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Real Places

An Unconventional Guide to America’s Generic Landscape

In Real Places, Grady Clay presents the American landscape in a completely fresh and untypical way. Rather than look at locations, he studies constructed, imaginative sites. Clay explores the fascination of "Fall Color Country," or "Lover’s Lane." What draws people to these "generic" landscapes and keeps them coming back literally and figuratively time and time again? Real Places catalogs and describes a unique cross-section of America, emphasizing the beauty and intrigue of these hidden gems. Heavily illustrated with maps and photographs depicting the everyday as well as the bizarre, Clay’s entertaining Baedeker allows us to see in a new way what has always been "right before our eyes."

"This book provides a language for the architecture of everyday life."—Ross Miller, Chicago Tribune

"Spirited observations and capsule histories."—Suzanne Stephens, New York Times Book Review

"Compelling. . . . Included here are many nuggets of insight and illumination."—Brad Knickerbocker, Christian Science Monitor

"An amusing and touching book about the reality we Americans have captured in our language."—Boston Sunday Globe

322 pages | 100 halftones, 16 line drawings | 8-1/2 x 9-1/4 | © 1994

Architecture: American Architecture

Earth Sciences: Environment

Table of Contents

List of Entries
Section One - The Center: The Death and Life of Centrality
1. Back There
2. Patches
3. Perks
Section Two - The Front: The Struggle for Control
4. Ephermera
5. Testing Grounds
6. Border Zones
Section Three - Out There: Life in the Great Beyond-the-Bypass
7. Power Vacuum
8. Opportunity Sites
9. The Limits


The Geographic Society of Chicago: Geographic Society of Chicago Publication Award

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