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Why Does Hollywood Hate the Suburbs?
online.wsj.com ^ | 122708 | By LEE SIEGEL

Posted on 12/27/2008 5:53:20 AM PST by VU4G10

"Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: elitists; hollywood; suburbs
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"For embattled liberals, people leaving the cities for safer and cleaner outlying towns were racists and cowards who had no respect for shared public space."
1 posted on 12/27/2008 5:53:21 AM PST by VU4G10
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To: VU4G10

They didnt want to be any more “embattled” than they had to be.

“the suburbs were living refutation of the crumbling ethos that had guided the crime-ridden, decaying urban centers. For embattled liberals, people leaving the cities for safer and cleaner outlying towns were racists and cowards who had no respect for shared public space.”


2 posted on 12/27/2008 5:58:10 AM PST by Canedawg
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To: VU4G10

Having your population living within cities makes them easier to control.


3 posted on 12/27/2008 6:04:15 AM PST by Wildbill22
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To: VU4G10

Meh. Define ‘suburb’.

Tract housing makes me sick to my stomach. No individuality.


4 posted on 12/27/2008 6:05:55 AM PST by CE2949BB (MERRY CHRISTMAS!)
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To: VU4G10

Misery loves company.


5 posted on 12/27/2008 6:06:10 AM PST by Steely Tom (RKBA: last line of defense against vote fraud)
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To: Wildbill22

Which is why liberals hate cars and highways. Owners get to decide when and where to go. With public transportation, you go when and where THEY want you to go.


6 posted on 12/27/2008 6:08:22 AM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: VU4G10
I think this is one of the most brilliant analyses I've read in quite some time. Thank you for posting it.

From article: One of the most glaring ironies of American life is that, a quarter-century later, the cities have metamorphosed into the suburbs -- sans trees and grass. The cities' fabled diversity has devolved into global chain stores and the electrolyte-enhanced water bottle and the branded baseball cap have become the accessories of a universal comfort and conformity. In a social and cultural sea change, the cities' rented apartments, once the guarantor of diversity and fluid, exciting movement, have been converted into exclusive co-ops and condominiums. Yet as the cities have become a new type of suburb, suburb-phobia has become an ever more acceptable cultural attitude. The suburban person is considered too meek, too asphalt-challenged to inherit the earth. In the urban centers, on the other hand, desperate ambition makes bad manners respectable, and the chic of perverse taste covers up Philistine cluelessness. The decent, suburban person is regarded as contemptible because he has not learned to reach beyond his talents and pick life's pockets.

It really is about a conflict of visions. For the liberal, anal retentiveness in "categorizations" (aka: bean counting) is mandatory in order to never bother themselves with the messy stuff and parts of actual "living".

In a city, people have extra-marital affairs, and amid the sheer volume of people, this is unnoticeable unless the cuckolded spouse murders someone.

In suburbia, an extramarital affair is noticed, and amounts to "news". Social punishments and and rewards are meted out at the individual level. Not so, in a City.

Just one example out of many as to why the Elite Left despises suburbia. Their dishonor would be far too easily addressed in suburbia, and no headlines would make the news giving them a platform upon which to make an "easy" million.

7 posted on 12/27/2008 6:11:12 AM PST by Alia
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To: VU4G10

Suburbs and cars symbolize freedom and prosperity for the great unwashed. Can’t have that, thus saith liberalism.


8 posted on 12/27/2008 6:11:35 AM PST by Daveinyork
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To: VU4G10

It’s a farce. Go to any of the enclaves in Hamptons or Beverly Hills, East to West Coast and observe the Suburbanites in their splendid isolation and sincere imitation of Levitttown on Le Plus Grand Scale.

*Opus knows. That’s why it lives in Le Plus Wet Swamp.


9 posted on 12/27/2008 6:12:33 AM PST by OpusatFR (Neither Republican or Democrat. Monarchist with allegience to The Only One.)
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To: CE2949BB

As a country boy I agree with you on tract housing. However, to city dwellers those generic hive houses are a beautiful change from the environs of a city. Can’t say I blame them.


10 posted on 12/27/2008 6:14:04 AM PST by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: VU4G10

It’s not so much that they hate the suburbs as it is that they hate the middle class.


