The End of the Suburbs

The country is resettling along more urbanized lines, and the American Dream is moving with it

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A major change is underway in where and how we are choosing to live. In 2011, for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the rate of urban population growth outpaced suburban growth, reversing a trend that held steady for every decade since the invention of the automobile. In several metropolitan areas, building activity that was once concentrated in the suburban fringe has now shifted to what planners call the “urban core,” while demand for large single-family homes that characterize our modern suburbs is dwindling. This isn’t just a result of the recession. Rather, the housing crisis of recent years has concealed something deeper and more profound happening to what we have come to know as American suburbia. Simply speaking, more and more Americans don’t want to live there anymore.

(MORE: Do The Suburbs Make You Selfish?)

The American suburb used to evoke a certain way of life, one of tranquil, tree-lined streets, soccer leagues and center hall colonials. Today’s suburb is more likely to evoke endless sprawl, a punishing commute, and McMansions. In the pre-automobile era, suburban residents had to walk once they disembarked from the train, so houses needed to be located within a reasonable distance to the station and homes were built close together. Shopkeepers set up storefronts around the station where pedestrian traffic was likely to be highest. The result was a village center with a grid shaped street pattern that emerged organically around the day-to-day needs and walking patterns of the people who lived there. Urban planners describe these neighborhoods, which you can still see in older suburbs, as having “vibrancy” or “experiential richness” because, without even trying, their design promoted activity, foot traffic, commerce and socializing.  As sociologist Lewis Mumford wrote, “As long as the railroad stop and walking distances controlled suburban growth, the suburb had form.”

Then came World War Two, and the subsequent housing shortage. The Federal Housing Administration had already begun insuring long-term mortgage loans made by private lenders, and the GI Bill provided low-interest, zero-down-payment loans to millions of veterans. The widespread adoption of the car by the middle class untethered developers from the constraints of public transportation and they began to push further out geographically. Meanwhile, single-use zoning laws that carved land into buckets for residential, commercial and industrial use instead of having a single downtown core altered the look, feel and overall DNA of our modern suburbs. From then on, residential communities were built around a different model entirely, one that abandoned the urban grid pattern in favor of a circular, asymmetrical system made of curving subdivisions, looping streets and cul-de-sacs.

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But in solving one problem—the severe postwar housing shortage—we unwittingly created some others: isolated, single-class communities. A lack of cultural amenities. Miles and miles of chain stores and Ruby Tuesdays. These are the negative qualities so often highlighted in popular culture, in TV shows like Desperate Housewives, Weeds and Suburgatory, to name just a few. In 2011, the indie rock band Arcade Fire took home a Grammy for The Suburbs, an entire album dedicated to teen angst and isolation inspired by band members’ Win and William Butler’s upbringing in Houston’s master-planned community The Woodlands.  Although many still love and defend the suburbs, they have also become the constant target of angst by the likes of Kate Taylor, a stay-at-home mom who lives in a suburb of Charlotte and uses the Twitter name @culdesacked. “If the only invites I get from you are at-home direct sales ‘parties,’ please lose my number, then choke yourself. #suburbs.”

There is still a tremendous amount of appeal in suburban life: space, a yard of one’s own, less-crowded schools. I don’t have anything against the suburbs personally—although I currently live in Manhattan’s West Village, I had a pretty idyllic childhood growing up in Media, Pennsylvania, a suburb twelve miles west of Philadelphia. We are a nation that values privacy and individualism down to our very core, and the suburbs give us that. But somewhere between leafy neighborhoods built around lively railroad villages and the shiny new subdivisions in cornfields on the way to Iowa that bill themselves as suburbs of Chicago, we took our wish for privacy too far. The suburbs overshot their mandate.

(MOREWhatever Happened to the Big, Bad “Shadow Inventory” of Homes?)

Many older suburbs are still going strong, and real estate developers are beginning to build new suburban neighborhoods that are mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly, a movement loosely known as New Urbanism. Even though almost no one walks everywhere in these new communities, residents can drive a mile or two instead of ten or twenty, own one car instead of two. “We are moving from location, location, location in terms of the most important factor to access, access, access,” says Shyam Kannan, formerly a principal at real estate consultancy Robert Charles Lesser and now managing director of planning at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA.)

