People Who Live In Suburbs: Classy, Icky, or Dudes?

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I'd better wish you a Happy New Year now, just in case.

Trevor, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Being patronised by 'urbanites' is part of life in the big city for recent arrivals from suburbia. Scratch hard enough and you'll find most of us doing the taunting came from there, we're just checking you out, putting you through your paces. But I really do resent those who move here to have salad days then fuck off back to Zone Hell with their papoose (see: numerous Hoxton references). I mean, why bother? Ditto for pied a terre folk.

London alternative: move to Brighton instead. The glut of demi-trendy breeder-tendency kidult bourgie bohos MUST BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED.

suzy, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

>>> But I really do resent those who move here to have salad days then fuck off back to Zone Hell with their papoose (see: numerous Hoxton references). I mean, why bother? Ditto for pied a terre folk.

Eh? This is hard to get. But I *think* you're saying: people shouldn't move to the inner city, then leave again. Why the hell not? Who are you to tell them what do to with their lives, for goodness' sake?

the pinefox, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Yes I'd like to move to Brighton...

David Inglesfield, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Since all the obvious minuses of the suburbs have been pointed... some pluses: nature. My parents live in the suburbs of St. Louis, and have deer quite often in the backyard. Also mammoth Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, foxes, coyotes, and all sorts of other woodland creatures.
Long safe walks
Easier to have dogs i.e. you don't have to pick up their shit as you walk down the street
Better schools
Long drives at night
Familiarity breeds (contempt, but also) friendliness. Employees at restaurants, grocery stores (Which by the way, kick the crap out the big city ones) can know you by name. And you are more likely to run into someone you know.

bnw, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think suburbs are *great* and I don't understand why boring middle-class people want to leave them. Don't they know that suburbs are the next trendy happening place to live? It's obvious when you see all of the arty funny-haired teenagers hanging out at places like the 7-11 parking lot and White Castle, and all the baggy panted geto kids hanging out at the mall! If you want seedy glamour by proxy, look no further! And now the suburbs are complaining about traffic, pollution and crime! Not to mention corrupt politics! Why have the suburbs become so unfashionable?

Kerry, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I've lived in the suburbs all my life and have had no opportunity to move out. I hope that doesn't make me automatically icky because you know what? There's nothing I can do about it right now. Rather, nothing I'd want to do. I guess I could run away to New York City and do God only knows what, but I'd rather just finish school.

Good points:
safe and suitable for walking, biking, and going on vacation without locking the doors
trees and grass
proximity to stores and other people

Bad points:
Not enough wilderness to be really gorgeous
lack of cultural events (school concerts are about it)

And worst of all, NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. There is a lovely fun job I was offered today and I can't take it. Why not? Because the rest of my family has places to go and we do not have multiple cars or a goddamn BUS to get me there. I am really, really upset about this. The only place I can work anytime soon is the grocery store.

Lyra, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I really wish more people who had kids, etc, would stay in cities, send their kids to state schools, etc. rather than hive them off to suburbs due to Conservative Fear. Because as it stands cities are places where only the very rich or very poor remain, creating horrible divisions in society and perpetuating many ills. That's what bugs me.

I grew up in a suburb (bordering city) which was multicultural and filled to the brim with Jewish intellectuals and faculty brats. You only went private if from out of town and/or you suffered from behavioural problems. 20/20 hindsight tells me it was great, but this was the exception.

Still, I moved to NYC and then to London at first available chance.

suzy, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think we have to make a difference between suburbs and rural life. Living as a farm kid is tough , siving as a sub-urban is coddle good.

anthony, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

As a kid I never could understand why my address read "Knoxville" yet the house I lived in was outside the city limits. Actually I still don't.

Pluses: you can smell things (nice things). You can hear things that are more than 50 feet away. There are places to fuck around that aren't necessarily made of concrete. Romance is easier to come by because of opportunity for adventurous privacy.

Tho I'm stumped by people who live in pre-fab white picket Connecticut paradise and commute 2 hours to work in MANHATTAN. Surely they've got it backwards?

Tracer Hand, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Priorities change, people and attitudes change. Perhaps, they think their old friends in the city are boring and horrible. What's it called, domestication? Some people feel tied down, some people feel most comfortable.

