Author Topic: Drove in the city today  (Read 7078 times)

Rural

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Drove in the city today
« on: February 16, 2013, 05:18:07 PM »
Dear God, it's one constant advertisement! Signs every twenty or so feet, lining the roads, mile after mile! How does anyone save? How does anyone even manage to think, surrounded by that constant barrage? My hat's off to you city people for pulling off the MM lifestyle in places like that, but I wouldn't want to trade with you for any amount of net worth or any number of years of early retirement.

Note I'm not knocking those of you who like that sort of thing, but I definitely don't understand you.

No Name Guy

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 06:23:43 PM »
Dear God, it's one constant advertisement! Signs every twenty or so feet, lining the roads, mile after mile! How does anyone save? How does anyone even manage to think, surrounded by that constant barrage?

Easy.  Ignore it.  And laugh (and cry sometimes) in my mind at the sukka's that fall for that shit.

(Back in my younger, more spendthrift days) The first time I went to Vegas, I was overwhelmed.  Too much shit, too much neon, too many lights.  It was hard to process.  That said, I didn't get a hooker, eat in 20 buffets or blow every dime at the "loosest slots in town" - a bit of self discipline goes a long way in a new, overwhelming situation.  The next time, and subsequent times, in Vegas, my bullshit filter was set a lot higher.  Didn't even notice a lot of the crap.  Haven't stayed there in......7 or so years now (and that was in passing through during a road trip).  Don't feel a desire to go back.

It's the same thing when it comes to advertising.  One simply learns to completely ignore it.  Alternatively, I laugh at how pathetic the messaging is - kind of like some of the stupor-bowl commercials (e.g. Audi and their "your brave if you buy an over priced new car" ad - fucking idiots.)

skyrefuge

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 08:31:33 PM »
Here's a bit I wrote in my journal a few years ago when riding my bike through South Dakota:

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The area west of Murdo was even more empty and “Dances With Wolves”-like than before; lots of rolling grassland with plenty of rolled up hay bales, but not a lot of cattle, and not a lot of buildings suggesting that the land belonged to someone. Since Old Highway 16 / Business 90 spent a lot of time quite close to I-90, I did see plenty of signs for Wall Drug and other various tourist nonsense. Last night in Murdo I spoke to an older local couple who was quite knowledgeable about the area, and when they found out I was getting away from the Interstate and going through the Badlands, they said “Oh…but then you’ll miss Wall Drug! It’s really quite something.” I was surprised they’d say such a thing, but then I figured that maybe it’s just what you’re used to. Living near one of the biggest cities in the country, I’m constantly inundated with crass commercialism; out here, there are usually no businesses in a town that are even part of a chain. So the opportunity to experience crass commercialism must be just as exciting to them as experiencing natural beauty is to me.

Glad to hear that my city-boy philosophizing wasn't entirely off-base!

mpbaker22

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 09:48:59 PM »
The only billboard I've noticed is on my way into work.  It's off a major highway and is an ad for monster.
It says something like "A shorter commute could make for a happier job" with a picture of a bicycle to the side.

Pretty Mustachian actually.

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 06:08:53 AM »
Here's a bit I wrote in my journal a few years ago when riding my bike through South Dakota:

Quote
The area west of Murdo was even more empty and “Dances With Wolves”-like than before; lots of rolling grassland with plenty of rolled up hay bales, but not a lot of cattle, and not a lot of buildings suggesting that the land belonged to someone. Since Old Highway 16 / Business 90 spent a lot of time quite close to I-90, I did see plenty of signs for Wall Drug and other various tourist nonsense. Last night in Murdo I spoke to an older local couple who was quite knowledgeable about the area, and when they found out I was getting away from the Interstate and going through the Badlands, they said “Oh…but then you’ll miss Wall Drug! It’s really quite something.” I was surprised they’d say such a thing, but then I figured that maybe it’s just what you’re used to. Living near one of the biggest cities in the country, I’m constantly inundated with crass commercialism; out here, there are usually no businesses in a town that are even part of a chain. So the opportunity to experience crass commercialism must be just as exciting to them as experiencing natural beauty is to me.

