It never failed to surprise her when new places looked like the old ones. Strip malls filled with the same chain restaurants and department stores, landscaping cultivated with an eye for the bland and placeless. The world was a blur of identical billboards and drive-thrus. She found you really needed to look to find the heart of a city. She became an anthropologist of the local, studying the quietly-kept souls of places. Fortunately, participant-observation was a viable option for fieldwork, because she couldn’t just sit on the sidelines while the locals came to play, came out to embody their home.