11 posted on 12/27/2008 6:14:32 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: VU4G10
One of the most glaring ironies of American life is that, a quarter-century later, the cities have metamorphosed into the suburbs -- sans trees and grass. The cities' fabled diversity has devolved into global chain stores and the electrolyte-enhanced water bottle and the branded baseball cap have become the accessories of a universal comfort and conformity. In a social and cultural sea change, the cities' rented apartments, once the guarantor of diversity and fluid, exciting movement, have been converted into exclusive co-ops and condominiums. Yet as the cities have become a new type of suburb, suburb-phobia has become an ever more acceptable cultural attitude.

I don't think they have metamorphosed at all. I think the city dwellers use those symbols (designer water, ball caps) as a form of escape from the city and its dangers. How many people actually walk around the streets of NY or LA and just enjoy the sounds and sights except for tourists?

There were two overarching reasons for condemning the suburbs, during the '50s and early '60s, as the most rotten locale in civilized life: class and money. Most of the people leaving the cities for the suburbs in the 1950s were tradespeople, modest businessmen, teachers and the like. They were, in other words, members of the middle-class, the impassioned rejection of which has been the chief rite de passage of the modern American artist and intellectual. With the growth of suburban towns, the liberal American intellectual now had a concrete geography to house his acute sense of outrage.

It's impossible to imagine if all, or most of those people had not left the cities. The overcrowding would be a petrie dish of crime, anger and disillusionment. Just look at the crowded cities of Russia, France and India. People need room.

12 posted on 12/27/2008 6:17:49 AM PST by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: VU4G10

With the mental instability (insanity) that is consistently shown by Hollywood, why would I care one whit what these deviants want???


13 posted on 12/27/2008 6:19:53 AM PST by PORD (People...Of Right Do)
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To: VU4G10

I prefer rural farmland or wooded spaces to soulless cities or overpacked suburbs.


14 posted on 12/27/2008 6:22:40 AM PST by MichiganConservative (You are a slave. The government is your owner and master. For many slaves, it is also their god.)
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To: VU4G10

From a business model perspective, why does Hollywood continue to make movies that tank at the box office? Saw “Australia” a few weeks ago, the first movie I have seen in a theatre in years. What a piece of crapola!


15 posted on 12/27/2008 6:23:41 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: VU4G10
RATS hate them because they know they have NONE of the required skills/talents to live on their own.

NONE of them could do the home/yard/car maintenance/repair/driving required to make it outside the city... and the know it, and hate you for it, and being able to live life on your own terms.

16 posted on 12/27/2008 6:24:01 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist -)
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To: raybbr
People need room.

that sums it up nicely.

I'll add that in the liberal inner city, people believe that what's mine is theirs and have no qualms about taking that which their neighbor has earned. In the suburbs, or at least where I live, we still believe in property rights and will use deadly force if necessary to defend our castles.

17 posted on 12/27/2008 6:24:44 AM PST by meyer (We are all John Galt)
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To: VU4G10
It is well past time for the suburbs to learn to hate Hollywood back-- by boycotting all but the rare first run movie (usually by a non-establishment film maker) which doesn't mock American values. Let's see just how well Hollywood thrives on first run ticket sales and rentals outside suburbs and rural areas.
18 posted on 12/27/2008 6:26:01 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: VU4G10

Let’s take a survey of these losers in Hollyweird who look down upon us.

Does anyone really think that Brittney Spears has found happiness after chasing off her husband and her kids with her addictions?

Will Angelina finally find lasting happiness with Brad, who is just a number in a long string of failed relationships?

Will Tom Cruise find happiness in creating the perfect Scientiology wife?

Does Oprah really have anything going for herself besides boatloads of money? She has a pacified ‘kept man’ for marginal companionship and is still looking for something else in life.

Most of the big-name stars are losers. What’s striking when you watch ‘MTV Cribs’ or the old ‘Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous’ is how utterly lonely these people are. They have no real friends, most have party friends and employees but no friends. They have no one to hang out with in their mansions because they are such big losers no one wants to hang out with them.

Few people in Hollyweird have successful lives, with friends, family, and good relationships that give their lives meaning. Maybe that’s whey despise people in the middle class and go after the trendy causes like Enviromentalism.

I don’t know why they have been elevated to such a position in our culture. All throughout history actors have been considered pretty much the dregs of society.