Glad to hear that my city-boy philosophizing wasn't entirely off-base!

Not entirely off base, you're right, but my reaction was rather the opposite of theirs. Of course, I wasn't looking at one place to stock up (we have that, eight miles from home) , but a constant stream of strip malls, etc.

It was a work trip, so at least I get mileage and a per diem, but I couldn't even eat in that environment; I drove until I found trees again, and then I looked for food.

mustachecat

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 06:36:05 AM »
You block a lot of it out of your conscious mind. I'm sure advertising has had a significant influence on me in ways I can't even know, but for the most part, I can only remember two billboards on my way to work (I pass probably a dozen): one for a parking lot (don't drive, don't care) and one for a strip club (not the target audience, don't care). I also have trouble deciphering a lot of advertisements. Most of them seem to feature an attractive person or persons in a state of undress, plus a big ol' logo. Is this for clothing? A gym line? Plastic surgery?

I am definitely overwhelmed by strip malls, though. Whenever we go to visit my in-laws in Virginia and go out to eat, I get a headache navigating. How the hell do you find the sign for Restaurant X when there are literally hundreds of signs all around you?!

paddedhat

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 06:39:03 AM »
Here's a bit I wrote in my journal a few years ago when riding my bike through South Dakota:

Quote
The area west of Murdo was even more empty and “Dances With Wolves”-like than before; lots of rolling grassland with plenty of rolled up hay bales, but not a lot of cattle, and not a lot of buildings suggesting that the land belonged to someone. Since Old Highway 16 / Business 90 spent a lot of time quite close to I-90, I did see plenty of signs for Wall Drug and other various tourist nonsense. Last night in Murdo I spoke to an older local couple who was quite knowledgeable about the area, and when they found out I was getting away from the Interstate and going through the Badlands, they said “Oh…but then you’ll miss Wall Drug! It’s really quite something.” I was surprised they’d say such a thing, but then I figured that maybe it’s just what you’re used to. Living near one of the biggest cities in the country, I’m constantly inundated with crass commercialism; out here, there are usually no businesses in a town that are even part of a chain. So the opportunity to experience crass commercialism must be just as exciting to them as experiencing natural beauty is to me.

Glad to hear that my city-boy philosophizing wasn't entirely off-base!

Interesting post, but unfortunately you should of dropped the preconceived notion of being better than the those that are not of your caliber, and fall for "crass commercialism". You really missed a unique opportunity to learn something.

Wall Drug is as significant part of the fabric, and history, of the Dakota Plains. It was started nearly a century ago by a family that bought a failing Phamacy, in a dying town, and did so based on their deep religious faith. They nearly starved, until the wife had the vision to offer free ice water to the slowly increasing trickle of tourists that were beginning to head to the Black Hills to see things like Borglum carving Mt. Rushmore. The pharmacy and the family were saved by the increasing business, and it slowly grew into the massive attraction that it is today.

 Is it the only place where you can find a great western book store, a great western clothing, hat and boot store, a chapel, several restaurants, art galleries, an ice cream shop, a pharmacy, a post office, and a dozen other interesting attractions. It also has an incredible gallery of early western photographs from the reservation period and the earliest homesteaders. It's worth seeing just to take in the fact that a hard working family, starting with nearly nothing, and located in the middle of nowhere, created an attraction that has a world wide audience, and takes up two full city blocks. On a busy day 10,000 people walk through their doors, and they recruit college students from around the world to work the busy season. Had it not been for the Hulstead family, it's likely that the town of Wall would of met the fate of many prairie towns and just blown away like a tumble weed.

