The search "New Jersey" yielded
42 articles

When churches spin many plates…and not all of them for collections.

The affluent, outlying streetcar suburb of Chatham, New Jersey offers a picturesque two-block downtown, which features what would likely come as a surprise to the unattuned. Sure, many of the storefronts are predictable: comic book shop, jewelry and watch repair, alterations, a few restaurants, dry cleaners. And, right in the middle of it all: a

Kmart: Blue light specials have left them in the red.

It’s happening again! Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD) has announced yet another wave of closures for its two flagship brands, Kmart and Sears.  This time it looks like ten Sears stores will be closing, including one in the Southland Mall in Houma, Louisiana—a mall that was already struggling when I blogged about it in 2012. I’d speculate

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

What’s next? Drive-through dim sum?  

Immigrant investment has breathed life into long-declining urban neighborhoods; why shouldn’t the same happen with suburban ones? Fifty years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that foreign-born populations tended to cluster most heavily in the central cities of major metropolitan areas. At the turn of the 19th century, it often consisted of newly arrived Western Europeans:

Back-of-the-envelope navigation.

As I try to increase my volume of monthly blog posts, I owe it to both my readers and myself to bring back something I used to do regularly: a mini-post, which for me amounts to something less than 1,000 words. The fact of the matter is that I often try to write less, but

Measuring malls through malleability.

Hot on the heels of my podcast is another retail rumination. By now, it’s safe to assert that the conventional enclosed shopping mall—long the paragon of middlebrow American commerce—is an eviscerated zombie, trudging onward with no clear goal, and a huge contrast compared to the heydays of the 1970s and 80s. I’d wager that up

Parsimonious (but potent) pedestrian provisions.

If you don’t have the money to make it aesthetic, at least you can make it functional. This seems to be mentality that Hoboken, New Jersey, America’s most walkable city, endorses in some of its streetscape improvements. Considering the high median incomes of this city of over 40,000 people per square mile, it’s a bit

Biblical Flooding on a Biblical Floodplain, Part I – The recipe for natural disaster.

Whether wildfires, tornadoes, power plant meltdowns, explosions, epidemics, bankruptcies, school shootings, Godzilla invasions, or roving bands of undomesticated alpacas on the loose, the essential agreement for a disaster to capture the public eye is magnitude. This isn’t brain surgery. Size is generally the variable that semantically distinguishes disaster from catastrophe, or separates predicament from setback.

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s not about finding the right tenant; it’s about finding any tenant at all. America is already among the most over-retailed countries, perhaps

Tossing historic accuracy out the window.

Don’t let the naysayers sway you. Historic preservation aspirations can harmonize with the private sector. In fact, it’s happening now more than ever, and it’s depending far less on pubic sector intervention than ever before. With increasing frequency, entrepreneurs are mobilizing to salvage buildings or prominent features deemed under threat, either from redevelopment or decay

Kmart: Blue light specials have left them in the red.

It’s happening again! Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD) has announced yet another wave of closures for its two flagship brands, Kmart and Sears.  This time it looks like ten Sears stores will be closing,

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

What’s next? Drive-through dim sum?  

Immigrant investment has breathed life into long-declining urban neighborhoods; why shouldn’t the same happen with suburban ones? Fifty years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that foreign-born populations tended to cluster most heavily in

Back-of-the-envelope navigation.

As I try to increase my volume of monthly blog posts, I owe it to both my readers and myself to bring back something I used to do regularly: a mini-post, which for

Measuring malls through malleability.

Hot on the heels of my podcast is another retail rumination. By now, it’s safe to assert that the conventional enclosed shopping mall—long the paragon of middlebrow American commerce—is an eviscerated zombie, trudging

Parsimonious (but potent) pedestrian provisions.

If you don’t have the money to make it aesthetic, at least you can make it functional. This seems to be mentality that Hoboken, New Jersey, America’s most walkable city, endorses in some

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s

Tossing historic accuracy out the window.

Don’t let the naysayers sway you. Historic preservation aspirations can harmonize with the private sector. In fact, it’s happening now more than ever, and it’s depending far less on pubic sector intervention than