Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Suburbianism

Suburbianism is a serious disease. Ask your city planner about whether beige is really right for you…

That’s right, there is a silent plague spreading across all of the country. At first you may not notice it but eventually, when entire areas start to look the same and you notice an increasingly large amount of pastel beige colors, you’ll realize that you have suburbianism.

What is suburbianism? Quite simply it’s the spread of suburbs that are identical to one another in every way. If unchecked, suburbianism threatens to link every single city into one mass common landscape.

What are the symptoms?

At first it’s usually model homes. These will go up and be anywhere from three to four slight variations of housing styles and all in pastel colors. The particularly nasty versions will be entirely beige.

Then, strip malls will appear. While these lull you into a convenience stupor, over time you will realize that they are all exactly the same: Grocery store, nail place, hair place, Subway, Pizza place, Mailbox Etc. type place. Forget the local restaurant, they’ll all be chains. Forget the antique store, flea market, barber shop and boutique; they won’t be there. They can’t. The lease space is too high.

You see, authenticism, originality, creativity are all at stake here. No one is safe. In the future, it will be almost impossible to get from point A to point B through mere visual identification. No, you will have to rely either on memorization of streets or on a GPS navigation system.

“It was terrible…I thought it was my neighborhood store, but everyone looked different. Some of the food items had been moved. I got very confused. I had to actually sit down and have a double expresso at the Starbucks in the store.” recalls a blue collar worker that got lost on the outskirts of his town.

Don't let this disease happen to your area. Ask your city planner what you can do to relieve the symptoms and provide a cure.

11 comments:

Theresa said...

Oooh, that's starting to happen here too. It's an unrelenting plague that's overtaking the world.

iamnot said...

In every one of those homes there is at least one "rugged individualist" that hates the idea of suburbia.
On the other hand, the need to feed and clothe one's family, in some sort of proximity to work and decent schools, tends to be an overriding concern.

VE said...

theresa - Oh no. I always think of Europe as having avoided that plague somehow.

iamnot - It's not so much the notion of decent schools and a home; it's the cookie cutter approach of developers and unoriginal/homogenous aspect of that sprawl that bothers me. San Francisco has a very differnet feel to it than, say, LA and for a reason. If you replace that kind of thing with the cookie cutter; well, nothing is any different than anything else.

Matt-Man said...

I was trying to think of something funny to write about this as I am in the midst of this world myself, but it just isn't funny.

The Monkees were seers..."Another Pleasant Valley Sunday." Everything is the same. Cheers VE!!

Kurt said...

Suddenly I want a Subway sandwich.

Marie said...

Looks like the neighborhood in Edward Scissorhands. My neighborhood is similar, except it's all pueblo style 4-plexes you can't tell apart.

Marie said...

Looks like the neighborhood in Edward Scissorhands. My neighborhood is similar, except it's all pueblo style 4-plexes you can't tell apart.

Serena Joy said...

I really, really dislike beige. Suburbia would be so much nicer if they'd make uniqueness a rule and colorize everything.:)

justacoolcat said...

Agreed! Tear it all down and build giant skyscrapers.

Uncivil said...

And this crap always starts on the side of town with the most money?

BrentD said...

Isn't there something you can prescribe for me to help prevent the spread of Beige City Syndrome?