You post reminds me of those who post on a travel forum I frequent. Occasionally a "seasoned traveler" will advise to plan to stop in the Black Hills for no more than a day or two as, "there really isn't much there other than Rushmore". Oddly enough, I have spent the last eighteen years vacationing in the Hills, and can't wait to move there. I certainly haven't seen, or done it all there yet. Lots to learn, lot to see, and there are some suprisingly awesome experiences to be had at the strangest places, including tourist traps.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 06:43:32 AM by paddedhat »

galaxie

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 07:28:27 AM »
I live in the city.  I think I've seen two billboards within my usual knockin' around radius.  It's surprising to me that you saw so many!  Were you on surface streets or a highway?

skyrefuge

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 10:08:23 AM »
Interesting post, but unfortunately you should of dropped the preconceived notion of being better than the those that are not of your caliber, and fall for "crass commercialism". You really missed a unique opportunity to learn something.

Oof. I certainly admit to bias, but when I wrote that, I assumed that a writer traveling from Murdo from Chicago and encountering me would have reversed not just the situation but also the judgmental connotation: "I was surprised that he suggested a day-trip to quiet Starved Rock State Park, rather than a day shopping on the Magnificent Mile...but I guess here in Murdo I'm constantly inundated with vast expanses of nothingness, so the opportunity to experience boring nothingness must be just as exciting to him as experiencing the bright lights and bustle of the city is to me". (though of course I wouldn't actually recommend Starved Rock to a 1st-time visitor to Chicago!)

That said, I had already known some of the story behind Wall Drug (either I had read it while planning my trip, or the billboards informed me). And while being at a place always gives you more valuable perspective than reading about a place, I'm not sure how much more I really would have learned by being at this particular place. Anyway, it would have been basically impossible for me to visit even if I wanted to. On a 30-day bike ride from Chicago to Portland I didn't have a lot of time to dally, so it would be either the Badlands or Wall Drug, and hopefully you aren't suggesting that I would have enjoyed Wall Drug more than the Badlands!

I did then spend another couple days getting through the Black Hills, and yes, could certainly spend MUCH more time in the region, to the point that I'd have to be there for weeks before I got to Wall Drug on my priority list. Here's another bit I wrote while in the Black Hills, which indicates I'm much closer to you than I am to one of your "seasoned travelers":
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All through the last couple days I’ve been passing really nice summer homes and thinking “now that would be a nice place to live”. And Spearfish Canyon had some of the nicest places, including one that had a big sign at the entrance that read “A Little Piece of Heaven”. Perhaps a bit presumptuous, but it was true.

The particular issue with Wall Drug, and why I brought it up in this thread, is their extreme volume of billboard (and other) advertising, which seems to be the most notable thing about the place ("The marketing campaign" is the 2nd of 3 sections on their Wikipedia page). I have this naive first-order approximation I use that says "the volume of advertising for a thing is inversely proportional to its quality". Think Bud Light vs. your local craft beer. If a place is truly special (such as the Badlands), it will sell itself through word-of-mouth rather than a $400k/year billboard marketing campaign stretching along I-90 for 500 miles. Maybe that doesn't apply to Wall Drug, but after visiting a similar place outside another natural wonder (the Grand Canyon), it didn't change my view that such places are not for me. With 10,000 daily visitors, the vast majority of my experience will not be about "the place" itself, which I *am* interested in, but about all of my fellow tourists, who I really don't give a shit about.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 10:11:28 AM by skyrefuge »

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 01:10:55 PM »
Dear God, it's one constant advertisement! Signs every twenty or so feet, lining the roads, mile after mile!

Hereabouts (well, nearest city to hereabouts) they're moving from plain old signs to animated video billboards.

sheepstache

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 04:12:44 PM »
I think New Yorkers, and possibly city people in general, are interested in advertising as a cultural phenomenon.  So there is a kind of a detached enjoyment in observing what new tricks the marketers are up to.  Of course, we might still be just as susceptible to the effects of advertising and not realize it.

You actually find after living in a city awhile that cities are visually information-poor.  It's all straight lines and symmetry in the sidewalks and buildings.  There are labels for everything.  The message of advertisements take only a second to absorb.  Whereas you walk into a forest and there is visually interesting stuff to look at for hours because it is too complex to be predictable.