(MORE: Selling Your House? Choose Your Words Carefully)

As the country resettles along more urbanized lines, some suggest the future may look more like a patchwork of nodes—mini urban areas all over the country connected to one another with a range of public transit options. It’s not unlike the dense settlements of the Northeast already, where city-suburbs like Stamford, Greenwich, West Hartford and others exist in relatively close proximity. “The differences between cities and suburbs are diminishing,” says Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program director Bruce Katz, noting that cities and suburbs are also becoming more alike racially, ethically, and socio-economically.

Whatever things look like in ten years—or twenty, or fifty, or more—there’s one thing everyone agrees on: there will be more options. The government in the past created one American Dream at the expense of almost all others: the dream of a house, a lawn, a picket fence, two or more children, and a car. But there is no single American Dream anymore; there are multiple American Dreams, and multiple American Dreamers. The good news is that the entrepreneurs, academics, planners, home builders and thinkers who plan and build the places we live in are hard at work trying to find space for all of them.

Adapted from The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving by Leigh Gallagher, in agreement with Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright (c) Leigh Gallagher, 2013.

64 comments
cindeedrake
cindeedrake

It's just another indication of the decline of the 'Middle Class".

CrabbyOldMan
CrabbyOldMan

I wouldn't go back to the city if you paid me. I live on a quiet, leafy street with a large yard, a nice garden and space between houses. I can sit on my deck and listen to the birds singing or the crickets chirping rather than honking horns, blasting car radios and crowds of people. I can walk to the train station or local stores easily but it doesn't matter. I own a car and never have a problem finding a space to park it. About the only problem here is the proliferation of bicycle riders who have no regard whatsoever for traffic laws, ride the wrong way on one way streets, blow through stop signs and red lights, ride at night dressed in black with no lights or reflectors and generally drive everyone crazy. Although I have no kids, we have fine schools including an elite university. Maybe if you're 20-something and are looking for bars, the city may be attractive. But dirt, noise, crowds, crime and pollution don't interest me.

gjdagis
gjdagis

Thankfully, there is a third option which I wisely took many years ago . . . rural living. Living like a sardine in either an urban or suburban setting was not remotely worth the extra money that might have been earned there. I've had a life that simply could never be bought no matter what the amount of money.

RichyBocaz
RichyBocaz

Should say..."US Suburbs", not American Suburbs. America is a continent not just one country. USA is the country. The Olimpic flag has 5 stars, guess why.

Trag3
Trag3

We can acknowledge the good points and bad points about the suburbs without getting polarized. I grew up in a suburb, and while I prefer a more urban area (or area not too far from an urban area) the suburbs do have good schools and more bang-for-your-buck for housing.

Where I grew up was mostly strip malls to which you'd have to drive, neighbors that don't know each other, and very little as far as museums or cultural centers, or even cool bars. No wonder I watched so much TV growing up :-P

You'd have to drive at least 20-30 minutes south to get to the interesting stuff. If I was going to live in such an area I'd BETTER have a large house to make up for it!

I don't have kids, which is an important factor. A vibrant area that also had good schools would be the ultimate neighborhood.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

My city is experiencing a rejuvenated central residential development.  The closer you plan to move to that central development, even to slum areas, the higher your cost will ratchet up, well beyond the average person.  That pretty much obliterates this silly notion by the author, which I'm not sure I even fully grasp.

JAVIERDCH12
JAVIERDCH12

Suburbs are not going to dissapear. The divide between the suburbs and the downtown is what is dissapearing. But doesn't imply the "American way of life" is over.

JesseLee
JesseLee

This why I live in the city. It costs more but I get lots of time to do with as I wish.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Also, "A Lack of Cultural Amenities [following World War II]??"

Did the author ever considered the fact that many suburbs had thriving immigrant communities in the post-World War II period?  At that time, many immigrants were 1st/2nd generation, and certainly brought their customs/traditions with them.  They added to the mix of 3rd/4th generation descendants who maintained the traditions of their ancestors as well.

