Living in the city, I tend to forget that outside of the metropolitan New York area, most of the Northwest is a bombed-out wasteland of graffiti-covered row houses, desolate, broken warehouses and general destruction. I was heading down to visit my sister at her in-laws, three hours on New Jersey Transit, transfer to the SEPTA line into the blackened shell of Philadelphia, hilarious, dessicated murals of our Founding Fathers on the sides of buildings that can no longer be lived in, and nobody in sight. No people live here, it seems; we've burned the soil and moved on, farther out into the suburbs, into the pine barrens, until eventually there will be nothing left to destroy. And the train kept going, gliding roughly over tracks that have been here forever.