In Wordsworth's The Prelude there's a section where he's in the city and talking about how there are words and signs everywhere.  "Shop after shop, with symbols, blazoned names / And all the tradesman's honors overhead : / Here, fronts of houses, like a title-page, / With letters huge inscribed, from top to toe."  Even a blind man has "upon his chest / wearing a written paper, to explain / the man, and who he was."  The teacher I was reading this with suggested that the reason Wordsworth hates the city is that there are already labels and descriptions in place for everything.  As a poet and someone who grew up in the country, Wordsworth was used to being the one to apply labels and descriptions himself!

paddedhat

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 06:04:58 PM »
Skyrefuge, I have to completely agree regarding all the dumbass Wall drug advertising. I usually get a chuckle out of them when it's hot as hell in the dead of summer. At that point it's typical to see a few dozen cows huddling in the precious little bit of shade each billboard supplies. Glad to see you took the time to provide a thoughful response to my post, and that you clearly don't have the flyover country attitude that many have regarding travel in the middle of our great land.

 I see that you referenced Dances with Wolves. I had the pleasure of getting a tour of a ranch in the area where it was filmed. The scale of everything was mind blowing. The rancher's personal driveway was eight miles long. He ran 4000 cattle and 800 Bison on his spread. We left "town" and headed to his place. We got to his driveway in about twenty minutes. As we stood on a rise at the entrance to the ranch, I asked about the borders of the property. He then says, "well the east fence is out beyond that ridge, about twelve miles from here. We are parked on the west fenceline. The river is at the bottom of that valley to the south, and forms the south property line. the north line is the fence at the edge of the elementary school in town, twenty miles north. I was dumbfounded, and asked exactly how big the ranch actually was. He then says, "well it's about thirty three thousand acres". Simply mind blowing. 

BTW,  if you ever end up in the Badlands again, ask the ranger at the entrance to show you where "Stronghold Table road" is. If you have a adventure bike or an SUV of any type, take the road till it ends. It a rough, sandy two track (not passable in the rare event that it would happen to rain) that ends at a massive set of canyons in the middle of absolute nowhere. It is stunning, lonely, and dead quiet. It is located in the area of the park that is/was  part of the Pine ridge Rez. the park service doesn't really discourage visitors from going there, but they don't really go out of their way to push anybody in that direction either. IMHO. it is the most beautiful place in the Badlands. Have fun.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 06:11:40 PM by paddedhat »

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 06:15:21 PM »
I live in the city.  I think I've seen two billboards within my usual knockin' around radius.  It's surprising to me that you saw so many!  Were you on surface streets or a highway?

My biggest headache was surface streets, and it wasn't billboards so much,actually. More the constant barrage (that's what it felt like to me) from all the businesses and smaller signs. I did drive into the city on the interstate and there were way too many billboards,but they didn't bother me nearly as much as the overwhemling smaller advertisements in the city proper.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 06:48:31 PM »
As a lifelong city dweller, I can attest to tuning out the noise. In fact, I tend to remember billboards out in the country a lot more than in the city because they stick out so much. I can't even tell you the name of the restaurant two doors from my last city dwelling, and I walked past it at the very least twice a day for a year.

BlueMR2

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 08:13:15 AM »
Growing up in the suburbs with weekends spent out in the country on the farm, cities are real downers to me.  I get the concept of increased efficiency, but man, it's such an "industrial" and unnatural life.  Add in the constant barrage of ads, people hawking wares, etc, and it makes me really sad whenever I have to go into a city.

galaxie

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 01:12:05 PM »
Oh!  Wow, that's surprising.  I actually like that stuff.  I like that there are small businesses I can go to instead of big stores with parking lots.  I like that I can walk to them (and to free community things like libraries).  And I really like the thought that the money I spend there supports my neighbors and helps keep my town nice, instead of going somewhere far away. 

I mean, I get that it's placing constant demands on your impulse control when you go past blocks and blocks of restaurants, salons, dentists, coffee houses, laundromats, etc.  But that's not where people live -- we live on the side streets, mostly, which don't have that stuff.  It's just like in the suburbs, where you'll have mile after mile of car dealerships, Home Depots, and Wal-Marts on the main road, but people live on side streets that are not surrounded by businesses. 