It seems like the author hardly scratched the surface in her research, and is jumping to conclusions.

TheSanityInspector
TheSanityInspector

<i>But in solving one problem—the severe postwar housing shortage—we unwittingly created some others: isolated, single-class communities. A lack of cultural amenities. Miles and miles of chain stores and Ruby Tuesdays.</i>

And lower crime and cleaner surroundings.  That counted for a lot, these past 60 years.  Instead of spending that same time trying to sweep the suburban runaways back into the anthill, urban planners should have done more, and done it sooner, to make our cities more liveable.  

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

What an absurdly-constructed article:

PREMISE:  "Several" major cities are expanding their urban core, while overall demand for typical suburban homes has "dwindled."

CONCLUSION (as shown in the title):  The Era of the Suburbs is coming to an end, while the Era of the Urbanite is beginning.

In investigating the premise/conclusion, one finds a number of important questions left unanswered by the author:

1) Why are major cities expanding their urban core?

2) How many cities are undertaking such initiative?

3) What is the location of said cities?

4) Is the expansion in those cities the result of a suburban exodus, or from initiatives to attract business investment, etc.?

5) Why has overall demand for suburban homes dwindled?

6) Is the decrease in suburban demand localized, or is it nationwide?

7) How many suburbs are affected by said decline?

8) How can one generalize that 'the Era of the Suburb is ending' based solely upon anecdotal evidence?

9) How can one not concede that the Era of the Urbanite began long before the publication of this article?

By not addressing these questions with hard statistics, the author leaves many gaping holes in her argument.  She over-generalizes the (uncited) trends of only several cities and suburban communities to make a bold conclusion about our nation's suburbs as a whole.  Such logical fallacies point to a weakly-supported argument, and a rushed conclusion.

TIME Magazine should know better than to publish such drivel.

RandallStevens
RandallStevens

God this article makes gag. How did people on the left become such unbelievable snobs? I mean they are just in-f@#$ing-sufferable. How did they make it to such unbelievably pretentious snobbishness from "live and let live", "follow your bliss" and not judging others and all that like back in the hippie days? And they can't seem to hear how ridiculous they sound. Well, a fish is the last to know water and all that I suppose....

RandallStevens
RandallStevens

Hell, I'll do you one better than that. I'm going to move even farther away from the city than the suburbs. I'm going to get me some 40+ acres out in the middle of nowhere someday. Got to get as much space between me and the rest of this c-sucking human race as possible....

Rocket_
Rocket_

As a San Diego resident, there is no way I could ever live in the urban part of the city. A studio apartment costs more than I make in 3 weeks of work. In the 'burbs, I have easy, walking access to everything except my job. Grocery stores, restaurants, bank, pet store, Target, mechanic, gas, etc, all within 1 mile of my apartment. My apartment isn't exorbitantly expensive AND has air conditioning (surprisingly lacking in many San Diego apartments). There is a wide variety of cultural representations; many of my neighbors are Middle Eastern, Eastern European, or Mexican. My neighborhood is very safe, there is no car theft or assaults or drug dealing. Many parts of the urban downtown area are known for car theft, and walking downtown even during daytime can be dangerous in some parts.

The only problem is the commute to my job. 45 minutes for me (I work near downtown), 15 for my husband. Not bad, compared to what many people deal with. A job with flexible hours helps. We looked for 3 months to try and find whether there were any places we could move with comparable rent, amenities, and safety. Couldn't find anything. I'll keep my suburb life for now.

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

I grew up in the suburbs just north of Lake Washington, before spending about 6 months of my senior year of high school living with my dad in Shoreline (used to be part of north Seattle).

Both were technically suburbs, but they were totally different kinds of suburbs.  I personally found Shoreline to be far superior to the Bothell-Mill Creek area.

Shoreline had a better location; just close enough to Seattle to have easy access to amenities, but far enough away to have more privacy.  It had better bus service, it was more pedestrian friendly, it had more parks and public pools, and even some of the local high schools were supporting mass transit by getting rid of their own buses and just giving the students city bus passes instead.  They had a few buses left for students living on the outskirts, but otherwise children were encouraged to learn how to take the city bus instead of getting a car. 