Nude Spock, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The Suburns are Euro-american living pods popular for their isolation and seclusion, allowing a social interaction -free life. This prevents minorities from seeing them and vice versa. The television acts as the survelince monitor for world events and to have social times. No more apartment neighboors, a welcome sight to the easily annoyed and annoying American stereo owner.

I HAVE WONDERED WHAT A CITY BABY WOULD BE LIKE?!?!?! City babies I met in college seemed well - adjusted though a bit boozy and promiscuous.

Mike Hanle y, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Being a bit boozy and promiscuous sounds like a major plus!

Sean, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

And people talk about not wanting a dog in the city cause it would be cruel!!

Tracer Hand, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Does living in a town nowhere near London count as the suburbs? It's not that bad, really. There is life down here too! Having said that, we own a pied-a-terre and are obviously rich bastards but if my family can afford it, why shouldn't we?
Anyway, the suburbs and the city are both classics in their own eccentric ways. Yeah.

Bill, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The areas immediately to the east of London are probably the most right-wing anywhere in Britain: three seats in East London / Essex were *regained* by the Tories in their recent election disaster, which says it all (what a shocking litany of current and recent-past Tory MPs Essex and Kent have - Norman Tebbit, Iain Duncan Smith, Andrew "Italian Fascists' Lackey" Rosindell, Bob Spink, Jacques Arnold, Julian Brazier, Eric "Evangelical Sect" Pickles, Bob Dunn, David "Cake" Amess: hardly any West Country Tory MPs have ever been that far to the right). When I lived in the Dartford / Gravesend area (it's been 7 years since I last saw it now, and would be thankful never to see it again) there was also a good deal of petty, aggressive racism about, and by all accounts since I left asylum seekers have been attacked and it's been seen as quite a natural, common thing to happen. The BNP's Head of Publicity has an 01322 (Dartford) phone number according to their website. Gravesend used to have a Tory MP who'd been involved with the Monday Club and maybe even the National Front in the 70s.

What all this says is that a lot of people in South Essex and North Kent - Richard Littlejohn country, the cliches are rooted in truth I'm afraid - are consciously reacting to the multiculturalism of the city from which they garner their wealth, and react by creating a kind of aggressive white English state, a recreation of an imagined monocultural outer London. And of course it's infinitely nastier and pettier than those London suburbs ever were. London actually felt no closer from there than it feels from South Dorset, which is a curious state of affairs.

However I know other suburbs are nicer and more civilised places: the parts of south-west London straddling the Thames (from blue to yellow in one glorious thrust in '97) seem lovely to me. Colindale is OK. Does Brighton count as a suburb of the "extended city of London" (cf Hywel Williams in the Guardian late last year). If so, it's GRATE.

Robin Carmody, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Ooh, I hope my comments about NF activity in the South-West Londony suburbs don't go and mess up anyone's theories...

I think that, broadly speaking, Robin's right - at least in terms of voting habits etc of suburbs east of London and those of the suburbs south-west of London.

I think (hope) that most of the NF activity was just a couple of nuts rather than typical of the people where I live. The stickering was quite frenzied (about 50 suddenly appeared over night covering Worcester Park station. I actually know for a fact that there is/was at least one active NF member who lived near me (I remember seeing a picture of him at an NF rally in Searchlight and thinking "Blimey - he went to the same school as me"). The NF opened an office in Epsom but despite me living quite near Epsom, I have NO IDEA what it's like (why would anyone get a train in THAT direction?).

Other scary far-right things that happened in my lovely south-west London suburb:

Crazed nut phoned police after Brick Lane nailbomb claiming responsibility (Edward Davey MP said the phone box should be "disinfected").

Asian guy attacked by ten drunken yobs a few weeks ago in violent racial assault.

On a more positive note, New Malden has something like the highest concentration of Koreans outside Korea in the world. I'm not sure why they love New Malden so much - it's not that good.

jamesmichaelward, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

And of course you had a particularly right-wing, thuggish Tory candidate (David Shaw, himself unsurprisingly once an MP in Kent) against a Lib Dem majority of only 56. From what little I heard he tried to stir up a lot of sub-racist sentiments in the same way that, say, Andrew Rosindell did in Romford: he truly deserved the massive tactical LD vote that confronted him. A 15,000-plus Lib Dem majority, wasn't it?

