Saturday, March 29, 2008
Not only is this what I see out the window of the Hampton Inn here where I am staying for work, but this afternoon on a four mile run out the door, I can't say I saw anything that looked significantly different. The tiny bit of this town I'm seeing seems to consist entirely of parking lots, chain eateries, and big box franchise stores.
Yes, I did go far enough to glimpse some "townhouse"-like housing developments newly occupied or under construction. But these, too, look pretty much all the same. I realized looking at them is that houses painted different colors are a mark of older neighborhoods in which people have had time to put their stamps on buildings that may once all have looked pretty similar. The "little boxes on the hillside" in Malvina Reynolds' song about Daly City, California have aged into quirky individuality after fifty or so years. Will this mid-American sprawl ever do the same?
It would be hard to find nicer, more down to earth, folks than the locals I've been working with for the last couple of days. In one of our "icebreaker" exercises, a few unhesitatingly identified as "socialists," whatever that means out here in the 'burbs.
A brief visit to sprawl-ville is broadening for a city girl like me.