― Momus, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
Perhaps something in babydom encourages conservatism. Having briefly
looked after a coworker's kids yesterday (and they're both cool, but a
handful), it was quite tempting to boil everything down to
narrow-minded sloganeering in order to get a point across.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― nathalie, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― dave q, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
There's something good about living right on the cusp of London,
suburbia's a lot more peaceful and spacious. I like the freedom of
being able to dip into the city as and when I choose.
― Trevor, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Ally, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Sean, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― the pinefox, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
I would absolutely *love* to live in London at the moment, but wallet
wise that's a total no-no. At present there is only one borough in
the whole of London where the average annual salary is sufficient to
meet the average annual mortgage repayment. To say that all suburbia
looks the same smacks of ignorance and upper middle class snobbery to
― jel, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― DG, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
It is defined as housing to sleep in, which is oddly why nothing
obviously exciting goes on there. Except those garage bands, those
DJ's, those people making killing machines out of wheelchairs &
flymo's to win on Robot Wars. Around the idea that most people who
spend their time in suburbia are at school you might get a vague idea
why less excitement is going on.
Your friends become inexplicably(?) conservative (small C?) and
boring because now they just aren't interested in entertaining you
anymore. They have something more important in their life - a baby.
If you don't live in hicksville, or suburbia then you have nowhere to
― Pete, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
Well it all depends how much you value your job really, so that's
another matter entirely. I *heart* my job, so if that means I'm lost
then I can live with that.
Anyhow, speaking of Zone 6 the district line beckons me - can't wait
to curl up in a comfy chair with my pipe and slippers - I hear
there's a good film on telly tonight. ;-)
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 (nineteen years ago) link
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'
― David Inglesfield, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― bnw, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Kerry, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
points: safe and suitable for walking, biking, and going on
vacation without locking the doorstrees and grassproximity to
stores and other people
Bad points:Not enough wilderness to be
really gorgeouslack of cultural events (school concerts are about
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 (nineteen years ago) link
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.
― anthony, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Tracer Hand, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Nude Spock, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
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 (nineteen years ago) link
― Bill, Friday, 31 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
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 (nineteen years ago) link
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
Crazed nut phoned police after Brick Lane nailbomb claiming
responsibility (Edward Davey MP said the phone box should
Asian guy attacked by ten drunken yobs a few weeks ago in violent
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 (nineteen years ago) link
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
― mike j, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
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 (nineteen years ago) link
― Geoff, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― DG, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― dave q, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― matthew james, Saturday, 1 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Robin Carmody, Sunday, 2 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
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 (nineteen years ago) link
― travis bickle, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link
You literally can’t get an umbrella liability policy if you have one of those in your yard, that’s how awesome they are.
I have one of those policies and the questions are like “are you a journalist” “are you a doctor” “do you have livestock” etc. A bunch of things that make you likely to get sued. And then the last one is “do you have a trampoline”.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 02:59 (nine hours ago) link
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 12:16 (nine months ago) link
― turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 12:26 (nine months ago) link
good grief do I hate mowing lawns, a not insignificant reason why I will never live anywhere again where that's necessary. the stench of the exhaust, the heat of the engine, the dust and debris, not to mention the animals I've accidentally killed doing it (snakes, mice, little bitty bunnies): it's enough not to have a backyard.
I mean I hate all housing upkeep so lawn mowing is just a particularly vile instance of what I hate. I'm not talking about chores like cleaning the toilet or doing dishes, I mean like fixing holes in the walls or whatever other shit you have to do with a dumb house, I've lived in apartments for the last seven years now & it's just way better for me.
― All cars are bad (Euler), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 13:12 (nine months ago) link
I love mowing the lawn. The stench of the exhaust, the heat of the engine, the dust and debris...
Years ago, when we were between Great Danes, I almost mowed over a warren of little bunny rabbits. One jumped out right before I got there, and as soon as I turned off the mower, they were everywhere.
The mama showed up, who looked both very worried and very relieved at the same time.
You can see one of the babies partially hidden in the grass in the middle.
