John R. Stilgoe is a Harvard professor of Landscape History. He's written a fabulous book about regaining history in everyday places. If you like walking, bicycling, or snapping pictures of ephemeral subjects in the neighborhood, then this book is for you. His theories cut to the core of learning. Here's a quote that sums up the theme:
"Discovering bits and pieces of peculiar, idiosyncratic importance in ordinary metropolitan landscape scrapes away the deep veneer of programmed learning that overlies and smothers the self-directed learning of childhood and adolescence."
The book is called Outside Lies Magic. Once you read it you'll never look at a manhole cover or utility pole quite the same way.