S P R A W L in Jersey

A fun (albeit slightly depressing) read from the Curator about life in the New Jersey suburbs includes the following:

The protagonist in Danielle Dutton’s novel S P R A W L says that the suburbs are a place of “apocalyptic foreboding.” We have seen the end of the world, and the end of the world is when all the earth has become suburbia.

There is hope, I think, in the realm of McMansions and manicured turf, the place where house cats are the leading predator. The place where sidewalks just decide to stop, as if to say why are you walking? These are the suburbs. Get in your car.

To which I respond by reminding people that — as the article does — that the problem with suburbs is that they are unwittingly designed around a life predicated on the automobile. Yes, McMansions, spaghetti-string streets and strip malls create some of their own issues, but most of suburbia’s blind philosophy relies on automobile.

Indeed, there is hope. There are people taking back the suburbs from the infestation of Hummers and fast food joints. There is community-supported agriculture on small lots. People are hiding chickens in their backyards. The number of people I see riding bicycles has tripled in the past year.

Read Thomas Turner’s Suburbs and Sprawl and Sidewalks! Oh My! via this link.

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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