Robin Carmody, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

If I may just post my thoughts on some of the issues raised here:
As most of you may well know by now I actually live in the East London/Essex area talked about above, and so I have a few things to say.
- "creating a kind of aggressive white English state" Robin, I suggest you actually come here and have a look around. There is a sizeable non-white population, and indeed the Tory candidate for Ilford South this year was a fellow called Suresh Kumar, who lost to Mike Gapes (Labour) who has been MP here since 1992, I think. Take a walk along the high road and you will find many a curry house or halal butcher, and witin 100 yards of each other there is both an Islamic bookshop and a Gurdwara. There is very little overt racism, and whilst it's true opposite my house there's a junction box with a swastika daubed on the front that's (usually) about as far as it goes, 14 year olds with spray paint who reckon they're well 'ard. The BNP didn't field a candidate this year, so I would imagine this disqualifies my locality somewhat from the areas that are "most right- wing anywhere in Britain" when compared to say, ooh, Oldham. As for "Richard Littlejohn country", this is fairly accurate in terms of the small-minded ignorant Sun reader stereotype that does stalk my streets, but it applies equally across all races, I find.
I don't mean to be rude, but as much as there is to moan about Ilford/Romford, it is my home and I will defend it.

DG, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

i grew up (18 yrs) in various New Jersey suburbs, and i loved all of them. being an only child for 10 years and not living by many kids as a small child, my imagination was my best friend, and in a suburban backyard, where it's safe for an 8 year old to wander and play, the imagination RULES. the suburb i lived in from junior high through high school was great - everything was, at most, 40 minutes away. ("At most" being NYC.)

since moving to a semi-urban area (St Louis), i enjoy it a lot less. i'm hoping to move to NYC in about 2 or 3 years, and hopefully i'll enjoy that more. i think the main problem w/ St Louis is the lack of ANY type of worthwhile "scene", but that seems to be a whole new thread topic. i simply moved to the part of the city i liked best, and i'm a lot happier now.

while suburbans can be snobs, driving around in giant Sport Utility Vehicles and partaking in Lawn Wars, fighting over who has the bigger status symbol, most teenagers who complain about suburban life tend to be boring individuals inthe first place, no matter what setting you place them in. it's all about making the best of what you're given.

mike j, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

DG, I'm sorry if I offended you at all.

The areas I had in mind are, I guess, further from central London than the area where you live.

I have however always been struck by how much nastier and more aggressive Toryism is when it's actually facing multiculturalism in the face than when it's at a relative distance. So only very recently have West Country Tory MPs become quite as nasty as the south-east mob (Oliver Letwin and Adrian Flook are obviously far more right-wing and far easier to hate instantly than Sir James Spicer and Edward Du Cann were).

However all the points you make are true, and I only had a minority (albeit a particularly aggressive and vicious one) in mind. I just found it curious that the biggest Tory revival in terms of Westminster seats was in East London / Essex (rather than in the outer shires as had been generally expected) and was throwing a few thoughts, perhaps overt generalisations, around.

Robin Carmody, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

where i live in sydney we have huge ethnic mix, a train station, members of the taliban wearing funny pink dresses and thongs who live above us, and great abkeries that sell lots of sweet things...according to the papers, we also have lots of gang violence and driveby shootings, but i haven't shot anyone yet.

Geoff, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I'm not offended Robin, I just wanted to stick up for my town and to make sure people don't get the wrong impression and stick to boring cliches about what this end of London is like, that's all.

DG, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

And you were quite right. Thanks.

Robin Carmody, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Isn't Northeast USA suburbia plagued by Lyme disease?

dave q, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

re; massive LD tactical vote in kingston & surbiton - i got the impression there was huge relief on the part of many people i spoke to in and around town when i was there that they had a lib candidate who could plausibly win escaping them from a guilty labour vote. plus the tory caompaign amounted to about two leaflets - i got about 10 different liberal ones, and the whole area was awash with yellow placards.

matthew james, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I'm sure you're right, Matthew (speaks someone who guiltily voted LD when the tactical option was to vote Labour). The LDs put on the massive, high-profile campaign you describe in that seat principally *because* the Tory candidate was so violently, aggressively right- wing (he had, before 1997, represented the same town that gave us the "Let's wash asylum seekers down the drain" local paper headline).

