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,
Student ghetto: West Virginia’s contender for #1 party school delivers a triumphantly trashy microcosm.
As garbage-strewn as my last article was, it was a pristine Eden compared to the content in this one. And though the example I’m about to feature is the worst I’ve seen, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be that hard to spot similar settings that out-trash the photos here. Just go to the closet
City planners, chambers of commerce, commercial real estate brokers, and Business Improvement District (BID) managers should have no difficulty finding common ground on a number of subjects. Generally speaking, they don’t run out of things to talk about. And while they might cavil about the finer points of what is more important in attracting investment
Some animals are just more opportunistic than others. In most cases, it cannot help but serve as a survival tactic. Bears are notoriously omnivorous and remarkably clever at finding ways to access nutrients that accommodate their diverse palates. It is for this reason that many National Park must use trash cans of a durable material
Party walls in college towns: campus culture can shift building form, punching holes or tearing them down.
I haven’t contemplated on party walls in quite some time, but it used to be a subject that vexed me. It’s a tricky one, because there’s no universally understood term for what I’m describing here, which makes it harder to pin down. Is there a better label than “party wall”? Simply put, the old commercial
The streetscape of downtown Martinsburg, the largest municipality (population 17,500) in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, doesn’t exactly boast an occupancy level one would rate as thriving. But it’s hardly plagued by persistent plywood in the windows of the commercial buildings, and the majority of them look like they benefit from regular maintenance and upkeep. I
When green means stop: the impact of classic neon lighting in the wireless era, from West Virginia with love.
If a good sign is worth more than its weight in canvas, plastic, fiberglass, cardboard, or whatever material helped birth it, a good old sign earns even more accolades, as multiplied by the number of years it has done its job. (Weight of the material multiplied by its age?) The perseverance of a good sign
German Street in Shepherdstown, WV: where, instead of a curb at the sidewalk, there’s a fence. And shrubs.
The prosperous little municipality of Shepherdstown, fortuitously situated along the Potomac River in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, boasts a charming three-block main street, German Street, with nothing but locally owned establishments, achieving almost perfect occupancy amidst its variegated, well-maintained 19th century buildings. It’s an enviable arrangement, no doubt enhanced by its location in
In the affable college town of Morgantown, West Virginia—home of the WVU Mountaineers—the unsuspecting visitor encounters a very strange viaduct-like structure presiding over some of the most prominent downtown streets. What is it? It’s certainly not on the same scale as the Chicago Transit Authority’s rail system—the “el” (short for “elevated rail), but then, does
Rural hardship: a coalfield in McDowell County, West Virginia buries its pulse. It’s time to find it again.
I generally hesitate before I dive into an article that focuses primarily on blight and disinvestment, in no small part because it carries with it a tenor of exploitation. And there’s evidence to back my claim: an early article I did on the now-demolished, life-after-people hellscape of Camden, New Jersey became not just one of