Wednesday, December 2

Overheard in a coffeeshop

Standing in line in a coffeeshop in downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia, I overheard two women, presumably fairly well-off, having a conversation behind me.

So, do you live downtown?
“No, I live out in Spotsylvania County.”
Really? So do we, but our house is way to big for us, especially after the children have left.
“Yeah, we feel the same way. A few years ago we actually moved into a 3-bedroom house right down the road from us just because it was smaller.”
We’d love to move too, but I don’t know how to downsize and stay in the same neighborhood. The people are what make the place, you know.”
While this is purely anecdotal, my eavesdropping made me wonder how many people are out there like this – folks who make their housing decisions based on relationships or social standing and merely tolerate having to live in a large house with a large lawn because they perceive this as the only option available to them.


Stephen Gross said...

The truly tragic situation facing urbanism in America is this: the selection of where-to-live is a choice! Too many people assume that the only way to live is in a suburban lifestyle, and that there are no other options. They select suburbanism by default, unconsciously. Even when they suspect there might be a "different" way to live, nothing in American culture helps them identify and evaluate their lifestyle options. It's really unfortunate.


Great blog! I enjoy your insights and questions.

andrew said...

Does Disney have the solution?