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 2 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Suburbs are crap because they're the worst of both worlds -- they're as heartless and as artificial as the city, but as geographically isolating and socially conservative as rural areas can be. There's nothing beautiful around you, nowhere to go without ending up in someone's backyard, and nothing to do. And they encourage the most consumerist aspects of American culture. It's hard not to have your sensibilities permanently affected if you live in a genuinely rural area, but the suburbs have Nature Lite, at best.

Of course, when I'm thinking of "suburbs" I'm thinking of places where all the houses look exactly the same -- Levittown-style stuff, where people give the streets fancy names to hide the fact that they live in an utter and total corporate contrivance. But not all towns near to cities are like that, of course, and it is not for those that my withering stare is intended...

Phil, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

When you enter the suburbs, you feel yourself slipping in a coma.

travis bickle, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hence why all my favourite places are either very urban or very rural, Phil.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

hey momus, my friends are becoming conservative and boring and they have neither babies nor designs on a tract home. riddle me that! maybe viagra could help?

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I personally don't slag off the suburbs, I mean if you like them great and if that's where you want to live, great. I don't have a problem with it. I just realize I am not the sort of person who could live there, just as some people are not city people. It's just how it is. It's not better or worse; both have their obvious pluses and minuses, and of course what is a minus to one person is a plus to another (i.e. someone brought up being closer to nature in suburbs, a fact that FRIGHTENS THE SHIT OUT OF ME whenever I am out of the city - I mean, I thought a dog was a wolf at Hampshire College the other night, I can't even deal with dogs much less actual wilderness).

Ally, Tuesday, 4 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Removed from the stultifying cultural traditions that rooted them since their childhood, some people actually become more cosmopolitan once they leave the city for the suburbs.

My mom, as always, is an excellent example. Before she got married, she was a woman so steeped in Italo-American Catholicism that she sincerely thought she'd get struck by lightning if she committed one measly sin. Moving twenty miles away from her parents, her family and neighborhood allowed her some breathing space to silently question the dogma she grew up with. Ten years later, she stopped going to church, took birth control pills and started to think about divorce. I bet something analogous is probably occurring right now to all the new Indian and Asian immigrants (and their families) who now call Long Island home.

I have no problem with non-urban living, but the slavish attentions suburbanites have paid to the dubious convenience of the automobile have made humane suburban living well-nigh impossible. None of the Long Island towns that essentially did not exist before William Levitt are as anywhere near as lovely or even useful as the ones whose layout show little influence of the automobile, such as Babylon, Islip, Port Jefferson, Sayville, Montauk, Garden City or the Hamptons.

Michael Daddino, Tuesday, 4 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I don't know that automobiles are a dubious convenience for families (although the whole idea of families is a dubious convenience as far as I'm concerned) but I, like Mike, lament the fact that suburbs generally show no evidence of sensible urban planning whatsoever. As far as I'm concerned, Hitler's greatest crime is San Jose. Attempts to "urbanize" these areas (the San Jose light rail system, for instance) are just clumsy and haphazard retrofits. The only answer is to start over, underground. I think Lyndon Larouche has some good ideas about what to do with this country, unless I'm just projecting my ideals into his incomprehensible, pseudo-academic babble. Yeah the suburbs are boring, but at least the kids living there all know it. For people not yet in their 20s, it's a lot easier to have fun in the suburbs than it is anywhere else.

Kris, Tuesday, 4 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

aliens...bio-duplication...nude conspiracies... oh my god, lyndon larouche was right!

ethan, Tuesday, 4 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
What!?
Also: REVIVE ('cause of the "bit in the middle" thread where Nitsco seemed to be saying that what Ed was thinking of as representations of midwestern america was probably more accurately just suburban anywhere).
I know putting down the suburbs was so old news decades ago, but when I drive through them between the city-city where I live and the complete ruralness of where my family lives I just get this creepy feeling of intense, like, alienness. I feel like I'm witnessing a recreation of something else. I'm not sure how to describe this, but everything I see in the suburbs seems like a recreation of something else. I'll think, for instance, "wow, they did a really good job here! That family in the SUV looks so authentic!". So I guess I'm kind've fascinated with the suburbs. Other than "Patio Man" or whatever that one essay was called, is there a body of, um, "suburb theory"?

Dan I. (Dan I.), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 04:36 (11 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...
London alternative: move to Brighton instead. The glut of demi-trendy breeder-tendency kidult bourgie bohos MUST BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED.

