Cities (warning: stereotypes and generalizations follow)
I am a city dweller, and like nothing better than cruising through downtown at night blasting some Walter Piston, chewing spearmint gum and winking at all the girls with the tanning sprayed burnt sienna skin outside of Minneapolis night clubs. To my understanding, once you leave an American metropolitan area you will come upon, shortly after exiting the city limits, a burning-hot cement sea with archipelagos of car dealerships, Burger Kings, McDonalds, Arby's, White Castles, Kentucky Fried Chickens, Home Depots, Applebees, Taco Bells, Papa John's, Fuddruckers, Houlihans, Perkins, Denny's, Red Robins, Sonics, Starbucks, Walmarts, TGI Fridays, Bennigans (RIP), Pizza Huts, Ruby Tuesday's, Subways, Cheesecake Factory etc. etc.
These are all delicious, family friendly and often-fried symptoms of Urban Sprawl (read Jane Jacob's fabulous "The Life and Death of American Cities"). I forgot to mention people live here, in houses that tend to look the same and shelter seething youth
Once you leave this area (and realize that it will take you a few hours to get out of just any one of the above-mentioned chain restaurant's parking lots, not to mention the Home Depot which could house several free standing structures by Brunelleschi in the garden-hose section alone), you will come to an area known as "God's Country" or "the Heartland" or "the Flyover zones." This area is home to endless farm land, some pretty national parks, small towns and most of the nation's meth addicts. I like this area more than the suburban area, but usually less than cities.
I must say with some puzzlement that cities have ceased to interest me recently. Motorists honk angrily at other motorists, the police blaze through the intersections, there are not enough trees, not enough chamois. I do like the Minneapolis skyline and how that when you approach it, the relations of the buildings in space alters. At first they face you as one jaggedly solid entity on a horizontal line. But as the highway subtly curves and approaches, the buildings become like those wonderful stacks of geometric solids one finds in early Renaissance art (as is well known, this profoundly influenced the so-called proto-cubist in Cézanne):
Ambrogio Lorenzetti: Effects of Good Government on City-Life
, detail (c.1330)
Paul Cézanne: Gardanne
Maybe I just need to take a respite from all this movement and find a shady forest, a giant body of water, a desert.
In the Book of Genesis, Cain is both the first murderer (Genesis 4:8), and the first city-builder (4:17).