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Old 08-12-2007, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,206,001 times
Reputation: 1076

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Ha, go pound sand!

Give me a break. I am out in the burbs all the time. I used to have to drive a lot for a previous job, so I am quite familiar with the NYC metro area and most of the northeast. I have visited probably half the states in the union up to this point, I just haven't been to Chicago. Maybe someday I will go to Chi-town, but it hasn't been high on my priority list as of late.

Yes houses do change over time, but a house will never be able to make significant changes to what it looks like if it is under a HOA and zoned in a specific way. I dont' think it is possible.

If you wanted to, could you just knock down your house and build two houses in its place, thereby making the neighborhood more dense? Would it be possible to knock down a house in your subdivision and throw up a mini-market at some point? I dont' think any of this stuff is possible.

Subdivisions will really never be able to change to the degree that an urban environment could. They will never become more dense, they will always just be what they are.

The problem with your whole idea that "there's plenty to do in the suburbs," is that it is entirely dependent on some random mother being around to shuttle the kids in between places a la the soccer mombs. Unfortunately many families these days, as a result of our screwed up economic situation, have to have both parents working out of necessity (and not by choice) and there isn't someone at home to shuttle the kids around from activity to activity. What happens as a result? The kid sits at home and gets into trouble. Until a kid reaches the age of 15/16/17 when he can start to drive there is basically nothing for him to do in his neighborhood since nothing is within walking distance.

It happens all the time these days. All of these school shootings, substance abuse problems, depression, and suicides among kids are occuring at an alarming rate. Where did all of this stuff come from? There weren't problems like this 50 years ago when the majority of people lived in tight knit neighborhoods where they knew their neighbors and could hang out somewhere in the neighborhood. I think there is a direct link between these societal problems and suburbanization of our country. A lot of these cul-de-sac kids are growing up in a very unhealthy and unnatural environment. If I must remind you, the vast majority of mankind for the past 10,000 years has lived in traditionally planned cities towns, or villages. This vast suburbanization of America over the past 50 years is the exception to a couple thousand years of urban planning and design, made possible only by the creation of the automobile and a plentiful supply of cheap gasoline.

I think a lot of the reasons people are so defensive about suburbs has a lot less to do with their love of their surroundings in the suburbs and a lot more about possible fears of crime, violence, failing schools in urban areas, and a tinge of racism thrown in for good measure. If we want to be honest here, then that is what this discussion is all about. That is why the suburbs were created in the first place, to get away from "urban problems" (read: violent black or hispanic people). I am no one to lecture other people about being racist, and I am accused of being racist on these forums on a somewhat regular basis. I really don't care though, I'm a white guy living in the Bronx, which is one of the least white areas of the country (12% out of 1 million people at last count), albeit my neighborhood is mostly white.

But fleeing your neighborhoods in the city to move out to the burbs for a better lifestyle is a fool's game. Because the percentage of white people in this country is declining by the day (mainly a result of our failed immigration policy and also because most white people have decided to have few if any children, a 3rd car comes before a 3rd kid these days). The people who live in the cities of this country are not going to stay put. They will be coming to your subdivision within the next couple of decades. What are you going to do then? Move even farther out into the middle of nowhere? This has to stop. People can't just keep on running away from the problems faced in this country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
The above is a quote from another post of mine on another thread on this forum.

from mead.

I have posted the same sentiments on many, many threads in these forums. Yes, the houses start to look different after while. Guess what? So do the houses in the suburbs! You say you haven't been to Chicago; have you been to the suburbs of NYC? Not every suburb is governed by a HOA, and not every HOA forbids people from building additions, changing paint colors, etc. The subdivision where we bought our first home had 4 basic floor plans, but first of all, with all the options one could choose when building the house, such as one-car garage, 1 1/2 car garage, 2 car garage, basement/no basement, family room/no family room, different roof lines, etc, I would bet there are not two houses in the entire subdivision that look the same. Not to mention different paint colors. As the houses have gotten older, additions have been built, landsacaping has been added, and they all look similar, but not alike.

This is not true. YOu need to get out of the Bronx more.



The above problem is more complex than you state. My kids and their friends found plenty to do in a (gasp, gasp!) suburb. Contrary to the popular belief of people who have never been to one, suburbs have movie theaters, high school sporting events and dances, restaurants, ice skating rinks, bowling alleys and. . . . more! "Nothing to do but drink" is more a state of mind than anything else. Please quit trying to "rescue" those of us who have made a different, possibly way more informed, choice than you!

