Living in Colorado for the last nine years, I’ve seen a lot of new, personality-free construction. I’ve seen buildings with personality get torn down so they could put up some really bland nouveau strip malls or developments and some crappy chain stores and restaurants. Driving through small Northern California towns this morning–including a really weird one where I feel like everyone was so permafried it was like something out of a Lovecraft story–there was actual personality. The shops, the houses, all of it. Not a good personality in this one case, but a personality nonetheless. It was an experience driving through the town, getting out, walking around. Environment matters.