The search "New Jersey" yielded
42 articles

A star is born…and stepped on.  

The remarkable, resilient city of Hoboken, New Jersey is worthy of blog posts far longer than this one, and someday I will give it justice. But it’s time to start with a snapshot, evoking one of this densely populated burg’s most cherished cultural artifacts. Not surprisingly, the city, directly across the Hudson River from New

Goulash in the melting pot.

On the corner of an otherwise nondescript strip mall just outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey, I encountered this storefront: Nothing particularly special about it in the grand scheme of things—nothing that jumps out, just from viewing the exterior. But the name is distinctive. Magyar. For those not in the know, Magyarország is the word

Social deviation: when tables and maps say more than our eyes.

My previous article, on the Hasidic Village of Kiryas Joel, illustrated perfectly how demographic differences can play out spatially. Kiryas Joel is an uncharacteristically high-density settlement filled with individuals who share an orthodoxy, whose high birth rate and dependence on federal aid often incurs the anger of the upper-middle class suburbs that surround it, known

Shipwreck Island without the water.

At long last, a significant number of older urban centers in the country seem to be recognizing that it’s a good idea to build infrastructure that accommodates pedestrians. While we are far from perfecting the design of crosswalks or vehicular turn lanes, the trajectory clearly manifests improvement with each passing year. Finally. But even the

Students or cyborgs?

It goes without saying that college campuses are usually hubs of pedestrianism. Even the most car-oriented, pavement-saturated, commuter-dependent academic environments will still harbor more bipeds than one would typically see in just about any other workplace. It’s unavoidable. This association owes much to the etymology of the word “campus”: a derived from the Latin word

Who knew that the City That Never Sleeps had a narcoleptic neighbor?

As I prepare for some upcoming significant changes to my blog, I provide a sort of “placeholder” article as make the final modifications, which I will soon publicize. The placeholder motif extends to the content of this blog entry, where a window sign serves much the same purpose within its respective storefront. It’s simply announcing

MONTAGE: Stratification across the river.

Late last year I featured an article on the unusual Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a mostly upper-middle income suburban region of Philadelphia.  It’s a distinctive mall because it’s simultaneously both low-rent and affluent: it has such high-end tenants as Williams Sonoma or Swarovski, but it also has Five Below, Dollar Hut, and

The state house makes the laws; the state takes it for granted.

I’ve observed in the past how, almost instinctively, we come to expect a certain degree of monumentality in major seats of government, usually the prominent display of a central building that hosts those administrative offices.  In the typical Midwestern county seat, the courthouse provides that landmark—an elaborate masonry building resting in the center of a park-like

Dressing the wounds with paint.

My suspicion is that the majority of the readers here have at least a vague knowledge of the Broken Windows Theory, and how it can apply across a variety of social contexts. For the unacquainted, it’s simple: an inanimate object showing signs of neglect or a general lack of maintenance invites the further degeneration of

In case it was unclear the first time, say it again.

Sometimes what seems like a message conveyed in an embarrassingly stupid manner actually belies a broader array of complicating cultural implications. Take this sign on the side of a private building in an urban neighborhood, for example: The universal symbol for female, coupled with writing emphasizing its exclusivity to that one gender. Was it really

A star is born…and stepped on.  

The remarkable, resilient city of Hoboken, New Jersey is worthy of blog posts far longer than this one, and someday I will give it justice. But it’s time to start with a snapshot,

Goulash in the melting pot.

On the corner of an otherwise nondescript strip mall just outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey, I encountered this storefront: Nothing particularly special about it in the grand scheme of things—nothing that jumps

Social deviation: when tables and maps say more than our eyes.

My previous article, on the Hasidic Village of Kiryas Joel, illustrated perfectly how demographic differences can play out spatially. Kiryas Joel is an uncharacteristically high-density settlement filled with individuals who share an orthodoxy,

Shipwreck Island without the water.

At long last, a significant number of older urban centers in the country seem to be recognizing that it’s a good idea to build infrastructure that accommodates pedestrians. While we are far from

Students or cyborgs?

It goes without saying that college campuses are usually hubs of pedestrianism. Even the most car-oriented, pavement-saturated, commuter-dependent academic environments will still harbor more bipeds than one would typically see in just about

MONTAGE: Stratification across the river.

Late last year I featured an article on the unusual Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a mostly upper-middle income suburban region of Philadelphia.  It’s a distinctive mall because it’s simultaneously both

Dressing the wounds with paint.

My suspicion is that the majority of the readers here have at least a vague knowledge of the Broken Windows Theory, and how it can apply across a variety of social contexts. For

In case it was unclear the first time, say it again.

Sometimes what seems like a message conveyed in an embarrassingly stupid manner actually belies a broader array of complicating cultural implications. Take this sign on the side of a private building in an