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My Bi-Annual Suburban Pillgrimage

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Mark Strage

I have never lived in the suburbs. I don’t drive. I love New York way too much to ever change either of these two things. However, I do make bi-annual pilgrimages to my aunt and uncle’s house in Larchmont, New York. Despite my agnostic, nonreligious Jewish upbringing I celebrate Christmas and Easter there every year. My journey always begins on my …

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Sterile Spaces

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Parissah Lin

In all my cultural imagination of “the suburbs”—TV sitcoms, the era of LIFE magazine, eerie forewarning thrillers, or songs—the only consistent word which comes to mind is “sterile”. “Safe”, “Clean”, “Family Oriented”, are all built in concepts when speaking of the rise of massive, sprawling, planned communities which took rise in the US beginning after WWII. That was the goal: …

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Suburbs: A Socially Constructed Nightmare

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Amy

When I think about suburbia I think about cars and how cars and highways are the life-blood of urban sprawl. Cars and highways make suburbs appealing for people who are chasing the quintessential American Dream, but when they arrive in the suburb they realize that the places hardly embody the American Dream that was marketed to them. J. Waldie’s memoir …

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Unplanned Geography

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Zoe Zachary

When James Kunstler talks about Lebanon, New Hampshire, he could just as well be talking about Brookline, Massachusetts. Brookline is a suburb in the sense that it is removed from the city. It’s a Very Nice New England Town in the sense that upper middle class anywhere else is lower middle class here. My friends used to joke that the air literally …

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Valley “Suburbia”

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Lindsey Chan

Although Los Angeles is technically a metropolitan city, it functions a lot more like a suburb than New York. Los Angeles is vast, spread out over a long stretch of land with varying landscapes. On one end you have the ocean, and on the other end downtown. Each neighborhood has a different demographic and layout. I grew up in Studio …

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This Suburb Could Be Your Life.

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Andrew Karpan

Call me blessed. There were people living above the shops on my main street, a peculiarly  omnipresent situation that I had never really paid much mind to until Mr. Kunstler chose to romanticize no less than three times (“affordable housing!”) in the chapter of Geography of Nowhere where he details and pities the decline of Sarasota, New York. A neat …

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The city is also home

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Moi Nihalani

I have never lived in a suburb, let alone an American suburb, so I don’t have a point of reference of my own to explore my thoughts and feelings on the way of living in suburbs. However, the points of reference I do have are films I liked such as The Truman Show, Revolutionary Road, and American Beauty, novels set …

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A Loss of Character

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Prof

I moved to the small town of Bastrop, TX in 3rd grade. My family decided on the Most Historic Small Town in Texas some 30 miles outside of Austin, TX for its quiet setting and strategic location between Austin and Houston (some 130 miles away). Having just left the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, the Lost Pines and the cool waters of …

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Suburban California

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Kahala Bonsignore

My experience growing up in a southern California suburban neighborhood can be summarized in a single word: waiting—waiting for the time to pass; waiting for the next life milestone; waiting on my parents to drive me somewhere or another; waiting in traffic.  Kunstler said it: most of his friends that he would visit in Long Island sat around doing nothing, …

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The Apology of Nowhere

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Jacob Ford

In 2011, the underground heroes and/or soulless sellouts known as Arcade Fire released The Suburbs. Lead singer Win Butler told us the album was “neither a love letter to, nor an indictment of, the suburbs – it’s a letter from the suburbs.” This is a letter from the development behind James Howard Kunstler’s back yard. I’m called Country Estates because that’s what I destroyed. …

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Building and Time

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Maia Smillie

I found Robert Shultz’ text on Levittown particularly interesting, as well as the text “The Geography of Nowhere”, by James Howard Kunstler. These two texts seemed particularly relevant as they discuss the idea of the home and how this has changed with the growth and development of Suburbia. I have always found this to be a really intriguing topic as …

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Somewhere In Between

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Henry Choa

“The town itself was secondary to the experience of the town,” writes Kunstler in The Geography of Nowhere, about his time spent in the suburbs as a child. This notion of ranking experience over physical space, the mental over the material, is something that I’m always giving thought to. I’m a very nostalgic person, and so it’s a way to …

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From Suburb to Suburb

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Lauren Siff

I grew up in the typical South Florida gated community. There were only about five models of houses around the neighborhood and nearly every street looked exactly the same. Next to my neighborhood was a park, where my brother would play baseball on the weekends – the parking lot where I first learned how to drive adjacent to one of …

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Long Island’s Changing Landscape

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Cayla Delardi

I grew up on Long Island in the moderately sized, centrally located suburb of Hicksville. Hicksville is the northerly neighbor to Levittown, which Dolores Hayden describes as a mass-produced suburb sprung from potato farms after World War II.  Known for the uniformity and low-cost designs of its homes, Levittown became the archetype for many future suburbs. When I was a …

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Suburban Order

In A Sense of Place, Suburbia by Jaisal Kapoor

Last year I visited one of my close friends who lives in the north of Stamford, Connecticut. We drove up to her house on a wide, winding road completely surrounded by trees. I remember feeling as if I were in a forest, but catching a few glimpses of houses behind some foliage every now and then. When we arrived at …