Houses tended to be a bit smaller, with larger yards, and many of them were quite old, old enough that they were built to last.  Most of the heavy residential areas were separated from the busiest roads, just enough that you could still feel safe letting your kids play outside.

Bothell, on the other hand...a lot of kids jokingly called it "Bot Hell" for a reason.  

Very little bus service, sidewalks were few and far between, no safe areas for children who weren't in scheduled activities, and everything was extremely spread out.  It was all pavement, and there were housing associations everywhere that started forbidding people from letting their kids play outside, or plant flowers, or do anything personal.  Not that it was safe to let your kids outside without a car; most of the homes were so close to insanely busy streets that even a mature, careful child could end up run over because there wasn't a safe sidewalk to walk home.  I remember having to cross a very busy street full of blind turns TWICE, uphill, in order to get home.

Older neighborhoods and farms were routinely paved over and covered in these huge McMansions that had no yard space, flimsy construction, bad wiring (a friend of mine was the daughter of an electrician who had to fix an entire neighborhood worth of bad construction), and tons of wasted square footage.  My mom and I went to an open house for one of these new subdivisions and discovered that most of the square footage was wasted in hallways, foyers, and strange little hidey -holes that served no purpose whatsoever.

It was isolated, it was miserable, it was downright soul-destroying at times.  I would much rather have a slightly smaller, better constructed, house with character in an older suburb closer to the city, like Wallingford, or the University District, or Shoreline, than a giant parking lot like Bothell.

George286
George286

The shot at Ruby Tuesdays and stip malls was a little smug and superior, like listening to Malvina Reynolds bilge decrying the desert of conformity of Little Boxes (on the hillside).  Yes suburbs are beginning to look like each other, parks, shopping malls, not much of a downtown, a Macys, a Costco and a Walmart.  Guess what?, people like enjoy that, low crime, a little room, an affordable house and some affordable chain stores for buying necessities and a little R&R.  Suburbs are not going anywhere, especially with walkability indexes and public transit such as light rail to jobs in "urbia" coming back into vogue.

CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown

I see many reasons to kill the suburbs, but unless the city can offer 3000 sq ft apartments for cheaper than a house in the suburbs, I see no reason to move.

TedFisher
TedFisher

As I West Hartford, CT resident, I am glad to see Connecticut used as an example.  One complaint however: aside from the Metro-North, Shorline area network (which is really an extension of New York's), CT public transit is absymal.  Few places have anything other than bus anymore, and service is not great.  We need lots of improvement before we can be a model for small-city urbanism.

sopranoliz
sopranoliz

Growing up in a suburban environment like south Orange County was definitely angst-filled. There is nowhere for teenagers to go except maybe the kiddie park, or the mall if you can get there. If you go to a charter school like I did, not the local public school, and all your friends are a 20-30 minute drive away, there's literally nobody to hang out with. Public transit is a joke; unless your parents are willing to drive you places or you are lucky/old enough for a car, there's very little to do.  Small wonder so many middle-class suburban teenagers get into drugs; they're bored out of their minds!

Baerjamin
Baerjamin

I happen to live in one of the biggest suburbias in the country:  Silicon Valley.  San Jose doesn't have a "there, there."  But what we do have beyond high paying jobs, one of the highest median incomes in the country, and some of the best weather (certainly over our urban neighbor, San Francisco) are bike trails.  Forget sitting in traffic!  I'll take my bicycle commute (ten miles in each direction) any day!  I live on a beautiful tree lined street with walking access to shopping, schools and parks and my bicycle commute to a tech job over pretty much anything City living has to offer!

MiamiUrbanist
MiamiUrbanist

You can have a walkable lifestyle in select suburbs and small towns. It's not just a 'city' vs. 'suburb' argument. I think Leigh does a good job at explaining this despite the headline. 

kevinklink
kevinklink

@mrbomb13 This is an article summarizing a book she wrote. If you want the fully detailed version, get the book. 

N1206
N1206

@mrbomb13

Hey Joely,

Did you bother to read the first paragraph?

"In 2011, for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the rate of urban population growth outpaced suburban growth, reversing a trend that held steady for every decade since the invention of the automobile."