19 posted on 12/27/2008 6:29:21 AM PST by webstersII
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To: VU4G10

Everyone hates the suburbs. That’s why no one lives in them and they’re all shrinking. /sarc


20 posted on 12/27/2008 6:31:07 AM PST by ReagansShinyHair
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To: VU4G10

Liberals may not like the burbs but they sure do love their exclusive gated communities.


21 posted on 12/27/2008 6:35:20 AM PST by cowboyway ("The beauty of the Second Amendment is you won't need it until they try to take it away"--Jefferson)
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To: VU4G10

and he sums it all up nicely with:
“But, then, Hollywood is the most illusion-soaked, soul-hardened and materialistic suburb in the world.”


22 posted on 12/27/2008 6:38:11 AM PST by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie)
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To: VU4G10

If the Liberals stopped screwing up the cities, more reasonable people might choose to live there. But living in the city is just a pain because of all of the Liberal programs.

You can’t rent an apartment in a place you like because most of the people are locked into rent-control deals and can’t move. So people never move up the real estate ladder, and entry-level apartments are scarce.

You can’t walk the streets because the police are not permitted to roust out the bums or to break up the groups of marauding kids, because that would be an infringement on their civil liberties, don’tcha know.

You can’t go for a drive because it costs an arm and a leg in tax just to park your car.

You can’t ride the subway because you are forbidden to carry a gun to protect yourself and the police don’t particularly want to ride the subway, even with guns.


23 posted on 12/27/2008 6:38:25 AM PST by gridlock (QUESTION AUTHORITY)
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To: VU4G10
Because if something has any semblance of normalcy, any tint of the mainstream, Hollywood will make a cheap attack on it and proudly proclaim they're OMG TEH KEWL REBELS giving the middle finger to THE MAN. Then they'll go back to their mansions, surrounded by security guards, and sneak some lobster and filet mignon in their fancily but not tastefully decorated dining rooms, but not before prominently dropping boxes marked "Tofu" into their recycling bins for the benefit of the paparazzi. And when it comes time to make a movie you can be sure that the hero or heroine will shoot a lot of bad guys and play with the guns as if they're some sort of cool toy, then give a sanctimonious and condescending interview with one of the endless number of leftist "entertainment" magazines where they proclaim that guns should be banned when it comes to the peons. And then...

Oh.

/rant over

24 posted on 12/27/2008 6:38:36 AM PST by JillValentine (Being a feminist is all about being a victim. Being an armed woman is all about not being a victim.)
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To: VU4G10

Despite what people on this thread say, I’ve found that to my adventures to the suburbs left me with the conclusion that they’re not these bastions of individuality, but rather, they’re bastions of just a mutated form of collectivism which hides behind social conservatism (Which in its purest form, recognizes that people are different and is tolerant towards others differences but prefers traditional values). Everybody in the suburbs I visited had to do things a certain way and drive cars that look just like each other.

If you drove an art car or god forbid, you decided to commute to town using a bicycle or a motorbike instead of a car, you’re seen as some sort of pariah amongst your neighbors. Even though the politics of the people in the city are screwed up, people aren’t afraid to be individuals in the city. That’s something that’s sorely lacking in the burbs. It’s just a shame that their social individualism doesn’t match with their economic individualism.


25 posted on 12/27/2008 6:44:21 AM PST by TypeZoNegative (Pro life & Vegan because I respect all life, Republican because our enemies don't respect ours.)
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To: Brilliant
It’s not so much that they hate the suburbs as it is that they hate the middle class.

You're right again! And they hate our values too...

26 posted on 12/27/2008 6:47:14 AM PST by GOPJ (GM's market value is a third of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Why is GM "too big to fail"? Steyn)
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To: VU4G10

Suburbs represented the success of capitalism. So liberals hate them. There, that was simple.


27 posted on 12/27/2008 6:47:44 AM PST by A_perfect_lady (History repeats itself because human nature is static.)
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To: Brilliant

Bingo. The Left hates the middle class, or “bourgeoisie”, as Marxist snobs call them. Also, the suburbs are full of people with stable marriages and loved children, people who attend church and have a lifestyle which is the antithesis of that of the libertine Leftist elite and the criminal urban underclass.


28 posted on 12/27/2008 6:48:49 AM PST by hellbender
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To: VU4G10
Hmmm, as one of the few city dwellers who will venture into these waters, this analysis is very good. The suburbs are all about the American dream. The liberals want that to go away. I like the energy and the soul in the city, but it's not for everyone. You can also hide in the city, be a good conservative, dress quite modestly, go to church daily and no one notices. No one calls you out for not conforming, walking to the library or the coffee shop or church is absolutely normal. I would argue that the "conforming" in the city described in the article is more of an attempt to be cool than anything else. Talk about no imagination and not forging your own path.