I can understand people who like farms & rural areas.  They're a qualitatively different style of living.  But the suburbs are just like cities, except it takes way longer to get where you're going and there's less cool stuff in between.

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2013, 06:06:32 PM »
Oh!  Wow, that's surprising.  I actually like that stuff.  I like that there are small businesses I can go to instead of big stores with parking lots.  I like that I can walk to them (and to free community things like libraries).  And I really like the thought that the money I spend there supports my neighbors and helps keep my town nice, instead of going somewhere far away. 

I do understand about walking distance and small businesses, and I don't have the walking distance anymore (I have lived inner city, so I once did.) But the small business thing is not a city phenomenon-- when I buy a side of beef from a farmer here, I know him, his kids, and some of the more infamous antics of his weird uncle back in the '40s. Odds are I've been to his wedding or one of his grandparents' funerals. The tellers at the (small local )bank in town greet me by my first name when I walk in the door. And yes, there's a Wal-mart. I can't go there in my sweats or three people I know will worry that I'm sick,though.

Quote
I can understand people who like farms & rural areas.  They're a qualitatively different style of living.  But the suburbs are just like cities, except it takes way longer to get where you're going and there's less cool stuff in between.

Agree 100% with this. I passed out of the city into the suburbs when the backed-up interstate forced me onto surface streets, and that made it worse, not better.

Jason G.

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2013, 12:41:01 PM »
I can understand people who like farms & rural areas.  They're a qualitatively different style of living.  But the suburbs are just like cities, except it takes way longer to get where you're going and there's less cool stuff in between.

I have to disagree here. Suburbs have some definite advantages over cities, especially when you're looking at it from the perspective of a young couple starting a family. Housing in suburbs is generally more spacious, it's much easier to get a yard for kids and pets to play in, the schools are usually much better (at least in the US), and the crime rate is much lower. My wife and I both work downtown in a smallish city (Oklahoma City) and the last time we moved we looked at a bunch of places close to downtown to be close to work since we both hate driving, but even then we just couldn't find a place in the city that we liked nearly as well as the suburbs that were ten minutes down the highway.

Sure, suburbs are more spread out and you have to travel farther to get to "cool stuff", but that becomes much less of a concern as your evening activities switch from hanging out with friends at bars or movie theaters to building lego forts with your kids and inviting other families over for potluck game night. I don't mind taking a twenty minute drive to get to the "cool stuff" on the one or two occasions a month when we feel like doing that.

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 01:24:10 PM »
Housing in suburbs is generally more spacious, it's much easier to get a yard for kids and pets to play in...

Yeah, but the kids are still limited to playing in the yard, instead of having a local creek & river, woods and hills, etc.

galaxie

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 01:51:05 PM »
I can understand people who like farms & rural areas.  They're a qualitatively different style of living.  But the suburbs are just like cities, except it takes way longer to get where you're going and there's less cool stuff in between.

Sure, suburbs are more spread out and you have to travel farther to get to "cool stuff", but that becomes much less of a concern as your evening activities switch from hanging out with friends at bars or movie theaters to building lego forts with your kids and inviting other families over for potluck game night. I don't mind taking a twenty minute drive to get to the "cool stuff" on the one or two occasions a month when we feel like doing that.

That's weird!  I'm half of a young couple starting a family, and I'm really looking forward to doing it in a city.  We can walk or bike to several friends' houses, 6 grocery stores, the library, museums, parks, cheap or free plays/concerts/activities at local universities, three elementary schools (two of which are public), a co-op workshop where we can learn DIY skills, and even more.  I'm looking forward to taking my kids to do those things.  Test scores at public schools here are decent.  (It's notoriously difficult to measure whether a school is "better" - often the only thing such tests end up measuring is the economic status of its students' families.  Rich kids still do well when they attend poor schools.  Parental involvement has been proven to have a strong effect on children's educational outcomes, though.  So, bonus points if you're retired.)