That'd be USA wide.

Sheesh.

Read. Think. Digest. Integrate.

Then comment.

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@mrbomb13 The author greatly exaggerates the demise of the suburb.  In fact, it is not at all clear what she is saying.  We are all moving to high density central city?  Not likely from just a  cost standpoint let alone logic.  Those central abodes  don't come cheap, which is why outlying developments (suburbs?) will continue to appeal. 

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@RandallStevensI know what you are saying.  And sure, Gallagher's politics are probably center-left.  

But at the end of the day, though, she works for a living.  She needs to rock-your-boat a little to keep doing so, I would imagine.

 And, in her defense, dumping on the suburbs is kind-of "news" - it's literally "new" to me as a concept fit for mass-market consumption.  

Of course, I've been dumping on the suburbs since Reagan took office.  But that's me.  

Frankly, though,  I myself am, these days, "long" on the suburbs.  I don't live there, but I'd argue that the suburbs are under-appreciated, under-utilized and frankly, misunderstood. 

I could, in fact, see the U.S. urban / suburban layout evolving as Gallagher suggests.  I could also see -- maybe she suggests it -- inner city urban dwellers owning a piece of the traditional American Dream in the suburbs. 

Perhaps these are the new Republicans? Makes sense to me. 

LaddieThe-Greyt
LaddieThe-Greyt

@RandallStevens Yea I know, snobbery is and has always been the job of the conservatives.  And I am not sure how you saw this article as snobbish. It was simply an observation of how americans lives are changing. Just because you don't fit the mold and prefer to live out in the boonies, which honestly isn't  a bad thing, does not mean everyone else wants to. You have so much hate for your fellow man, I can tell by your posts.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@RandallStevens You are going to be a lonely man randy I hope you do not have kids and god help your other half what ever that might be.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Rocket_ You never know about any neighborhood or neighbors rocket so keep your eyes open and do not get to complacent . Mexican are known for living in high crime areas, even if they do not want to. And middle eastern could mean anything in todays world. the fact you do not see drugs is good but does not mean there not there. and that goes for every other type of crime. 45 minutes from downtown san Diego is either North close to Oceanside or east near Chula Vista, maybe El Cajon all have bad areas near them and some good .

CherylFBlue
CherylFBlue

@George286  The documentary "The End of Suburbia" says that suburbia will die because of a lack of fossil fuels, not because of people's choice. Gas is expensive enough right now to make people choose downtown neighbourhoods to avoid owning a car. We'll see whether or not suburbs die, but if we can find a balance between downtown and the kind of suburbs where a car is absolutely necessary, that's where I'm betting people will go.

bluebelle
bluebelle

@sopranoliz  George has a point.  Anyone who grows up in south OC basically hit the lifestyle lottery, and has no reason to complain.  Try growing up in rural mid-America with terrible weather, and nothing even resembling an ocean for thousands of miles.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@sopranoliz It is not the kids being bored, its the parents of Orange County being the snobs that they are trying to keep up with there other snob neighbors .Getting their fake boobs and tennis lessons, while both parents are being social butterflies and making excuses for there kids being on drugs. but at least the kids drive nice cars and dress well not like the thugs from compton and east LA with there pants to there ankles and low riders not to mention the drugs they have on them to sell to the OC kids that drive south to get the drugs they are on. and there parents make excuses for.

George286
George286

@sopranolizOh my heart bleeds for you, south OC is one of the wealthier locales of deprivation, but you left out the local parks, the state parks, teenage amusement malls like the Spectrum center, Dana Point, Laguna, Newport and Huntington (surf city) beaches, DIsneyland and the couple of dozen golf courses.  And those horrible incessant community events like barbeques, street fairs and parades they are always having, please not ANOTHER Pageant of the Masters.  

No wonder you are a junkie having been so deprived, virtually a child of a wasteland.  Perhaps the cure is to live in south central LA (or even Santa Ana) for a  year, where you fear for your safety and wonder if you car will be there intact in the morning, or perhaps a little Peace Corps expenience.  That would probably cure you and your fellow whining self-absorbed ninny friends of being such  stupendously self-pitying ingrates.

