"Interesting" - July 20, 2005

I didn't take this last night on that first trip in months. Some of that stuff will be making it up shortly.

This is a photo I took about two hours ago. I had been meaning to photograph this for weeks having seen it from the window of the car driving through Wellesley. I almost never see anything interesting in Wellesley. It's a picturesque enough town. But it's too picturesque to be interesting to me. I don't know how old the buildings are, but they seem new. They're all so well maintained.

There are those I know who rail against "suburbia." At least one person I know makes a habit of it despite being fairly well destined to end up there. It's alright to do that -- rail against its "soullessness" etc. -- as long as if you're destined to end up there, you recognize how lucky you are to even have that choice in the grand scheme of things. Perspective is very important.

As a denizen of suburbia, though, I have to say that aesthetically, it does truly bore me. Everything is so clean and tidy. Orderly. Planned. Formal. Nothing ever really surprises me. So to see this sign in the affluent suburb of Wellesley was a real find.


I won't say this correctly, but what you say about suburbia being boring goes far beyond just a sense of ennui in living. I lived in suburbia most of my life. I have also had some experience in real rural areas and in urban settings. What is truly missing in suburbia, in my opinion, is a sense of community, of being a part of something else, of having a cnnection to the people you see in the stores or one the sidewalks (sidewalks? what are they?). My life went to hell a few years back in large part due to those very issues -- no real friends to turn to for support so I lost touch with who I was and what I was doing.

Great book from a few years back The Geography of Nowhere by James Kunstler presents a interesting overview of how suburbia has undermined our landscapes and our civil interactions.

Posted by: Bob on July 21, 2005 07:37 AM

Yes indeed. It's a reality I've considered many times. Were it not for the fact that I'm now married, I suspect I wouldn't be able to bear it. Which is not to say that when I was living in Somerville, there was any overwhelming sense of community. But at least it didn't feel quite so lonely.

Kind of a sad state of affairs.

Posted by: Tom on July 21, 2005 08:03 PM

Very interesting sign indeed! Great shot!

Posted by: Kim on July 21, 2005 08:17 PM