You're making some assumptions about what I value about city life ("bars or movie theaters") that are kind of silly, considering that we both are on this forum about how to avoid a consumption-filled lifestyle.  Well, we visit friends' houses at least a couple times per week, but I suppose we've been to a bar once in the past month.  There, you caught me.  My town's a hotbed of dissipation and apathy.  :)

Two big factors in successfully maintaining close friendships over time, especially as adults, are physical proximity and repeated unplanned interactions (NYT article about adult friendships).  I'm choosing to live here so that my children and I can both have a supportive, caring community of adults that lasts.  I'm very willing to give up having a yard or a couple extra hundred square feet of house if living in the city makes that easier.

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2013, 10:19:39 PM »
That's weird!  I'm half of a young couple starting a family, and I'm really looking forward to doing it in a city.  We can walk or bike to several friends' houses, 6 grocery stores, the library, museums, parks, cheap or free plays/concerts/activities at local universities, three elementary schools (two of which are public), a co-op workshop where we can learn DIY skills, and even more.  I'm looking forward to taking my kids to do those things.

But no creeks with swimming holes, fish, tadpoles, crawdads, strange multi-legged critters living under rocks...  No pastures with cows, hayfields with butterflies, ponds & bogs with dragonflies.  No wild strawberries, blueberry & blackberry patches, no trees to climb or build treehouses in...

grantmeaname

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2013, 10:34:57 PM »
The suburbs I grew up in had all of those things.

strider3700

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 12:03:25 AM »
I had them growing up but 30 years later the cool undeveloped spaces in the neighbourhood are gone.   The last "wild" area that I played in as a kid was bulldozed last spring and is now half completed town houses.  The ditches that I collected frogs and tadpoles in are just water with grass these days.  The cow field was turned into a road and 45 houses 25 years ago.  the "swamp" was filled, the trees cut and 3 new houses went up 20 years ago.  The "forest" behind the park became houses sometime in the last 10 years when I didn't notice.    endless development  run rampant has taken it all away.

anastrophe

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 12:28:25 PM »
That's weird!  I'm half of a young couple starting a family, and I'm really looking forward to doing it in a city.  We can walk or bike to several friends' houses, 6 grocery stores, the library, museums, parks, cheap or free plays/concerts/activities at local universities, three elementary schools (two of which are public), a co-op workshop where we can learn DIY skills, and even more.  I'm looking forward to taking my kids to do those things.

But no creeks with swimming holes, fish, tadpoles, crawdads, strange multi-legged critters living under rocks...  No pastures with cows, hayfields with butterflies, ponds & bogs with dragonflies.  No wild strawberries, blueberry & blackberry patches, no trees to climb or build treehouses in...

I dunno, I lived in both as a kid and they are both really awesome in different ways. In the city I missed the critters and creeks and treehouses, the quiet and space... in the country I missed living where people weren't total jerks to newcomers and I had friends I could walk to visit and the library actually had books...

But cities can have forests and rural areas can have amenities. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. Some smaller cities are close enough to nature to get to it without driving and still have urban things to do.

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 03:30:37 PM »
That's weird!  I'm half of a young couple starting a family, and I'm really looking forward to doing it in a city.  We can walk or bike to several friends' houses, 6 grocery stores, the library, museums, parks, cheap or free plays/concerts/activities at local universities, three elementary schools (two of which are public), a co-op workshop where we can learn DIY skills, and even more.  I'm looking forward to taking my kids to do those things.

But no creeks with swimming holes, fish, tadpoles, crawdads, strange multi-legged critters living under rocks...  No pastures with cows, hayfields with butterflies, ponds & bogs with dragonflies.  No wild strawberries, blueberry & blackberry patches, no trees to climb or build treehouses in...

Some of my favorite things; you're going to inspire me to make a blackberry cobbler from the freezer tonight. But in the interest of fairness, most big cities also lack bears and bobcats. :)

As I said in my first post, I'm not knocking the city people here. In fact, I want you guys to stay there and enjoy, please, so we don't become overcrowded out here!