I want to believe.

Mary (Mary), Wednesday, 25 June 2003 05:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm confused as to what could be considered "urban", what could be considered "suburban", and what could be considered "rural". Maybe it's because all three of those categories are blurred in a big way down here in San Antonio (if you would consider it a city in the first place, that is).

Where I live is in the official city limits. I need only walk a couple of blocks in one direction before I hit a major, well-traveled thoroughfare, and a few blocks in another direction before I hit a highway. Therefore, one could consider my neighborhood an "urban" one. Yet, all of the residences on my street have large front and back yards, are houses, are pet-friendly, and are largely quiet and separate entities from one another. Plus, we've spotted deer and peacocks around the area and have even had a deer come into our back yard. Therefore, one could also classify my neighborhood a "suburban" one. To complicate matters further, the actual suburbs that border San Antonio were largely rural towns in the not-too-distant past and do still sometimes have that countrified feel to them.

Maybe it's because I live in an area with a lot of growing pains and a heck of a lot of space to move around in (the city as of 2000 had an area of 333 square miles and it just keeps on growing outward). Approximately 50 years ago, the neighborhood I live in now was largely rural itself. But then the hospitals came, and the home builders decided to construct neighborhoods, and demand for housing in the area skyrocketed, and things just snowballed from there.

Hm. How fascinating do you guys find me? Maybe not at all, maybe somewhat, maybe very -- I have no clue. I would like to think I'm an interesting person who is worth getting to know, and I am a product of an environment that is a mixture of "urban" and "suburban", not to mention one that is purely driver-friendly (which is the case for the whole of the city, really). I drive a (small) SUV (a Chevy Blazer, a model of vehicle which existed L-O-N-G before the term "SUV" came into being), was educated on how to drive starting at 17, got my driver's license at 19, have never lived in an apartment before in her life, like gardening, love dogs, and sometimes harbor fantasies of living in London (where some of my fondest life memories took place).

Just stuff to think about, 'tis all.

Innocent Dreamer (Dee the Lurker), Wednesday, 25 June 2003 23:23 (11 years ago) Permalink

I live about 3 miles from Downtown Denver in what could be described as a streetcar suburb (1900-1930s bungalows, grid streets, decent transit, corner stores). Its a pretty nice compromise between urban and suburban, but the newer suburbs around here are just disgusting.

Case in point:

By the way that's not my house.

David Beckhouse (David Beckhouse), Thursday, 26 June 2003 01:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

I used to live here. Switch to the topgraphic map view, and my house is almost on the center of the map, on Columbus Avenue, right across the white box with the smaller blue box and the four dots. That used to be home of a very old, very private woman that had rather sizable trees on her property, all of which has probably been converted to two or three ugly homes by now.

I haven't been there in just over ten years.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 26 June 2003 01:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...
Man I would move out to the burbs if I could save this house:
http://tobybelt.blogspot.com/2006/06/sunset-hills-teardown.html

This is outside of saint louis. The 'Laumier Park' mentioned is a sculpture park.

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 10:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

What kind of a stupid motherfucker tears down a house like that?

I live on an old city street, but we have old, grand bungalos built in the 20s. And some stupid asshole "custom builder" just put up a travesty in an empty lot a few houses down from us. It's a big fucking garage, with 5 bedrooms and a greatroom. Stupid fucks. It doesn't match the neighborhood at all...

DAVE, for #1 Hits of yesterday and today! (dave225.3), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 10:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

this has gotta be one of the trolliest threads ever.

Enrique IX: The Mediator (Enrique), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 10:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

y'know, i'm as pro- new urbanist as anyone, but one of THEE most aesthetically hostile things to come out of it has been the growth of the open-air outdoor shopping/entertainment/family fun pavilion on steroids with fountains and twisty "streets" and fake "italian" architecture. so developers think new urbanism means... a mall. didn't malls go out of fashion in the '90s when large freestanding box stores started becoming the norm? were the valley girls and romero-zombies right all along? (the answer is no obv, because in a real city people should be out on the streets, not hidden away in a fancy fishbowl.)

sometimes it takes an earthquake to know where the fault lies (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 11:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

Those places make me cringe also - mainly because they still don't have any necessities (post office, reasonable grocery store, school, dry cleaner, etc...) and you still have to drive - but maybe they're the transition between isolated, windowless malls and an actual city?

