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The Urban, Cosmopolitan, Elitist/Middle American Divide - Page 8

post #106 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseJB View Post
And what happens at 5pm when they all leave the city?

Who cares? Somehow I feel that the quality of life and desires of those people that don't want to live in a sardine can are more important than the 'life' of the city.
post #107 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseJB View Post
And what happens at 5pm when they all leave the city?

Why do I feel you rather missed the point? Would the city be better off if it had no doctors? No engineers? No accountants? Think on that a little before you answer.

And who says they all leave at 5? If the city has venues that attract them, they will stay. Theatre, concerts, sporting events, restaurants, etc. Even grups like to have fun.
post #108 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
Yes, they hated those "bridge and tunnel" Assyrians.

Missed this one.

Very witty.
post #109 of 117
Thread Starter 
No, I see your point.

But the way I see it is that when the entire middle class abandons its core cities for the suburbs, theres a problem. Even if they spend all day in the city for work or entertainment. They still leave. Thats how we lost our inner city schools, why many of our financial districts become ghost towns after 6, how we further alienated the poor and thats how crime took over our urban centers. (these things are improving over time of course...this isnt the 70's anymore)
post #110 of 117
^^^^ I think that the problem you are running into is that there is no reason for the middle class to stay in the cities if the cities do not provide them with the life they prefer. A city is inanimate, and nobody owes anything to it simply because it is a city. When, like in the 70s, city governments enact laws that make life in the city less palatable to a group of people, for good reason or bad, then there is no reason for them not to leave. Cities are simply the people who live in them, and when people leave, perhaps the city becomes less, but society as a whole does not. The city can feel no pain, while each individual in society can, so it is incumbent on the individual to make the choice that offers him less pain, or greater pleasure. The fact that other people might feel pain, not as a direct result of his action, but as an indirect result greatly removed, should not factor much into his decision making.
post #111 of 117
Do you feel that the decline of a large city doesn't impact a society? I think it does in some ways especially in the context of contemporary suburbia, which more or less is a dull environment, generally speaking. There is a lack of community as previously seen in vibrant city neighborhoods, cities within cities if you will. And aside from the issue of aesthetics, I think that there is a compromise in choice since there is a distinct kind of demographic that is expected once in a suburb--not a very distinguished market if you will although the more affluent places will probably have something like a Whole Foods or a Draeger's, but one can only take sanitized gourmet foods so much.
post #112 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
Do you feel that the decline of a large city doesn't impact a society? I think it does in some ways especially in the context of contemporary suburbia, which more or less is a dull environment, generally speaking. There is a lack of community as previously seen in vibrant city neighborhoods, cities within cities if you will. And aside from the issue of aesthetics, I think that there is a compromise in choice since there is a distinct kind of demographic that is expected once in a suburb--not a very distinguished market if you will although the more affluent places will probably have something like a Whole Foods or a Draeger's, but one can only take sanitized gourmet foods so much.
I am just saying that there is give and take with everything. Look at the Bay Area, you could live in a suburb, Berkeley, and be easily accepted if you were weird, artistic or whatever. You could live in a city, San Jose, in which you would find no cultural stimulation. You could live in a city, San Francisco, in which you are a social pariah if you do not subscribe the accepted beliefs. You could live in a suburb, Palo Alto, and be in the midst of what is likely the greatest center of intellectual achievement in the US right now. You could also live in a suburb, Daly City, which offers little intellectual or cultural interest. The best theater company is in Berkeley, a suburb. The best restaurants are in Napa and Healdsburg. The worst architecture may be in San Jose and San Francisco. There are no bright lines like people would like to believe.
post #113 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Interesting thread. Interesting too, to see who is looking for some sort of tolerance for each setting, and who is supercilious/derogatory/aloof/etc. about people that live in settings other than their preferred one.

I grew up small town/rural. I liked it but soon realized the horizons of folks were limited. I eventually ended up in a large rust belt city, and figured out many of those folks have even more limited horizons! Of course, there was the party scene, both open and underground, which was great for that time in my life.

I think many people change settings through their life span. I am in an MSA that cracks the Top 50 now, has a major university, and a fairly diverse ethnic make up. I guess I live in what would be called the 'burbs for this city, albiet it is far from the ant hills Augusto has posted. I refer to this MSA as the lowest level of civilization I am willing to accept. It fits my current lifestyle needs perfectly.

