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74 articles

Celebrating the most American game with an import.

As I work on a lengthy, difficult blog article, I have to spice up the dead intervals with some observational posts that are quick reads (or at least they’re brief by my standards). I know I can’t always get it right, but I’d like to think that at least a few times I’ve been ahead

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then save heritage, I also know that the most sincere efforts can go up in flames when couched in the liberal use of

When a vintage sign is like a fine wine.

While I suspect virtually every adult has at one time experienced some sort of nostalgia, we all have different stimuli. It’s that much more appealing when it’s unexpected, which was exactly the case when I was out recently along a major highway in Dover, Delaware’s rapidly growing capital, and I saw this sign. Unexpected and

Paris with parking.

If there’s any question at this point whether the shopping conventions of the 1970s and 1980s are still viable, all you need is to type “dead” followed by the desired retail type into your preferred search engine, and let it do its thing. Suburban mall, downtown mall, strip mall, lifestyle center, factory outlet, plaza. You

Sudsy strategies.

By now, it’s not just something for Portland to be smug about. Nearly everywhere in America—urban centers, suburbs, college towns, sometimes even rural hamlets—seems capable of supporting a craft brewery. Not only have the numbers of breweries and the often family-friendly brewpubs increased precipitously in the last five years, but the market share for craft

Preventing an Elm Street nightmare.

It’s a trend one encounters all across the country, in large towns or small cities, of varying degrees of economic health. Almost instinctively, we know when we’re there—in the oldest part of town, usually co-located with the downtown. For the most part, it’s hard not to miss the central business district, which often amounts to

Meter meditations made material.

Loath as I am to feature a blog article without a single photo, work and travel obligations are preventing me right now from getting my “real” articles written at the pace that I’d like. And this topic makes for good filler, because it’s a follow-up on a previous small article that generated a fair amount

From holy rollers to high rollers.

As much as certain media outlets are alerting the rise of the “unchurched” and religious “nones”, this country remains replete with religious institutions, for congregations of all denominations, faiths and sizes. The core expectations for what constitutes a house of worship are so minimal that their associated structures can be remarkably flexible in layout and

Breaking the rules to enforce them.

Whimsical signs in unexpected places are so commonplace these days that it’s difficult even to use to the word “unexpected”. But signage in general is ubiquitous, and since most signs communicate their messages in a no-frills manner, any notification with a slightly different tone still comes across as atypical. Which, most likely, is precisely the

Dressing the wounds with paint (a sequel).

In a nation where the supply of potential retail space is so excessive that it hobbles the commercial landscape it intends to serve, a vacant storefront often remains vacant for a very long time. Only in the healthiest, most sought-after retail districts does the leasable space absorb quickly. In larger structures with the capacity for

Celebrating the most American game with an import.

As I work on a lengthy, difficult blog article, I have to spice up the dead intervals with some observational posts that are quick reads (or at least they’re brief by my standards).

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then

When a vintage sign is like a fine wine.

While I suspect virtually every adult has at one time experienced some sort of nostalgia, we all have different stimuli. It’s that much more appealing when it’s unexpected, which was exactly the case

Paris with parking.

If there’s any question at this point whether the shopping conventions of the 1970s and 1980s are still viable, all you need is to type “dead” followed by the desired retail type into

Sudsy strategies.

By now, it’s not just something for Portland to be smug about. Nearly everywhere in America—urban centers, suburbs, college towns, sometimes even rural hamlets—seems capable of supporting a craft brewery. Not only have

Preventing an Elm Street nightmare.

It’s a trend one encounters all across the country, in large towns or small cities, of varying degrees of economic health. Almost instinctively, we know when we’re there—in the oldest part of town,

Meter meditations made material.

Loath as I am to feature a blog article without a single photo, work and travel obligations are preventing me right now from getting my “real” articles written at the pace that I’d

From holy rollers to high rollers.

As much as certain media outlets are alerting the rise of the “unchurched” and religious “nones”, this country remains replete with religious institutions, for congregations of all denominations, faiths and sizes. The core

Breaking the rules to enforce them.

Whimsical signs in unexpected places are so commonplace these days that it’s difficult even to use to the word “unexpected”. But signage in general is ubiquitous, and since most signs communicate their messages

Dressing the wounds with paint (a sequel).

In a nation where the supply of potential retail space is so excessive that it hobbles the commercial landscape it intends to serve, a vacant storefront often remains vacant for a very long