DAVE, for #1 Hits of yesterday and today! (dave225.3), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 11:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

they give tourists something to do while the rest of us go about our business.

sometimes it takes an earthquake to know where the fault lies (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 11:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

Cleveland has two of these potemkim villages- a third may be happening downtown. At least the one downtown will be built on a empty parking lots.

Legacy Village- east side

laurence kansas (lawrence kansas), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 12:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

Also, that house upthread should be saved at all costs.

laurence kansas (lawrence kansas), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 12:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

Legacy Village is a really strange one too, because it's right by a mall and in the center of a neighborhood that used to have storefronts.

DAVE, for #1 Hits of yesterday and today! (dave225.3), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 12:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

that's an awesomely interesting home but in dire need of money. It's getting torn down because repairing it properly would probably greatly exceed its value. It sounds great living in homes like those until you actually are doing it, and you realize that updating even practical elements is a nightmare of expense. It will be sad to see that house go but I think it's safe to assume that it doesn't make economic sense to keep it around.

It would be nice if there were buyers out there who were actually interested in building homes like that instead of the ugly, elbows-to-assholes mcmansions that are invading the suburban countryside and gentrification projects around the country.

don weiner (don weiner), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 12:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

if you can't afford a car you're written off as a lazy criminal. our only hope for better planning is if rich people want to walk or take more public transportation, and it'll only be in enclaves they can afford to live in. the people who need it these resources the least. that's just the society we live in.

Spectrum, Monday, 22 July 2013 16:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

one problem with that article is it is doing percentiles nationwide. so a whole areas can go up or down in avg income (witness north dakota). in that sense its not only a mobility story, but a story of which regions have been doing well or poorly, and the two notions get mashed together. also not clear how they inflation adjust, etc. can't drill in more to the details, because the website is down :-(

stefon taylor swiftboat (s.clover), Monday, 22 July 2013 16:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

Pretty crazy that in some of those North Dakota regions there's like a 20-30% chance that a child born in the bottom fifth rose to the top fifth. Just shows how powerful the oil boom is.

Cap'n Conserv-a-pedia (Hurting 2), Monday, 22 July 2013 16:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

remember that's not top fifth north dakota -- that's top fifth nationwide. so just everyone in ND is better off than before -- not an indicator of relative mobility in ND.

sites back up for me, skimmed the data, they don't seem to have put any thought into the sort of things i'm worried about -- no story on inflation adjustment, etc.

also as far as i can tell they're not comparing kids at _their parents age at time of survey_ with the incomes of their parents. so that's why you get this "everything towards the middle" effect. like obv income should grow over time. but because their cohort were born '80-81 they're all 33 or so now. if their parents income is from when their parents were e.g. 40 then at least for some classes of jobs, even if they were exactly in their parents footsteps, they would be making less b/c they're younger. for other classes of jobs you're going to top out in earnings earlier. so that's another confounding factor that makes this data v. up for interpretation

stefon taylor swiftboat (s.clover), Monday, 22 July 2013 17:12 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

RIP suburbs

Mordy , Monday, 5 August 2013 21:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

Hey, found a no-car, pedestrian neighborhood away from the city for iatee.

pplains, Monday, 25 November 2013 16:03 (10 months ago) Permalink

A+

lollercoaster of rove (s.clover), Wednesday, 27 November 2013 03:48 (10 months ago) Permalink

8 months pass...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/business/affordable-housing-drives-middle-class-to-cities-inland.html?action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&module=MostEmailed&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article

Moving from the US coasts to inland cities & burbs (and finding jobs presumably)

Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other cities in growth since 2011, becoming the 12th-fastest-growing city last year. It has also won over a coveted demographic, young adults age 25 to 34, going from a net loss of millennials to a net gain. Other affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include several in Texas, including El Paso and San Antonio, as well as Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark.

Newcomers in Oklahoma City have traded traffic jams and preschool waiting lists for master suites the size of their old apartments. The sons of Lorin Olson, a stem cell biologist who moved here from New York’s Upper East Side, now ride bikes in their suburban neighborhood and go home to a four-bedroom house. Hector Lopez, a caricature artist, lives in a loft apartment here for less than he paid to stay in a garage near Los Angeles. Tony Trammell, one of a group of about a dozen friends to make the move from San Diego, paid $260,000 for his 3,300-square-foot home in a nearby suburb.

