"Intensity," by flickr user Nicholas_T / licensed by Creative Commons

Before Progress Messed Things Up

(Strawberry Hill, Woodbridge, N.J.) Wasn’t one damn berry on that hill in any season, shape, shade, or size. And that sluggish-greenish thing they called a stream? Had nothing but a concrete bridge prettied up with some punk’s art and years…

Wildwood Days

Wildwood Days

The first time my family vacationed in Wildwood, New Jersey, we stayed at a three-story motel on East Lavender Road. Its blinking neon sign greeted us each night as we trudged up from the beach, weary from hours spent in…

Photo courtesy Creative Commons / by Flickr user Vivienne Gucwa

Three Poems

  On Returning to Baker, California The World’s Largest Thermometer is dark now, most of the ten-degree bulbs shot out for target practice and the Starbucks’ windows boarded up and splintering to dust in the gritted-desert wind are cordoned off…

Is this the hardest game on the internet? Photo courtesy of Flickr user jimmywayne

The State Highway Signs Quiz

Proceed to quiz   Most people, when they’re giving directions, describe all highways with the uncomplicated prefix “Route” (pronounced as root or rawte, according to taste). Take Route 85 for a few miles, then merge on Route 151, then south on Route 16….

Photo by Wednesday Elf - Mountainside Crochet

Finding Home in America, Part V: Land that I Know

[Be sure to read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 first. – Editors] “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game–the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism….


Confessions of a Girl Who Never Learned to Bike

“It’s like riding a bike.” I’ve heard this expression countless times, but I don’t know what it means.

On Digging In

On Digging In

“I think you can never really do something well unless you’re able to leave it and, you know, have a family and have a home, and have a place that you’re from that you’re really dug in, you know. I…

A Spoiled Question

A Spoiled Question

In a small shore town in New Jersey, my family has a condo with a trapezoid of water visible if you lean off the porch. We’ve vacationed in this town since I was a baby, renting each summer for a…



Yet another map in which Mississippi looks like the center of a black hole: See the full set of data here.

50 New States

We’ve written before about how a border–just an imaginary line–can change realities. Politically, especially. Back during election season, Andrew pointed out how those state lines can be skewed. Well, artist Neil Freeman has a novel solution: let’s just make all the states have…