To celebrate the spooky season just a little bit on the late side, I’ll abstain from references to zombies, werewolves, or blood-thirsty vampires. That’s the stuff of Hollywood. I’ll hold off from massive jack-o’-lanterns, witches crashing into buildings, enormous spiders, or the arched backs of black cats. Those seem to be the status quo for
I’m not sure what it is, but something about the downtown to the unincorporated Washington DC suburb of Sliver Spring, Maryland seems have spawned a number of unusual urban forms: acute angles, bizarre protrusions, and neglected little corners. I’ve written about this once before: how a building’s orientation and street frontage created a little storefront
Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.
As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…
As the American public attempts to reconcile a steadily rising COVID-19 caseload with increasingly diffuse reports on the means to combat the scourge—peppered by occasional reports that many other countries are now also reporting a rise in cases—it is clear that most businesses cannot sustain the draconian conditions imposed by the spring lockdowns. And, with
Usually I like my articles to be “outside of time”—that is, I avoid subjects that are completely beholden to some current event. But by March of this year, that all changed. How couldn’t it?! It was virtually impossible to avoid the coronavirus, both artistically and epidemiologically. (I still estimate there’s about a 50% chance that
Less than a month ago, I availed myself of a long-planned opportunity to travel from the mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, using a flight a purchased several weeks before the world’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic had set the turbulent economic and social course for 2020. Obviously there are others before me—people who took this risk
Among the business enterprises that faced the most stringent of restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were health clubs and sports/recreational facilities. Viewed through the prism of contagion, this injunction on gyms during the lockdown generally made sense: they routinely bring people together in close proximity (whether locker rooms or aerobics classes); they allow patrons to
Cause-and-response urbanism in Alexandria: when grafting a storefront is like pulling Nectar from a flower.
I rarely devote an entire blog article to just one small business—it always comes across that I’m singling it out, even if (as is the case here) it’s for a positive reason. But when it comes to this one, it’s the allegiance between a business and the structure that houses it that really merits attention.
After a few too many COVID-obsessed articles, it’s time to take a breather with a more time-tested topic that I hope will soon become salient in the blogosphere once more: off-line shopping, specifically in the form of malls. As I prep for articles more substantial, I think I’m at least somewhat overdue for a revisit
When most Americans hear the phrase “holiday season” they tend to think of the end of the year—generally the time frame from Thanksgiving to Christmas (or Hanukkah), then to New Year’s Day But our appetite for celebratory gestures—and the marketplace’s zeal to respond to it through commodification—has essentially expanded the holiday season to Halloween, given