Entries by Jeffrey Ian Ross

On-line reviewer platforms, restaurants, and the privileging of mediocrity

Over the past 13 years a number of on-line review platforms like Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and Yelp have been launched that enable individuals to make decisions about restaurants to patronize. Although the results produced by these relatively convenient user-generated content websites and apps reduce readers costs of acquiring information, and can warn them about really […]

Cities must prioritize the provision of accessible, well-maintained, and secure public restrooms

Big cities suffer from numerous problems. One intractable and long-standing challenge has been a failure to provide residents, commuters, and tourists with adequate places to go to the bathroom. From mothers with children in tow, to the burgeoning homeless population, this state of affairs presents an intractable inconvenience. For example, few urban public transportation systems […]

On the importance of Ted Robert Gurr’s WHY MEN REBEL

I periodically ask myself what are the top 10 books, movies, songs, pieces of visual art, television series, etc. that have influenced me and why? This exercise forces me to reexamine these items more closely, critically answer why I thought they were important, and why they may be better or worse than other creative works […]

Questioning graffiti and street art as acts of resistance

Over the past half century, not only has there been an increase in the amount and types of graffiti and street art appearing in large urban centers, but so too has attention paid to this type of urban public art. One of dominant questions, however, that pervades this activity is why do people and groups […]

Pasta, Pappardelle, and the Perils of Overconfidence

One of the earliest dishes I learned to prepare was spaghetti. My efforts involved opening up a can of Chef Boyardee, and heating it up in a sauce pot. Soon I gravitated to boiling supermarket bought packaged dried pasta, warming up a can or jar of spaghetti sauce, placing it on top of the drained […]