Last edited by mead; 08-12-2007 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:29 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
First of all, mead, I do not appreciate being called a racist. My neighborhood and town are fairly diverse. I have worked with people of color and have had no problems doing so. I am a nurse. I care for people of all races. My kids have multi-cultural friends that they met, guess where? In this stinking suburb!

Quote:
Yes houses do change over time, but a house will never be able to make significant changes to what it looks like if it is under a HOA and zoned in a specific way. I dont' think it is possible.
Apparently, you missed all the talk about not all subdivisions having HOAs. This one does not, though it has "covenants" that are largely ignored. The other house we owned had neither. And guess, what? There is zoning in the city, too! You might be surprised what you'd find if you went to pull a permit to build an ancillary dwelling on your property, just for one expample.

Quote:
If you wanted to, could you just knock down your house and build two houses in its place, thereby making the neighborhood more dense? Would it be possible to knock down a house in your subdivision and throw up a mini-market at some point? I dont' think any of this stuff is possible.
See above. No, and probably neither could you, legally anyway.

Quote:
The problem with your whole idea that "there's plenty to do in the suburbs," is that it is entirely dependent on some random mother being around to shuttle the kids in between places a la the soccer mombs. Unfortunately many families these days, as a result of our screwed up economic situation, have to have both parents working out of necessity (and not by choice) and there isn't someone at home to shuttle the kids around from activity to activity. What happens as a result? The kid sits at home and gets into trouble. Until a kid reaches the age of 15/16/17 when he can start to drive there is basically nothing for him to do in his neighborhood since nothing is within walking distance.
First of all, I am the one who raised two kids in this suburb, so maybe I know something about my own life. My DH has always worked FT. I have worked various amts of time, all part-time until my youngest was a junior in high school and driving. MY kids did not "sit in the house and get in trouble". We carpooled, and they rode their bikes to the rec center and other places frequently. There are lots of places in this town withing walking distance of my home. My younger one even took the RTD (public transit) to school when in middle school. There was always someone who could take them to after-school activities (which don't start till around 4 PM anyway, when some people are already home). Sometimes, lest you think I am a freeloader, that someone was me.

Quote:
There weren't problems like this 50 years ago
This statement is categorically untrue. I grew up in the 50s, I remember "juvenile delinquency" very well. Remember "West Side Story"?

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-12-2007 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: addition, change a word for specificity
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:09 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
I think a lot of the reasons people are so defensive about suburbs has a lot less to do with their love of their surroundings in the suburbs and a lot more about possible fears of crime, violence, failing schools in urban areas, and a tinge of racism thrown in for good measure. If we want to be honest here, then that is what this discussion is all about. That is why the suburbs were created in the first place, to get away from "urban problems" (read: violent black or hispanic people). I am no one to lecture other people about being racist, and I am accused of being racist on these forums on a somewhat regular basis. I really don't care though, I'm a white guy living in the Bronx, which is one of the least white areas of the country (12% out of 1 million people at last count), albeit my neighborhood is mostly white.
You assume too much, mead. The suburban city I live in is celebrating its 125th birthday this year. It was founded as coal mining town. Coal continued to be mined here into the 1950s. Everyone is very proud of the city's mining heritage. There is a statue of a coal miner in front of City Hall, and many streets and schools are named for old coal mines. Many of the traditions here go back to the coal mining days. It just became a suburb recently, when Boulder decided it didn't want any more people and enacted a bunch of "growth controls". People have to live somewhere, so they started building more homes here.

There are a number of Denver suburbs that were once farm towns, and are as old or possibly older than Denver itself.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,206,001 times
Reputation: 1076
Yeah you might live in a random suburb that was built a while ago, but the vast majority of suburbs in the country have been filled in and built up since after World War II. Even around the NYC area most suburban areas weren't even a blip on the radar screen until 1950 or so when large numbers of people began moving out of the city and into the suburbs.

I never called you a racist, I am simply stating that the suburbs were created largely as a result of racism though. You can deny it all you want, but its true. It happened in cities all over the country.