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 04:41:01 PM »
In the city I missed the critters and creeks and treehouses, the quiet and space... in the country I missed living where people weren't total jerks to newcomers and I had friends I could walk to visit and the library actually had books...

I can sort of understand that.  I often think the place I grew up woulda been heaven - except for the people, who made it hell.  But honestly, I have never found people in cities to be all that much different.  At best, it's easier to be ignored there.  I mean, the people would be total jerks to you if they noticed you.

But in the interest of fairness, most big cities also lack bears and bobcats. :)

But I like bears and bobcats. 

anastrophe

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 06:29:26 PM »
At best, it's easier to be ignored there.  I mean, the people would be total jerks to you if they noticed you.


Yes and no. It is easier to be ignored in the city, which is nice if you don't like people. New Yorkers are very good at that:) But rural areas are very homogenous, which is fine if you are a member of the majority but really sucky if you are the only Jewish family in a county full of Catholics, or the only Spanish-speaking people in your town, or the only gay people, or the only--whatevers, you get the idea. Rural areas can be very lonely and isolating if you're even the slightest bit different. Whereas in the city you have a critical mass of people, so no matter what you are, there are probably at least a few other people like you to talk to. Arts and culture and infrastructure are all excellent reasons for urban living, but diversity is another big one, and for some people it's the difference between outright misery and a happy life.

galaxie

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 12:20:33 PM »
Arts and culture and infrastructure are all excellent reasons for urban living, but diversity is another big one, and for some people it's the difference between outright misery and a happy life.

Yeah, diversity is big for us too.  We're a mixed-race couple, and we are a lot less remarkable in our city neighborhood than we'd be in my hometown.

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 05:36:17 PM »
But rural areas are very homogenous, which is fine if you are a member of the majority but really sucky if you are the only Jewish family in a county full of Catholics, or the only Spanish-speaking people in your town, or the only gay people, or the only--whatevers, you get the idea.

So you want diversity, you just don't want to be the diversity :-)

Also, I think you may be stereotyping rural areas more than a little.  Sure, there are some like that, but many more that are not - especially if they're above-average lifestyle quality.  I also understand that it's quite possible to live in a large city, and never venture out of your particular racial/ethnic/cultural ghetto.

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2013, 03:47:55 AM »

But in the interest of fairness, most big cities also lack bears and bobcats. :)

But I like bears and bobcats.

Well, for that matter, so do I, but you have to show them a certain respect.

Come to think about it, the rural predators are much more respectable than the urban ones.

anastrophe

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2013, 09:50:34 AM »
Also, I think you may be stereotyping rural areas more than a little.  Sure, there are some like that, but many more that are not - especially if they're above-average lifestyle quality.  I also understand that it's quite possible to live in a large city, and never venture out of your particular racial/ethnic/cultural ghetto.

Out of curiosity, what do you mean by "above-average lifestyle quality"? Sounds like something we all would like:)

And sure, you can stay in your little enclave and never leave, but that's sort of the point for some people--you want to be around other people like yourself, which you can't do in a place where there are NO OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU (and your neighbors act weird around you). As for stereotyping--only a little. It depends on the place, but some rural areas are very ethnically homogenous: http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer

CptPoo

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2013, 12:28:47 PM »
If you really want to experience the overwhelming nature of modern advertising try this:

Don't go to ANY big box retailers for a month or so, and then make a visit to your local Wal-mart. I have reduced my trips to big box stores to about once every 1.5 months, and each time I go I feel completely alienated. I can no longer stand the bright lights, the excessive repetitive noises, and dealing with the families that fill the carts (sometimes multiple carts) to the brim with variations of frozen fats, starches, and sugars. The worst part is that like many of the above commenters who no longer notice billboards, these people seem to have accepted all of this as just being a part of life.

For perhaps the best example, visit the juice isle after not having been at a big box store for a while. I am amazed every time at all of the variations of what is essentially the same thing: flavored sugar water. Each and every single bottle glows in the bright fluorescent light and seemingly shouts at you to buy it. This experience has made me realize just how much shopping for necessities, like food, as been reduced to a heavily condensed series of advertisements for the purpose of getting you to buy crap you don't need.

