Some days the front page is across-the-board grim (but not for you, Eduardo Souto de Moura!). Today was one of those days, the centerpiece being this story about the death of Empire, NV. Why do stories about whole towns disappearing feel so specifically American? It must happen elsewhere. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's just my reaction to these stories--the dread, the feeling that it could happen to me no matter how big a town I live in--that is, at core, American.