“This is the opposite of the gold rush,” Mr. Trammell said.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:13 (1 month ago) Permalink

The Oklahoma Laters.

pplains, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:21 (1 month ago) Permalink

lol

♪♫ teenage wasteman ♪♫ (goole), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

feel like you'd have to keep a knife at my throat continuously to get me down there

♪♫ teenage wasteman ♪♫ (goole), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

My city's mentioned in that paragraph. Gotta say, the weather's nice, the costs are cheap, my morning commute is about 10-15 minutes.

The state's getting overrun by lunatics, but for someone who doesn't leave the house that often, it's not so bad. We city folk are pretty progressive when it comes right down to it.

pplains, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:42 (1 month ago) Permalink

Now Ok-lol-homa on the other hand is a different story, imho.

pplains, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 19:43 (1 month ago) Permalink

I'm still kind of in awe of how much the downtown of my city has been revitalized. Maybe too much, some days.

mh, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 20:24 (1 month ago) Permalink

Columbus, Ohio is kind of great. It's in no way a suburb though.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:05 (1 month ago) Permalink

seriously! why are they calling these small-to-midsize cities suburbs?

marcos, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:10 (1 month ago) Permalink

anything that's not nyc or l.a. is a suburb, obviously.

first is the worst (askance johnson), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:14 (1 month ago) Permalink

Wait, what, who called Columbus a suburb?

Also this guy

Aasim Saleh, 30, moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle to coach kayaking in the city’s Boathouse District. The ability to buy a home without having a desk job was one major draw for him.

must really enjoy professional basketball.

pplains, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:14 (1 month ago) Permalink

in america most cities are suburbs

iatee, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:23 (1 month ago) Permalink

i'm definitely not "icky" fwiw

markers, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 21:23 (1 month ago) Permalink

Wait, what, who called Columbus a suburb?

I just mean we're somehow talking about "moving to Columbus" in the "moving to the suburbs" thread

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 7 August 2014 04:34 (1 month ago) Permalink

Tony Trammell, one of a group of about a dozen friends to make the move from San Diego, paid $260,000 for his 3,300-square-foot home in a nearby suburb.

Unless your last name is Duggar or The Hutt, nobody needs a 3,300 sq. ft. house.

Welcome to my spooooooky carnival! Hope I don't... blow your mind! (Phil D.), Thursday, 7 August 2014 09:41 (1 month ago) Permalink

Columbus, Ohio is kind of great. It's in no way a suburb though.

Over the last 50 years Columbus annexed all the unincorporated land in Franklin County (and even some in 3 adjoining counties) and in doing so became the largest city in Ohio in population and land area. Columbus has even made enclaves of several of their suburbs by completely surrounding them. Most of the population of Columbus resides in what the functionally a suburb.

kate78, Thursday, 7 August 2014 21:18 (1 month ago) Permalink

*is functionally a suburb

kate78, Thursday, 7 August 2014 21:18 (1 month ago) Permalink

This isn't a city. This is a stain left over after someone threw a tomato at a map of Ohio.

pplains, Thursday, 7 August 2014 21:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

And don't forget Columbus' Congressional districts:

pplains, Thursday, 7 August 2014 21:33 (1 month ago) Permalink

Not classy or icky. Maybe some are dudes. Most of all, I think, they are enthusiasts. I may be imagining that American suburbs are equivalent to the normal populace in smaller countries such as Belgium or France or Korea where young people can get caught up in things and older people go bowling. But listening to Seamonsters and remembering Steve Albini, I can't help wondering what happened to the Smashing Pumpkins when everybody still loves the Wedding Present. (Oh, I thought he produced one of their albums, but it appears that he merely criticized them. Then which top nineties album did he produce (other than Seamonsters)?)

youn, Thursday, 7 August 2014 23:42 (1 month ago) Permalink

I think of Columbus as a small city because it is gritty at the core. (Maybe I am not properly recognizing the surrounding areas that are really a part of it. The Twenty-Seventh City by Franzen may be relevant. But, yes, the people still seemed suburban in their preoccupations ... )

youn, Friday, 8 August 2014 00:21 (1 month ago) Permalink


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