Author Archives: Travis Estell

Target Tests Small Store for Urban Shoppers as Young People Pick Cities Over Suburbs

The discount retailer, which has long focused on large stores in suburban markets, completed a lease last week on its smallest store yet, a 20,000-square-foot location in Minneapolis, a test store for a new format called TargetExpress. [...]

John D. Griffith, executive vice president for property development at Target, said that as more people, and especially young people, opted to live in cities rather than suburbs, Target wanted to remain convenient.

“Many of them grew up with a Target experience,” Mr. Griffith said. “Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they’re redoing, they’re five miles from downtown, and yet, Target is a little bit of an effort to get to.”

Jason Isbell, Unloaded

It’s a few months old, but this New York Times piece on Jason Isbell is excellent. It turns out that his departure from the Drive-By Truckers wasn’t as amicable as originally presented:

[Isbell's] exit from the band was carefully stage-managed. It was said to be about creative differences among friends, and about Isbell’s desire to go solo because he was writing more songs than the band could handle. [...]

But the reality was more complicated. Hood called Isbell and suggested he take some time off and get his life together. Isbell replied that if the band was going to tour under the name Drive-By Truckers, he wasn’t going to miss even one show. Cooley then called Isbell and said, as Isbell recalls, “that isn’t going to work for us.” He was forced out.

Location filming in L.A. down sharply in last 20 years

As more states offer their own film and TV production credits, fewer big budget productions are being shot in Hollywood:

The findings echo results of a recent Times report that found a 60% drop in the number of top grossing movies that shot in California in last 15 years. They are likely to add more ammunition to industry advocates who are pressing Sacramento to beef up California’s incentive program. [...]

Unlike many other rivals, California’s film tax credit excludes movies with budgets greater than $75 million. The bulk of big budget movies flocked to Georgia, Louisiana and other states and countries, such as Britain and Canada that don’t have such restrictions.

December 2013 Misc. Photos

Cincinnati Streetcar Construction (Nov.-Dec. 2013 Update)

In Cincinnati’s election of November 2013, an anti-streetcar mayor and several new anti-streetcar city council members were victorious. Construction of the streetcar was “paused” when when the new administration took office in early December. However, after looking at the costs of canceling the already under-construction streetcar, City Council voted 6-3 to resume construction, and that occurred on December 26.

The following photos show how much progress construction crews made during those two months, while supporters of the streetcar were organizing and making progress on the political side of the project.

November 2013 Misc. Photos

October 2013 Misc. Photos

Doug’s Tire Building

These two old buildings are in need of a lot of work, but will make really nice living and retail space some day.

What if Cincinnati’s I-71/MLK interchange was held to same standards as streetcar?

Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier asks why a new highway interchange on I-71 isn’t being held to the same standards as the Cincinnati Streetcar by Mayor John Cranley and several council members.

Just for fun, I’d also like to consider how the Enquirer would cover the interchange if they used the same tone as their streetcar coverage:

  • They’d print a bunch of letters to the editor claiming that the new interchange “doesn’t go anywhere.”
  • They would use pictures of Model T’s and other antique cars instead of modern automobiles (like they frequently use photos of vintage trolleys instead of modern light rail streetcars).
  • They’d constantly refer to the interchange as “proposed” (even after contracts are signed and construction is started).
  • Instead of just reporting the facts, they would get a bunch of quotes from supporters and opponents of the interchange in a massive display of false equivalence.
  • They will finally come out in support of the interchange–but they’ll endorse a mayoral candidate who runs on a pledge to kill the interchange after it’s already under construction.

See also: Localizing Operating Costs for Streetcar Sets Dangerous Precedent.