The book is about a search for good places authentic ones and wondering about the disappearance of others. While visiting sixteen unique spots around the world, Friedman wondered what made strolling through, sitting in, dining at, or simply being there memorable. He reflected on the design of markets when he stumbled onto one at the crack of dawn in Dalian, China. He thought about the disappearance of folk art from neighborhoods when walking into a collection of life-sized sculptures in the Canadian arctic. He considered the relationship between cities and their natural environments when visiting Fargo, North Dakota, on a frigid day.