― pplains, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 13:21 (nine months ago) link
yeah it was like that for me except a flash of red
― All cars are bad (Euler), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 13:38 (nine months ago) link
That's why I got the 24" Toro self-propelled and not the Watership Lawn D-250.
― pplains, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 14:30 (nine months ago) link
I'm still in tharn
― All cars are bad (Euler), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 14:36 (nine months ago) link
One of the first things that struck me about the burbs was definitely the frequency and duration of the sound of lawnmowers, weed wackers and leaf blowers and the constant presence of landscaper trucks on my block.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 14:38 (nine months ago) link
C's house is right in the middle of an old town, where lots are less than .25 of an acre-ish sized, and while they are pretty close together, that doesn't really bother me coming from Brooklyn. It does mean that no one has very much lawn to mow, just a little bit around the house that doesn't have trees or gardens on it.
Outside of town, lots of houses have MULTIPLE ACRES just laid to lawn, putting the house 100 yards back from the road but with nothing in between but a sea of grass with giant mower tracks across it. It's horrible.
― Ima Gardener (in orbit), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:19 (nine months ago) link
I mean, C and his neighbor both have gas mowers but each can mow their whole yard in 20 mins or so, partly bc we both have decks and gardens taking up some of that space.
Basically just to say it's about ecosystem management! DOWN WITH LAWNS
― Ima Gardener (in orbit), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:21 (nine months ago) link
Lawns are stupid. My children don't do much of anything outside anymore so all the grass is getting replaced with something else (cedar chips, plants, other ground cover.
As noted I spent the last few months trying to transition to clover, but unfortunately nature has had other plans. What I am getting instead is dust and ground ivy. Fine whatev. Just as long as it isn't grass.
― while my keytar gently bleeps (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:31 (nine months ago) link
I was all about finding a more ecological alternative to my lawn until I realized how much up front cost and hassle there would be to ripping up my lawn and replacing it. Eventually maybe but I have too much other shit to take care of rn.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:31 (nine months ago) link
i’ve heard good things about microclover
― Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:33 (nine months ago) link
clover is high on our list of eventual possibilities
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:34 (nine months ago) link
i think to work well it needs to be mixed in with your fescue or what have you. not sure can be the only ground cover.
― Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:40 (nine months ago) link
can you just kind of plant it among whatever you already have or do you need to rip everything up and plant a mix?
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:42 (nine months ago) link
I was all about finding a more ecological alternative to my lawn until I realized how much up front cost and hassle there would be to ripping up my lawn and replacing it
Yeah that's sometimes how it goes with ecological footprint. Like, hybrid and electric cars are cool but should you get rid of a 10-year-old Honda Civic or buy a new hybrid? Surely the industrial consequences of manufacturing, transporting any new car should be factored vs. the consequences of just keeping what you have and using it until it doesn't work anymore.
Then you think for just a little bit more than a minute and realize that an electric car requires electricity, which means your Nissan Leaf (or whatever) could have a sticker on it that says "powered by coal!" In a lot of areas, that's how you recharge your battery.
Ditto with lawn stuff - ripping up a lawn and replacing it will involve trucks to transport materials, trucks to transport materials away, machine labor to assist the process, hundreds of gallons of water (and all the infrastructure entailed in getting clean water from place to place), etc. etc.
Of course my strategy of gentle encouragement / gentle discouragement hasn't worked all that well either, so what do I know?
And yes, most folks go with a mix of miniclover or microclover with grass seed, or mixed in with existing grass. In theory you shouldn't need fertilizer as clover is self-fertilizing (and should also theoretically fertilize whatever it gets mixed with).
But lots will depend on your soil condition, mix of sun and shade, and what the weather decides to do.
― while my keytar gently bleeps (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 15:46 (nine months ago) link
I just rip up a few square feet of old, compacted sod every few months, throw it away, and plant either seeds or bulbs or a transplant in it. The things that had a lot of space between them last year, this year were overgrown and crowded and will probably need to be thinned this winter--it's not a quick process, but time makes it beautiful!
