’s nothing else around?

When it comes to human-conceived implements—tools—the maxim “form follows function” usually applies.  Whether it be a saw, a trowel, a baster, or a protractor, the object in question has evolved to fit the best intersection of ergonomics (most conducive to the human hand) and its capacity to achieve a desired result as a certain implement:

Cumberland MD: where ancient Americana rolls out a welcome mat to trendy townhomes.

There was probably a point in history when virtually every American had heard of Cumberland, Maryland.  Not only that, it’s reasonable to surmise that a significant proportion of Americans had passed through it.  Aside from the fact that, for most of Maryland’s history, it was the state’s second largest city (its “Queen City” behind Lord/King

How to stymie shoplifting? Simply suggest some soup-to-nuts security strategies.

With this article I’m presenting my second feature on crime prevention strategies in less than a month.  This isn’t typical.  But then, the sort of criminality urban America has countenanced these last few years hasn’t been typical either, though it’s rapidly becoming so.  Given the double-digit year-to-year increases in violent and property crime, let alone

The endangered news rack: no longer a source of headlines, now more of a museum piece.

Hot on the heels of those Manhattan Irish pubs, several of which sit frozen in time after St. Patrick’s Day, we encounter another example of Mt. Vesuvius erupting and coating everything in ash.  But this time the Pompeii is a much more suburban setting.  The Interstate 270 corridor bisects Montgomery County, the most populous county

Yes, we still have no bananas: worm’s-eye assessments of corona after two years.

We have now reached, almost to the day, the point when the majority of US states, taking the lead from a national disaster declaration, began issuing safety precautions in an attempt to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), better known as COVID-19, the number attributing the year in which epidemiologists

College Park: the Maryland uni town where retail should thrive. And doesn’t.

By this point, after two years of intermittent lockdowns and the ensuing impacts on businesses, we can all see it with our own eyes: retail is fickle.  I’ve written about this more times than I can count, since the very onset of this blog, waaaaay back when the biggest issue I could see was that

As roadside travel plazas get plush, why not make every old rest area a more welcome center?

The fate of interstate highway rest areas in the 21st century has been checkered, to say the least.  As privately owned service stations become larger and posher, state-operated rest areas have found it increasingly difficult to justify their existence.  In the eastern US, familiar names like Wawa, Sheetz, Pilot, and Love’s have expanded their convenience