George286
George286

@Baerjamin  Now there,there, San Francisco is the There there, just down the road.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Baerjamin I agree i think it depends on where you are in life and what makes you happy. traffic sucks in large metro area , That is why in cities like Chicago or new York are great urban area to walk and commute by public transportation, But cities like LA and Phoenix with some very nice Burbs are not great for urban living.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MiamiUrbanist Miami if that is you home ,is also my home town and there are some areas of Miami that are very walkable  along bayshore drive and parts of Biscayne blvd near the financial district and many parts of Miami beach and coral gables but not downtown Miami and i think the article was referencing large metro areas not small towns like Ocala Fl or gulf port Miss.

AlexWithAK
AlexWithAK

@formerlyjames @mrbomb13 The reason the "central abodes" (which I take to mean homes in more urban areas) don't come cheap is because there is such a lack of them. Also, the suburbs are cheap largely due to massive government subsidy in infrastructure that, over the long run, costs far too much to maintain because it's horribly inefficient for the number of people it serves. Then you have zoning that requires an overabundance of parking that ensures everything built must cater to the cars that use that subsidized infrastructure. That led to a severe lack of other choices in transportation.

I'll agree that she should have given more specifics in the article, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. The trend she's citing is nation wide. Another nationwide trend is a decline in driving that started well before the recession. Add to that a documented desire to drive less and walk more across the population, especially the under 30 set and ever-increasing pressure on fuel prices caused by international demand, and what the author is saying makes very good sense. "The end of the suburbs" doesn't mean they're going to vanish, but they're going to change over the coming decades as priorities, preferences, affordability, and economics change. There is a real demand for more urban living. Cities that want to stay competitive will recognize that as well developers that see a chance to make a lot of money.

EnderWiggum
EnderWiggum

@LaddieThe-Greyt @RandallStevens But it's not.  It's a jumping on a minor, and potentially short lived (in Phoenix, suburbs are growing again, but then so are the few urban areas) trend to declare this the end of the suburbs.  It is an extremely premature and yes, pretty elitist version of the facts.  It is also statistically likely that a person living in the West Village falls toward the progressive side of the spectrum.  Thus, Randall's conclusion that this sounds like a bunch of left wing snobbishness.  Sounds like a reasonable conclusion to me.  

GreenFields
GreenFields

@Openminded1 @Rocket_ @Openminded1 @Rocket_ ...but you shouldn't live in fear of other people, Openminded1, by assuming someone might be involved in crime because of their ethnicity. I don't mean ignore intuition that tells you a particular person seems dangerous, I mean reach out to people who might be different from you but decent, as well. Get to know your neighbors. Give the guy across the street a chance to be seen for the good person he probably is, instead of the blanket "Mexican or Middle Eastern" guy. 

What I think this article states, is that isolation and privacy has its limitations and that for most people, the healthiest ideal is a perfect balance between a private home life and engaged, public interaction with neighbors that you actually know. We've gone to the extremes. Instead of connecting during our finite lives, culturally, we now rush through social interactions in a goal to get home and turn off the outside World. When I hear that more people are moving into cities, I don't think this is some craving for social interaction, I think they want to be anonymous, "A Face in The Crowd". They want to hide away in plain sight, where the modern, local culture very much respects that privacy-in-a-crowd concept. 

Of course, there are always people who manage to connect with others, no matter where they live and they build relationships with local "characters', shop owners and neighbors in an urban setting. It's just sad that so many people seem to just want to hide away. Not periodically -- but for their entire lives. Socializing, actual social interaction, isn't savored like it was in our past. People made a production of it and everyone participated. Now, It feels like something heading in the direction of "The Matrix". We all stay isolated and plugged in, only interacting with our pre-approved little cliques and bubbled off, family units, until we reach the end of our lives. 

traderjim7
traderjim7

@bluebelle @sopranoliz  Caring parents and decent neighbors make the good lifestyle for the kids, not the good weather and nearby ocean.  Even Orange County can be a hellhole.