Next spring I should have over 2 doz new narcissus and hyacinths to make the front view pretty (from the street) which will die back in May/June and be covered by the perennial bee garden that grows up later in the summer.
This was my third summer of gardening, I should say! It took time to see what the prev owner had done and how it looked and aged during the seasons. Gardening is a long game by definition.
― Ima Gardener (in orbit), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 16:05 (nine months ago) link
major LOL at Watership Lawn D-250
― sarahell, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 17:59 (nine months ago) link
yes, that was beautiful
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 7 October 2020 21:39 (nine months ago) link
― Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Saturday, 24 October 2020 23:57 (nine months ago) link
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 25 October 2020 03:20 (nine months ago) link
i'm standing with donna on this one
― call all destroyer, Sunday, 25 October 2020 03:29 (nine months ago) link
Donna is the clear hero of this story and also wkiw
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 25 October 2020 04:45 (nine months ago) link
The line about the warranty on the paint was a master stroke
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 25 October 2020 04:46 (nine months ago) link
Dick Hopkins is a fragile flower whose delicate constitution cannot contend with the trauma induced by bright colours two doors down.
― Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 07:03 (eight months ago) link
FWIW i was just talking to the tree service guy, a longtime local, and he was saying the thinking in the area on lawns has "dramatically shifted" in the last two decades, and that many more people are just letting their lawns be semi-wild, planting lawn alternatives, etc. He said many people now just want "something green" and don't care about having "a golf course" in front of their house.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:19 (three months ago) link
My father-in-law has had his lawn professionally re-done for what I'm pretty sure is the 4th time in the 20 years he's lived there. His lawn looked great to all the rest of us, but he was upset that weeds and moss were showing up in places and the grass was (apparently, to him) not growing in others. His yard is a mostly shaded area in sandy soil, so of course you're gonna have problems growing grass on it! The lawn basically exists to get mowed. Maybe 3-4 times a year, pre-pandemic, the grandkids would run around on it at parties, but kids don't count blades of grass. No one else in the family understands, but the mentality is so ingrained in him so we just congratulate him on the new lawn. Hopefully this time it will achieve his expectations.
Ours is mostly whatever is growing wild around here - dandelions, onion grass, clover, mugwort, etc.
― peace, man, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:33 (three months ago) link
I honestly like seeing all the dandelions and onion grass and stuff in my neighborhood, I think it's much prettier than just straight grass, esp since the landscape is already kind of rustic and rocky and hilly.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:36 (three months ago) link
After that recent horrible freeze in Texas, the first thing my GF's dad did was start working on his San Antonio yard because the cold had killed everything. 81 years old, still recovering from Covid (which his wife also had)and frozen pipes, and he's out there yanking plants out because what would the neighbors think?
I would assume the neighbors' yards had also died but that's the mentality in the 'burbs.
― Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:38 (three months ago) link
lol yeah i mow something out there every two weeks in the summer but i'm sure a lot of it isn't really grass.
― (•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:39 (three months ago) link
Yeah, it's a good vibe! Lot of pretty flowers out there right now.
― peace, man, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:41 (three months ago) link
I remember my parents telling me that neighbors complained to them about our lawn maintenance, and that once a neighbor actually cut our grass without asking
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:56 (three months ago) link
One of the nice things also about not spraying a lot of chemical fertilizer and pesticide and weed killer is that you get tons of birdlife in the yard. I realized when I moved where I live that the reason a lot of suburbs I've been to feel sort of fake and sterile is that lawn maintenance and landscaping practices basically destroy the possibility of any kind of habitat.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:58 (three months ago) link
A traditional lawn is fucking dumb, and it's insane that a more natural yard could get you fined in some communities. Most front lawns by me here in AZ are gravel + landscaped plants/trees. But a few ppl have green grass lawns and they stick out like a sore thumb. Just that much more apparent how fake and unnatural they are when you see them in a desert environment. My backyard seamlessly merges with the undeveloped "state trust" land behind me and I think it looks great. My gf who still spends good deal of time living in Illinois thinks I need to "get rid of all the weeds". Just indicative of a fucked up relationship with nature that most people have internalized.