It could just be that living in one of the few cities that has trees and truly beautiful architecture that is both preserved and currently being REALLY restored, the soul of the city just shines. We all have our problems with various vagrants, but you learn to deal with it. Even those of us who are conservative like to have beauty around us. The other point that the author does not make is that there are a number of smaller municipalities adjacent to city lines that have all the advantages of living in the city with better road repair. I admit to sleeping in one such place, but it's still considered city by suburbanites who think a trip to the main drag's various eclectic shops is something exotic.

29 posted on 12/27/2008 6:54:00 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: CE2949BB
Tract housing makes me sick to my stomach. No individuality.

Agreed.

30 posted on 12/27/2008 6:54:41 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: CE2949BB

You try living in an apartment with nine children, IF you can get anyone to rent you one. Aesthetes can vomit themselves to death, for all I care.


31 posted on 12/27/2008 6:55:38 AM PST by Tax-chick ("And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day." (Is. 2)
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To: CE2949BB

Yeah, Levitown is really the beginning of liberal hatred of suburbs, and that was kind of legitimate. But they haven’t gotten over it, there’s plenty of suburb out there that isn’t ticky-tacky houses.


32 posted on 12/27/2008 6:58:34 AM PST by dilvish
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To: A_perfect_lady
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
33 posted on 12/27/2008 7:03:21 AM PST by VU4G10
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To: CE2949BB

You prefer identical boxes stacked on top of each other in high-rises?


34 posted on 12/27/2008 7:03:23 AM PST by expatpat
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To: VU4G10; All

I will be skipping this movie.

Especially after seeing the truly ingenius film, “Slumdog Millionaire”, which leaves you SO GRATEFUL for America!


35 posted on 12/27/2008 7:04:21 AM PST by b9
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To: abb

There was one thread a lot time ago where Freepers responded to some liberal pinhead’s rant on suburban city planning. As I recall he wanted planners to do away with culs-de-sac because his opinion was that it allowed people to isolate themselves from society.

As usual, the liberal operates to control or limit people and their choices. You can bet if they could get away with it they would have us drive electric cars with a short range. Good for keeping the masses in one place.


36 posted on 12/27/2008 7:06:30 AM PST by Crolis (Kill your television!)
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To: CE2949BB
Tract housing makes me sick to my stomach. No individuality.

Urban row houses, town houses and brown stones, which we find charming today, were all 18th and 19th century forms of 20th century suburban tract homes. It's all relative.

37 posted on 12/27/2008 7:07:33 AM PST by FrdmLvr (What fresh hell is this?)
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To: expatpat
You prefer identical boxes stacked on top of each other in high-rises?

Nope. Dislike apartments, too. I grew up in 'em.

Apartments don't pretend to represent individuality. A home does. At least, it should.

38 posted on 12/27/2008 7:07:39 AM PST by CE2949BB (MERRY CHRISTMAS!)
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To: TypeZoNegative
I have not experienced what you describe.

Born and raised in close-in Atlanta suburbs, lived in a small town in NJ, then in midtown Atlanta (actually Virginia Highlands/Virginia-Briarcliff), then in NW urban Atlanta, then in an older suburb just outside the city.

Never have experienced any of this supposed anomie and pressure to conform, unless you count when I lived in Princeton NJ on an all-Italian street and the little old black-clad widows used to glower at me because I wasn't going to Mass on Sunday morning (hey, I wasn't Catholic then!)

Where you are is what you make of it. We are screaming nonconformists, and nobody in our current VERY suburban neighborhood (first platted in 1970) has ever raised a fuss. We drive weird cars, build strange projects in the driveway, train dogs in the yard, etc. We have FIVE (count 'em! FIVE) amateur radio antennas sprouting amongst the trees in the back yard. One of our neighbors has a Harley. Another one collects cars. Another one is a woodworker (his shop spills out all over his driveway) and makes the most beautiful hand-turned bowls you ever saw.

We want to move out to the country because I need more room for my horses and my dogs, but I will really hate to leave my neighbors.

