The State of Suburbia by Mark Davis in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, USA

I took this picture after coming back from New York City for the summer. It’s part of my documentary series called, “The State of Suburbia.” We tend to gain a better understanding about a place only after we step away from it: allowing ourselves to compare one place with another and putting together the never ending portrait of a single place. After moving away, my perception of the town I grew up in has rounded out a bit more. I used to absolutely hate it. I have a love, hate relationship with it now It seems foreign to me now and somewhat more appealing because of that. Certain things that might not have garnered much of my attention as I grew up, now have a subtle romantic quality to them. This image is an example of that.

Name:Mark Davis

Place you live: Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania and New York City, NY

Place your photo was taken: Cranberry Township, PA

Can you sum up Cranberry Township? Cranberry sits 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh. At the heart of the town, poorly lit strip malls and restaurants run parallel to the main roads. Off those main roads are smaller ones that eventually take you into the country. Out there, is where a lot of the beauty lies. The town is artificial and architecturally dead, but the country retains the natural charm that the town lacks.

Occupation: Photography student at NYU

Preoccupation: Film, Cinematography, Hiking, Running, Photography

A perfect day in Cranberry Township? Wake up. Make some coffee–very few good cafes around here. Pick up friends. Go to this remote lake that we call the “Waterhole.” Ride the tire and rope swings all day. Make some food on the grill at home. Watch a film.

If someone was visiting, what must they do? Go to the top of the highest hill in the town, so that you can overlook the town and see the rural landscape in the distance.

A perfect meal in Cranberry Township? Burgh’ers is a great restaurant in a town 15 minutes north of mine, but it’s totally worth the drive!

What is the best thing about your spot? It’s quiet.

What is the worst? It’s quiet.

A little known fact about where you live? It’s similar to how David Lynch portrays his films: there is a superficial top layer with a whole lot of raw secrets beneath.

Where is your favorite place in the world? A hill with a church on top of it that over looks the rolling farmland just outside the town.