As to the 'burbs "sucking the life" out of cities? Every morning on my 25 minute commute, I see people just like me, headed into the city. I see upper managers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, all driving into their city place of business. So what would happen if these "life suckers" went away?

Is this divide created by the media? No, I think it has existed since Sumaria.


P, is it weird that as soon as I read the first post of this I thought "paging Piobaire, Piobaire to the general chat please."
post #114 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium180 View Post
Here's one well written book about the subject by a noted American sociologist:



Anybody read it?

As a matter of fact I have, along with William Henry's In Defense of Elitism and Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses -- you could say I am a huge nerd.

The division of rural, suburban, and urban is useful, if necessarily imprecise. I myself am a product of a rural father and urban mother (insofar as Maritime Canada can be characterized as urban). When I was young, I felt the pull of urban Toronto very strongly, and spent most of my leisure time there. Now, however, as the father of two young children I am a committed suburbanite -- since I grew up in suburbia, perhaps I feel that this is a "normal" place to bring up children.

When I get older, and my children have fled to lives of their own, will my attitude change once again? It is a distinct possibility -- in fact, if the pattern of growth and population intensification of my current surroundings should continue to trend, over time what is now suburban may in fact become urban. This may or may not remain congenial to me, but that is a distinctly personal reaction.

To claim that one or the other locale is inherently superior or inferior is arrant nonsense. This, naturally, will not prevent certain posters on this forum from claiming otherwise -- but that is more a comment on their own ignorance than anything else.
post #115 of 117
^ eg1, are you admitting to being 1/2 Newfie?
post #116 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I am just saying that there is give and take with everything. Look at the Bay Area, you could live in a suburb, Berkeley, and be easily accepted if you were weird, artistic or whatever. You could live in a city, San Jose, in which you would find no cultural stimulation. You could live in a city, San Francisco, in which you are a social pariah if you do not subscribe the accepted beliefs. You could live in a suburb, Palo Alto, and be in the midst of what is likely the greatest center of intellectual achievement in the US right now. You could also live in a suburb, Daly City, which offers little intellectual or cultural interest. The best theater company is in Berkeley, a suburb. The best restaurants are in Napa and Healdsburg. The worst architecture may be in San Jose and San Francisco.

There are no bright lines like people would like to believe.

It's worth noting, though, that some of the suburbs you mention (like Berkeley) are much more urban in feel and design than, say, the San Fernando Valley, or hell, Walnut Creek. Though this doesn't actually work against your point, of course--not all suburbs are created equal, to the point where simply using the word "suburb" to describe a place doesn't really tell you much at all about it.
post #117 of 117
I agree with saucemaster about the word "suburb". It isn't a great descriptor. If you take the example that iammatt uses, the bay area, would you consider san jose a suburb of san francisco? its 60 miles away and has a population larger than san francisco. I would disagree that there is no cultural stimulation. there are huge ethnic communities here as there are HUGE Vietnamese, Indian and Latino populations there. Maybe lacking in art, but not culture. is it a suburb because much of it is master planned? because population is not as dense as SF?

Is Oakland a suburb of SF? it's closer to SF than San Jose, but it is older and not master planned. It also has strong ethnic communities, but many tend to be middle and lower middle class.

I think what this all boils down to is that people tend to be with like minded people. and people in similar situations, with like minds, tend to find similar solutions.
The population in the urban area's of cities tend to more creative and are driven buy the satisficaton of thier soul. They are willing to do this at the sacrifice of other parts of their life.

The people in suburban areas are striving for more..... they want to live like the more elite class, but be able to do it on their current budget. More house, more safety, more cars... just more. In order to do this they may have to move into suburban areas. I can, for example, move 20 minutes from my current residence and double the square footage of my house. I would be moving into the suburbs, but I will be getting more for less. I also couldn't buy a house in the "HOOD" in SF for this same amount of money. more for less is what has driven much of this and this is the class that is in the suburbs.

I was born and raised in san francisco, but may never be able to afford to buy a house to move back to the city. This is not an uncommon situation and in the bay area, at least, this is what is driving, much of the movement to the suburbs.

Maybe the suburbs are the H&M and forever 21 of living and the urban centers are Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf?

Sorry for the long first post.... just a very interesting subject and commentary on todays society
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