“Nine-tenths of the American towns are so alike that it is the completest boredom to wander from one to another. Always, west of Pittsburg [sic], and often, east of it, there is the same lumber yard, the same railroad station, the same Ford garage, the same creamery, the same box-like houses and two-story shops.”
–Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (1920)
Here it is, 94 years later, and the complaint is the same. Now it is identical malls and chain restaurants and gas stations at every highway off-ramp to suburbia instead of lumberyards and creameries in small rural towns. Nowadays, we find the 2-story Victorian Main Street shops “quaint” and install galleries and coffee shops, while the local Historical Societies claim and refurbish the old train stations as time capsules of the way-we-were. What in the world will the 22nd century do with our cloned junk? I’m kind of glad I’ll miss the doctoral dissertations on the obscure beauty of it all.