Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Geography of Nowhere: Teens and Suburbia


I'm reading The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (1993) by James Howard Kunstler. It's a delightful little book. Early on Kunstler talks about visiting his childhood friends in the suburbs of New York City as a teenager.

"I visited my chums back on Long Island from time to time and I did not envy their lot in life. By puberty, they had entered a kind of coma. There was so little for them to do in Northwood, and hardly any worthwhile destination reachable by bike or foot, for now all the surrounding territory was composed of similar one-dimensional housing developments punctuated at intervals by equally boring shopping plazas. Since they had no public gathering places, teens congregated in furtive little holes--bedrooms and basements--to smoke pot and imitate the rock and roll bands who played on the radio. Otherwise, teen life there was reduced to waiting for that transforming moment of becoming a licensed driver." (P. 14)

I have a feeling I'll be bringing in more quotes from this guy.

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