The search "Virginia" yielded
89 articles

Dueling dollar stores in a small town: why would identical companies share a party wall?

During the season of giving, it’s not likely that most people’s first notion of a repository for seasonal gifts is a dollar store.  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, you name it. I suppose I’m making an elitist generalization here: after all, many people lack the wherewithal for purchase gifts anywhere other than a dollar store.  Furthermore,

Gourmet grocer with a vague name. There’s more to it than just “gourmet”.

Slaters Lane is a disproportionately important street in Alexandria, Virginia, considering its brief length.  From end to end, it measures only a half of mile, and an additional 500 feet of that length is a stub that dead-ends into an office/residential complex near the Potomac River a bit further eastward.  But the other ~2100 feet

Pizzeria conversion: with one city’s Italian loss is another’s gain.

It’s a busy time of year and I need to meet my monthly blogging goals, so I’m going to cheat a little bit and piggyback on my previous article.  To be frank, it’s a double-cheat, since I usually try to avoid featuring the same state for two blog articles in a row.  But here I

Church conversion, from pizza pie to piety. And garlic knots for the communion host?

Social critics have asserted for decades that American religiosity is in a state of decline.  In recent years, they have grown more confident.  And they certainly have evidence: churches are closing left and right across the country, a condition that accelerated during the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns.  Additionally, polls show a reduced percentage of American

Color choice: a gladiator match between brand green and brand red, in a strip mall coliseum.

The infamous book How to Lie with Maps initially offered a light-hearted attempt to explore how maps can entice, mislead, inflame, and generally propagandize, often without necessarily depicting anything geographically untruthfully.  Juxtapositions (not always to scale), labels, color choice, and infographics can all endow an editorial skew on what seems like objective spatial representation.  And

Yellow caution bumper stickers: not just a safe driving strategy. Now a meme.

It’s time to confess: I’m beholden to my most successful blog posts, which sometimes feature a subject I don’t really care all that much about, but hey—if it gets good engagement and stimulates conversation, why not explore it again?  That’s precisely the case with those yellow caution bumper stickers (or perhaps they’re magnets?) that have

North Fillmore in Arlington: a street whose traffic flow changes mid-block.

The expansive, oddly shaped downtown district of Arlington, Virginia (it’s a county, even though it feels like a city) features some unusual intersections, which no doubt confuse motorists and pedestrians who are unfamiliar with the area.  These intersections were nowhere near as precarious back in the day, when most of the area consisted of low-slung

Vintage retail video: is Kmart in 1999 better than anything today?

After inadvertently stumbling across some vintage footage of shopping culture from yesteryear, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is it reasonable, at this point, to compare the revolution in how we consume goods with the old cliché of a boiling frog?  How much longer before we the frogs feel the temperature climbing?  Using any vintage

Novice Driver bumper stickers earn some much-needed sardonic sass.

I hate to keep revisiting this subject, but gosh darn it, the first time I did, it became one of my most popular articles.  I still get new responses every few weeks.  And the phenomenon itself just won’t go away; in fact, it seems to be getting worse.  Or better, if you agree with the

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