― A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 22:13 (three months ago) link
We bought our last house directly from some acquaintances and they gave us a tour of the place which included thirty minutes of the dude explaining his lawn care routine and watering schedule (in a very arid climate) and my wife and I didn’t have the heart to tell him his life’s work would be brown and full of weeds and dog piss within three months. A guy down the street has a magnificent golf course lawn that he spends hours maintaining and my neighbor and I just kind of laugh at him as we do the legal minimum required to not get ticketed by the city. A lot of the lawns nearby have permanent dead rings that surround the students outdoor drinking game tables anyway so nobody gives a shit.
― joygoat, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 22:32 (three months ago) link
yeah fuck a lawn, grow a damn habitat
― Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 23:14 (three months ago) link
Grass is stupid. I've been gradually replacing it with clover, ground ivy, and purple deadnettle.
― Ezra Kleina Nachtmusik (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 29 April 2021 00:46 (three months ago) link
I grew up in the woods. We had an acre of pine trees and pine needles between us and the road. Going through all that trouble so it can look like Soldier Field is ridiculous.
THAT SAID, God, I hate privet with a passion.
― pplains, Thursday, 29 April 2021 00:59 (three months ago) link
FWIW my favorite development since our move is that H has gotten massively into gardening, and even more recently into native plants. Going forward we are planting only native and especially plants that are good for pollenators, butterflies and birds. And we have begun plotting out our gradual lawn replacement plan and have already added clover and wildflowers in some areas.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 10 July 2021 02:01 (two weeks ago) link
Just started composting as well.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nature%27s+best+hope&gclid=CjwKCAjwi9-HBhACEiwAPzUhHELZtaWTJlj0_-7Nitv5EV9KiXUlr8mwnOVQgJPD8oSQKDDDISkLABoCj9IQAvD_BwE&hvadid=409958545374&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9004253&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=17557947266658875369&hvtargid=kwd-780715891398&hydadcr=13631_11415873&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_4o3wjs332b_eHave not read yet, wife is reading. Author also runs this:https://homegrownnationalpark.org/
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 17:45 (one week ago) link
Did you just post the book itself?
― pplains, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 17:48 (one week ago) link
I really want to replace our lawn with native plants as well, kind of intimidated to start on my own since a) I know next to nothing about how to make sure it looks nice too and, b) I have literally the opposite of a green thumb. I've always wanted to get more into gardening, but I can't keep any plants alive.
― a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 17:51 (one week ago) link
part of the idea of planting native plants is they are more likely to just stay alive without constant intervention
― Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 18:05 (one week ago) link
Haha, I know, but this is how little faith I have in my skills. I understand they generally need a little help at the start though.
― a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 18:12 (one week ago) link
In Seattle there's a program that will pay for you to install a rain garden on your property and will help you with the installation; might be worth seeing if there's anything like that near you.
― Lily Dale, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 18:51 (one week ago) link
My wife is just kind of diving in and trying a lot of different plantings. I'm doing my best to help. There's a company called American Meadows she sometimes uses that will send you plants that go together, and in some cases they have seed packs of stuff that grows really easily and is hard to fuck up (like wildflower mixtures).
The book I tried to post above is called Nature's Best Hope, not sure what happened with the link.
We're only just getting started with replacing some of the front lawn, moreso have been planting in rocky areas in our backyard. H is way more the one doing it than me, I just kind of supply labor when I can, but I would say one way to avoid the intimidation factor is just to pick a small patch to start with, maybe something out of the way so it doesn't fuck with the "curb appeal" if you fail.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 22:45 (one week ago) link
There may be a Native Plant Society facebook group in your area. They are usually good about offering advice to beginners.
― nickn, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 22:53 (one week ago) link
Actually doesn't have to be local, statewide is fine. I'm in the California group and they give advice for every locale in the state.
― nickn, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 22:55 (one week ago) link