sprawl

 

i grew up in the suburbs. it was the 90s but they were not unlike the vast tracts of cookie cutter cutter homes with half built roads and empty parks found in films like e.t. and goonies. my brothers and sister and i would ride through the streets on our bikes till sundown, hailing the local ice cream man or sometimes daring to cross a minor intersection for slurpees and now n' laters. sometimes the local high school hooligans would skateboard on our street but school was only a block away. life was pretty simple, and in retrospect, pretty wonderful.

years later, for college i drove about 30 minutes west and landed in the middle of the city. over time i became a city slicker of sorts and grew to detest the long commutes and stepford vibe which to me personify nearly all the suburbs of los angeles. the ubiquitous yellow and blue blockbuster outlets and stucco churches peppering every other block seemed tiresome and excessive.

but lately, i think i may have been a little unfair. perhaps there is some middle ground to be found- a simultaneously epic and finite quality that is unique to thousands of homes that lay neatly side by side as far as the eye can see. a certain comfort in the knowability of the landscape. the wide intersections, with distinct lefthand turning lanes and strip malls for every need. the relief of ample, free parking and the damn convenient nature of it all...