I live in suburban Chicago. This means I live in the middle of a sea of towns that are distinct only for their indistinctness, a sprawling quilt of unicolor patches, each one blending into the next one, and each one just about as inaccessible as the last (which I will write about some day). There's no way to tell them apart; the act of crossing a street takes you from one to another without even the remotest piece of observational evidence to tell you that you've just gone from one to another.
It amuses me that even their distinctiveness is the same. Whereas a lot of people barely know what their city hall looks like, each of these towns does have one distinct and individualized piece of architecture, that just happens to look the same as all the others. That is to say, each town has one
(and apparently only one)
water tower, usually decorated with a fancy version of the town's name. Since most of Illinois is flat, and since most modern housing developments look alike (the area has grown in population by factors of ten or more since the 1970s), this really is sometimes the most distinctive, and visible, signal that the place you're in actually has a name, and is not just the suburban version of flyover country (trainover country?)
I've been a lot of places in the year I've been here, so I'm compiling a list of all the towns I've visited or been near, along with the water towers that I've found, for my own knowledge, so I know just how much of the area I've covered. It also gives me an idea of just how many towns there are within "driving distance"( Water towers visited )
Keep in mind that some of these towns might be too small or too new to even have a water tower, but this gives you some idea of just how far I've traveled...and how many of these little towns there are out here to make traffic confusing.
ETA: I know that there are many towns with more then one water tower, so why did I write that?