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View Poll Results: Have you lived in the suburbs?
Yes, as a child or teenager 106 80.92%
Yes, as an adult 73 55.73%
I have never lived in the suburbs 8 6.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-22-2012, 07:51 PM
nei nei started this thread nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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A lot of posts here characterize suburbs, often rather overgeneralized. I'm curious what different posters experience with suburbs are. Did you grow up in a suburb? Live in one as an adult? Always have lived in the city?

As many of the regulars here have noticed, there's a big debate on what counts as a "suburb". If you think you lived in atypical suburb or one that was almost city or whatever reason think it's debatable whether it should count, post about it give a bit more explanation (if you want, of course).

I separated living in the suburbs as an adult and child in case that might effect one's perspective. Use 18 years old as the boundary, plus or minus a year. Check both if you've lived in the suburbs as an adult and as a child.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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I was born in one of the densest cities in the world, and I've lived in all sorts of places.

Where I live now is definitely suburban--but I know that there are areas in the region that's a lot more suburban.

I think I live in what many would considered an "inner-ring suburb."
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I grew up in a suburban-type neighborhood, though it was really considered "in town". But most of the town was basically suburban in all the stereotypical ways. Later, in the same town, I owned a house in a neighborhood that was built as a suburb just after WWII. But as the town grew it more or less enveloped the neighborhood so it didn't particularly "feel" suburban by the time I lived there. Granted, you still couldn't walk anywhere because there were no sidewalks and the traffic was horrible.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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Yeah, as a child and as an adult. Working class and pretty non-descript but everything was pretty walkable--libraries, grocery stores, fast food, restaurants. I know there were bars but I don't remember them since I didn't set foot in a dive til I was in my twenties. There was a little Italian joint with imported foods and salamis and stuff. I got pizza slices and cannolis there. The transit network was good, both local and regional. This was before Metrolink, which I would've been on all the time because the regional buses into L.A. were slooooooooow.

I walked to all my schools instead of taking the school bus. Dad's work was about 7 miles away. At the time there was no traffic on the freeways, but he'd take streets too. This was during the '70s aerospace heyday so the multi-nodal nature of employment clusters was a convenience. I don't think anyone in the entire area was too far from their job.

Conventional cultural amenities were few, that a child would notice anyway. The social homogeneity I kind of understand, ironically from TV shows mostly. We were about 50% white, 40% Latino (mostly Mexican, of course, but also Cubans and Salvadoreans, maybe others). Black, Asian (Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino), and Native American made up the rest. Of the whites I remember there were a lot of Dutch, because the area was dairy land even as I was growing up. We received the first and subsequent waves of Southeast Asian refugees starting in junior high. A lot of Middle Easterners also began arriving.

I guess the point is the suburbs I can personally attest to were never what they looked like on TV or the movies or in many books: those WASP-y contained places. I did visit places like that, so I sort of got it, and the trope has subsequently been ingrained if not experienced personally. To each his own experience, but those stereotypes just ain't mine.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I grew up in a suburb that was more like a self-contained small town; it was established originally as a company town in 1911, and grew from there. The last homes within the township limits were built in the 1970s. My parents' house was built in 1955.

As an adult, I've lived in small county seat towns about 25 miles out from Cleveland and Cincinnati respectively; it's 50/50 whether you'd consider them suburbs or not. Both houses I lived in were more than 100 years old and just a few blocks from the main drag. The town I live in now is similar (although my house isn't as old!), but located on the outskirts of town.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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I've lived in two suburbs (as an adult) that were their own towns before becoming part of the larger overall metro area. As a result, both have their own downtowns, cultural organizations, strong sense of local identity, lots of older homes, fairly small lot sizes, and a mix of different housing types. Both are relatively diverse and have decent public transportation options, and I have been able to live without a car. I briefly lived in what I consider to be a more "suburban" neighborhood within city limits -- almost all single family post-war houses (so small houses, small lots), not as much commercial activity, and the one bus came only every half hour. (the great irony there was that many residents chose it because they wanted to live IN the city; I think it was a compromise location for many couples where one person wanted to live in a more modern suburb and the other wanted to live in a more urban city neighborhood.) That city neighborhood was definitely more what I consider to be "suburban" than were either of the suburbs I've lived in. There's a huge range of suburb types, so I don't think my experiences are atypical. I have not, however, lived in the more modern subdivision style of suburb, although have visited friends and relatives who live in those types of areas. Those are the kind of place I envision when I hear people throwing around "suburban" without additional descriptions.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:45 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I grew up in a suburb of a steel mill town west of Pittsburgh. Beaver County, PA is (and was, I believe) part of the Pittsburgh MSA. Beaver Falls, PA seemed to me as a kid as more independent from Pittsburgh than what a "suburb" is supposed to be. In any event, I grew up in a small suburb of Beaver Falls. Although some people (you know who you are) say otherwise, it was a "bus" suburb with bus service to downtown BF. Ironically, we thought service every half hour was great service! Beaver Falls itself had lots of shopping and other services. Not so much any more, the steel bust did not treat BF kindly. The burbs seem to be doing OK, OTOH.

I have lived in Louisville, Colorado for 29 years. I've posted extensively about this place; I won't bore you with a lot more. Lsvl was an old coal mining town that started to grow in the late 1970s, when Boulder tried to limit growth by limiting building permits. The establishment of Storage Technology in Louisville (an IBM spin-off) in 1969 (I believe) helped "grow" Louisville as well. At its peak, Storage Tech had 5000 employees in Louisville. Louisville has an "old town" that has a downtown (mostly restaurants and little boutiques), and the city has kept city hall and the library there. It has a Kohl's dept. store, and some other shopping, e.g. grocery stores, a Hobby Lobby, lots of small stores, and other services such as a hospital, doctors, lawyers, accountants and so forth.

In all my years of living outside of large cities (BF about 30 mi. from Pgh, Lsvl about 25 from Denver), I have never lived in what some define as a "suburb".
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:38 AM
 
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Yes, as a child and as an adult.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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I would like to participate in this poll.
Could you please define "suburb".
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
A lot of posts here characterize suburbs, often rather overgeneralized. I'm curious what different posters experience with suburbs are. Did you grow up in a suburb? Live in one as an adult? Always have lived in the city?

As many of the regulars here have noticed, there's a big debate on what counts as a "suburb". If you think you lived in atypical suburb or one that was almost city or whatever reason think it's debatable whether it should count, post about it give a bit more explanation (if you want, of course).

I separated living in the suburbs as an adult and child in case that might effect one's perspective. Use 18 years old as the boundary, plus or minus a year. Check both if you've lived in the suburbs as an adult and as a child.
I've done all three... depending on who's definition of "suburb" we're using.
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