RandallStevens
RandallStevens

sopranoliz is a "Rich people are snobs and I'm better than them because I'm not like them." type of snob. Well, a snob by any other name I suppose....

traderjim7
traderjim7

@Openminded1 @sopranoliz Thank you for stating succinctly the view of the suburbs that I have held for the past 30 years.  And it was the same in big city suburbs on the East Coast as it was in Orange County. 

RandallStevens
RandallStevens

@George286 For some reason your response reminds me of the old Dead Kennedys song  Holiday In Cambodia:


So you been to school
For a year or two
And you know you've seen it all
In daddy's car
Thinkin' you'll go far
Back east your type don't crawl

Play ethnicky jazz
To parade your snazz
On your five grand stereo
Braggin' that you know
How the n***ers feel cold
And the slums got so much soul

It's time to taste what you most fear
Right Guard will not help you here
Brace yourself, my dear:

It's a holiday in Cambodia
It's tough, kid, but it's life
It's a holiday in Cambodia
Don't forget to pack a wife

You're a star-belly sneech
You suck like a leach
You want everyone to act like you
Kiss a** while you b****
So you can get rich
But your boss gets richer off you

Well you'll work harder
With a gun in your back
For a bowl of rice a day
Slave for soldiers
Till you starve
Then your head is skewered on a stake

Now you can go where people are one
Now you can go where they get things done
What you need, my son:.

Is a holiday in Cambodia
Where people dress in black
A holiday in Cambodia
Where you'll kiss ass or crack

Pol Pot, Pol Pot, Pol Pot, Pol Pot, [etc]

And it's a holiday in Cambodia
Where you'll do what you're told
A holiday in Cambodia
Where the slums got so much soul

starlit108
starlit108

@George286 @sopranoliz Wow, calm down George.  Why are you so hateful of a kid who happens to live in an affluent area?  Are you an angry teen yourself?


joe.bisco
joe.bisco

@Openminded1 @Baerjamin  

I Know It Depends On A Lot Of Factors......

Lots have changed in just a few years as not that long ago everybody was fleeing Crime and Minorities.

Now the main enemies are no jobs, poverty along with no gas to get anywhere and I used to laugh at my uncles tales of walking to save gas in WWII because there wasnt any but I'm NOT laughing now and today who wants to live in a subburb where the stores are closing and the druggies are moving in to escape the high police presence in the inner cities...

The flip side is I can at least use some of this sad tragedy and drama as story material for my books and articles simply because its true so what can I say except:

"Oh The Times We Live In!".....

C. Edward Royce

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@AlexWithAK @formerlyjames @mrbomb13 

Yes, abode means, home, residence, place to live, where people live and sleep, when not walking about, or driving, or riding the subway, if one exists, or busses if they don't.  In the case of the fad of places that aren't New York City but want to be, the hight cost is not entirely one of supply so much as contrived.  Developers, after all, have the most control over it.  

The issue of "infrastructure" and transportation is another matter and extends not just to urban living, but to the dismal state of long range travel.  I would more readily applaud a return to rail transport or other alternatives to the dismal state that air travel has become than I would a return to expensive central urban development.  As I say, that is a fad that won't eliminate  outlying development.  Central urban living is for the upper crust.  The rest of us must do with living on the fringes of it.  

Openminded1
Openminded1

@GreenFields @Openminded1 @Rocket_ Greenfields you sound like a very nice person, but as a 30 year police veteran now retired I live in the real world and yes it is synical and filled with some paranoia that came with the experience. I to a pretty nice guy ,and have connected with all walks of life. My statement for rocket and you and others with less street wise experience is do not become to complacent do not trust every smile. It is a shame to have to live that way but you just might live a little longer . i have to say it like it is , I do not use PC. PC is for political types who lie almost every time the open there mouths. So be diligent you may not think someone is a bad guy ethnicity means something in the big general picture, It does not mean all people of a certain background or color is bad , but street rules are different then party rules. 

George286
George286

@starlit108 @George286 @sopranoliz    You are right, my thought five minutes later, that was WAY too much, sorry Sopranoliz.  

Not being able to get around anywhere is a drag, once you get wheels go visit those places.  But also get out in the world and learn to appreciate what you do have.