As long as you stay near the freeway, you could be anywhere or nowhere.
Today, however, you can take any suburban off-ramp in the country -- whether you're in Bangor or Barstow, Boise or Birmingham -- and you'll probably find an identical grouping of corporate-franchised mini-marts, fast-food joints and chain motels.
A bit farther on you'll come to the inevitable strip mall with its Wal-Mart, Subway and Starbucks, all duded up in a false-front interpretation of the local architectural style: a fringe of red tile in California, a pediment in New England or a few fake shutters down South.
What's so bad about this? Nothing, if our aim is a totally homogenous nation in which every growing town -- whether north, south, east, or west -- looks exactly the same as its neighbor. This outcome would suit the corporate mega-chains just fine, since it's much cheaper to parcel out the same stores, shops and restaurants over and over, tossing in a few cliched regional details to please the local planning department.