39 posted on 12/27/2008 7:12:41 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: VU4G10
"For embattled liberals, people leaving the cities for safer and cleaner outlying towns were racists and cowards who had no respect for shared public space."

They are still sure their Great Society would have worked, if only those damned racist cowards had stayed in the cities and kept paying their taxes. ;)

40 posted on 12/27/2008 7:13:34 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word." -- Robert Heinlein)
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To: VU4G10

bump for later read.


41 posted on 12/27/2008 7:20:09 AM PST by randog (Hope is a bad business plan.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

My boring suburb is full of interesting people, too. Yes, all the houses are pretty much alike on the outside, but so what? Only liberals define people by the house they live in, and not who they are, what their interests are, and how they contribute to the community.

People who used to live in apartments, or trailers, or Eritrea or Russia or Ecuador, or those sophisticated and individualistic cities in the north where they had to barricade themselves in their houses, are mighty glad to be living here instead.


42 posted on 12/27/2008 7:20:25 AM PST by Tax-chick ("And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day." (Is. 2)
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To: VU4G10
Though I had no plans to see this movie, I still learned all I needed to know about it when I heard a review of it on NPR (they panned it, BTW, how bad must it suck if NPR thinks it's overwrought?) in which they played a clip of the DiCaprio character telling his wife (during a flashback to their early days as a couple) that they should live in Paris, because "the people are alive there. Not like here [the U.S.]."

Oh...and the reason there's Oscar talk about this movie? The wife tries to abort their child herself, bleeds out and dies. A couple move out to the 'burbs in the bad ol' 50s, have "conformity" steal their souls and keep them from going to Paris, and the wife dies because abortion is illegal. It's hard to imagine a movie Hollywood would like more, unless it featured George W. Bush traveling back in time in his flight suit to waterboard them.

43 posted on 12/27/2008 7:24:56 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Only a hippopotamus will do!)
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To: Tax-chick
You're exactly right. It's the people who matter.

Although I like having some dirt to put plants in -- I have trouble with that in an urban environment. When we lived in midtown in a little apartment, my rickety balcony nearly collapsed from the weight of all the flowerpots.

The downside of moving to the country will be that I will have to purchase a tractor to mow the front yard. Either that, or leave it in woodlands. Which will mean woodlot management (something we had to do when we had 1 1/2 acres of woods in the middle of urban Atlanta -- that's a long story, we fell into the opportunity).

44 posted on 12/27/2008 7:26:13 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: Crolis
Whenever the subject of suburbia comes up, this song comes to mind.

Pleasant Valley Sunday

45 posted on 12/27/2008 7:27:37 AM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: AnAmericanMother

Well, complications keep life interesting! We have gardens front and back, with mixed results ... only so much you can do with habanero peppers and Japanese eggplant. This year, unidentifiable stuff (and giant sunflowers) came up from seeds that fell out of the bird feeder.

I’d like to move to the country, but it’s never worked out that way. Someday ... 2030? ... all the kids will leave home, and we can get a tiny house and keep a dozen outdoor cats. Or maybe the Ares Colony will be ready by then.


46 posted on 12/27/2008 7:35:37 AM PST by Tax-chick (You exist, okay? YOU EXIST! Now stop talking to me!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
The wife tries to abort their child herself, bleeds out and dies.

Why?

47 posted on 12/27/2008 7:39:32 AM PST by Tax-chick (You exist, okay? YOU EXIST! Now stop talking to me!)
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To: Tax-chick
Eggplant Parmigiana?

We have very little sun at our current location -- old suburb = Very Large Trees and Lots of Shade -- so I'm limited to ferns, hostas, shade-loving flowers, azaleas & rhododendrons, and so forth. My one patch of good sun is given over to my herb garden - gotta have those to cook with.

48 posted on 12/27/2008 7:41:00 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother; Tax-chick
Why do people think that city living is all apartments? In this city, anyway, there's plenty of houses. I guess New York and Los Angeles are what people think of when they think "city" but there are plenty of others. It just depends on where you are an what you are looking for.

Another part of where to live is driving distances to what you do. Everything I do is in the city, and a lot of it is downtown. Unless I go shopping, this is as far west as I ever go. And right now, the main highway is closed, so getting into the city is a lot easier than getting out to the county.

49 posted on 12/27/2008 7:41:26 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: TypeZoNegative

What’s an “art car”?


50 posted on 12/27/2008 7:41:36 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -C.S. Lewis)
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