Check out this book if you are really interested in the topic. The author goes into a good ammount of detail about how the suburbanization of America occured and how race and a fear of black crime played into it: Amazon.com: The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999: Books: Ray Suarez
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
I never called you a racist
Well, not exactly, but you did respond directly to a post I made (quoted it) by saying: That is why the suburbs were created in the first place, to get away from "urban problems" (read: violent black or hispanic people).. . . .They will be coming to your subdivision within the next couple of decades. What are you going to do then? Move even farther out into the middle of nowhere? (Emphasis mine)

I am surprised there were no 'burbs in NYC until the 50s. There certainly were suburbs in Pittsburgh, where I grew up, before then. The 'burb where I lived was established in 1898. The reality is that people have to live somewhere. The "baby boom" did a lot to create need for more housing. The rural migration from farms to city did its share, too. I do not live "in the middle of nowhere". I live 25 miles from downtown Denver. There are probably New Yorkers who live farther from downtown Manhattan that that.

I may look at your book online, but I don't take too much to books that come to the conclusion first. There are some pro-suburb books that have been mentioned on this forum that I have not looked at either.

Someone on this forum quoted a pro-suburb book saying that people that live in the burbs are more involved in their communities. That, I do believe. Really, does NYC have a pet parade for all the kids? Does the mayor and council cook hotdogs for everybody on the 4th of July? Can the average citizen be on a board or a commission there? All of the above happens here. My father was a councilman in the 'burb where we grew up, a real citizen legislator. He could not have done that in NYC or even Pittsburgh.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,206,001 times
Reputation: 1076
Yes I was speaking more in a general sense, I guess you misread it. Mea culpa, I suppose

However are you debating what I wrote concerning race and suburbanization? I could post reams of evidence showing that racial problems were a huge factor in having people flee the urban areas of this country for the suburbs. This happened time and again in cities all over the country.

Of course there are suburban areas of NYC that were built pre-1950 however they are markedly different in their design and layout than those built afterwards. Its like comparing night and day. These pre-WW II suburbs generally follow a pattern of traditional town/village planning. Those built after WW II lack this design and are focused upon the car and the surrounding highways.

NYC has lots of things. I don't know of any pet parades to be honest (I am sure there must be one somewhere), however we basically have every other parade known to mankind in the city. Personally I think I'd much rather go with tens of thousands of other people to see something like St. Patrick's Day Parade than go see a couple of kids marching their dogs around to be honest.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,395,377 times
Reputation: 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by mead View Post
every subdivision in the country looks exactly alike. Its not just one block, but nearly EVERY SINGLE subdivision being built throughout the entire USA looks exactly the same. There are no differences at all beyond color and minor exterior changes.

Wow, you wouldn't exaggerate would you?
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:17 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by mead View Post
NYC has lots of things. I don't know of any pet parades to be honest (I am sure there must be one somewhere), however we basically have every other parade known to mankind in the city. Personally I think I'd much rather go with tens of thousands of other people to see something like St. Patrick's Day Parade than go see a couple of kids marching their dogs around to be honest.
My point was there is more opportunity for the average person to participate in something in a smaller town, which these days are mostly suburbs. And there is the "up close and personal" with the mayor and city council and staff cooking free hot dogs for the populace on the 4th of July, plus the opportunity for John and Jane Doe to run for political office or serve on a board or commission.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: The Valley of the Sun
97 posts, read 189,750 times
Reputation: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt345 View Post





These homes all have pretty much the same exterior and interior (layout) and it looks as if they were also mass produced. But wait, they're city row houses so there's no way they can be cookie-cutter!

Really, I have no problem with these homes. I think they're very charming and suit the city well. However, I can't help but notice that they all look alike and most likely share the same interior floor plan.
They look worse than army barracks.. Really, it strikes me as very 'communistic' - and that is exactly the opposite of what the corporate builder's claim to be.. 'capitalists'

Also, I hate their 'charm' - read that as gaucheness. Useless bric-a-brac that adds to their cost while adding nothing to the usefulness and also adds to the 'money-pit' costs to maintain.

I love the clean looks of 'form following function' and also the idea of a home sheltering the owner in privacy at minimum cost & upkeep. I also like privacy.. not livimg like ants or bees I want 21st century Modern.. pushing hard towards the 22nd century. Quality of life.. that is the idea.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
840 posts, read 2,540,209 times
Reputation: 706
Smile Phoenix is the worst

Believe me Phoenix is the worst. It is a cookie cutter stuccoville of nothing but Stucco walls concrete roofs and rocks... All the homes look the same and are very close together with little yards.
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