Also known as the Phoenix metropolitan area, but I guess that sounds insufficiently exotic. It was when I saw them from the air that the sheer alienness of Phoenix's environs really drilled themselves into my skull; I can't look out over this sprawl, this endless chain of subdivisions that's somehow been tied together into multiple cities, and not see a vague sense of wrongness. It's the color of the ground that does it, desert brown - while I'm all for building cities in marginal land, all the better to keep prime agricultural land being paved over, there are places less marginal than the desert.
If you look carefully, you can see downtown Phoenix in this photo, about three-quarters of the way toward the horizon; aside from two condo towers in Tempe, it includes the only real skyscrapers I know to exist in the Valley of the Sun.
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