kmart signing

It’s hard to tell regions apart just by looking at the buildings now. A CVS is a CVS, a Starbucks is a Starbucks. I’m not here to moralise. I’m just telling you what it is to be a traveller now.

Every place is built like every place, and so the only thing that tells you that you’re moving is the nature that’s been allowed to stay.

It’s up to nature to tell us we’re moving. Otherwise, each Kmart sign looks like each Kmart sign. Every Subway sandwich tastes the same.

—  Alice Isn’t Dead, Part 2, Chapter 4: Chain
Part 2, Chapter 4: Chain

A strip mall off the turnpike in New Jersey. Looking for lunch. From where I stand by my truck, this could be anywhere.

We must have decided this, right, at some point? That we wanted it all to look the same? And I can understand that decision. We all like to feel somewhere familiar. Now we can have that feeling wherever we are. No matter the climate or geography, you come inside the chain and you are exactly where you were before, like there was a magic door to the city you feel most comfortable in. It’s a positive that can’t be denied.

But we have paid a price for this.

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