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2013, 12:44:12 PM »
Out of curiosity, what do you mean by "above-average lifestyle quality"? Sounds like something we all would like:)

I was thinking of places like the Sierra Nevada, around Lake Tahoe, where I live, as opposed to sat someplace in the Midwest where "rural" means cornfields stretching as far as you can see in every direction.

Quote
...you want to be around other people like yourself, which you can't do in a place where there are NO OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU (and your neighbors act weird around you).

OK, I suppose I can see that.  But from my point of view, there really ARE no other people like me anywhere I go.  ('Cause I'm a geek, and even other geeks don't really feel much solidarity with geeks.)  The advantage of rural vs city, though, is that my neighbors are there and going to stay there, so we can build relationships in the areas - gardens, dogs, horses - where our lives intersect.

anastrophe

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2013, 01:23:07 PM »
The advantage of rural vs city, though, is that my neighbors are there and going to stay there, so we can build relationships in the areas - gardens, dogs, horses - where our lives intersect.

There are stable urban neighborhoods with residents that go back generations. Just with gardens and dogs and sidewalks instead of gardens and dogs and horses;)

The Taminator

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2013, 01:30:53 PM »
The advantage of rural vs city, though, is that my neighbors are there and going to stay there, so we can build relationships in the areas - gardens, dogs, horses - where our lives intersect.

There are stable urban neighborhoods with residents that go back generations. Just with gardens and dogs and sidewalks instead of gardens and dogs and horses;)

Yup, there are people who live in my building since it was fist built, almost 41 years ago. And I see the same people all the time when I go out walking, shopping etc. Being a city dweller doesn't automatically make you transient.

skyrefuge

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2013, 01:31:22 PM »
If you really want to experience the overwhelming nature of modern advertising try this:

Don't go to ANY big box retailers for a month or so, and then make a visit to your local Wal-mart.

Yeah, I can totally believe that, and agree that you can become acclimatized/unacclimatized in relatively short time-frames, which I guess is good news? The numbing effects of advertising aren't permanent?  I seriously didn't intend to make this thread a dumping ground for excerpts from my bike tour journal, but I guess if the shoe fits...  Here's what I wrote about my experience riding into Flagstaff, AZ after 24 days of civilization-"deprivation" in the desolate deserts of southern Utah and northern Arizona (in a rather MMM-style, I now notice!):

==============================
Once I crested the hill, I still had 15 miles of relatively flat riding before reaching Flagstaff. Due to a strong headwind, it seemed to be taking forever; even the early-lunch stop at Subway (first Subway dine-in of the trip!) didn’t help much. But then, I hit the outskirts of the city, and due to the sensory overload thrown at me by this teeming metropolis, the next 10 miles flew by. They have a freakin’ shopping mall here! With a goddamn Best Buy! Can you believe it?! I bet you could get anything you want in this city, including at least five or six different brands of automobile. There are cars everywhere, and roads with more than one lane, and I had to bring my instinctual Chicagoland bike-commuting skills back to the fore to enable me to survive while gawking at all the signs and color and hustle and bustle.
==============================

skyrefuge

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2013, 01:59:26 PM »
you want to be around other people like yourself, which you can't do in a place where there are NO OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU (and your neighbors act weird around you).

While this has always been sort of intuitively obvious to me, it became blindingly explicit and concrete when I joined OkCupid, the dating website that shows a "Match %" between you and everyone else on the site (it similarly shows "Friend %", so it can technically be used to find non-romantic friends too).

I live in Chicago's suburbs, and if I search in the suburbs around me, there are a few girls that are a 90%+ match.

If I instead search within Chicago's city limits, there are dozens of them. Hot ones too. Who don't want kids, like Star Trek, camping, heavy metal, and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (unfortunately I haven't quite found one with a similar 'stash yet).

Conversely, I have a friend who was originally from my area (and thus quite like me), but now is recently-single in a small town in central Pennsylvania. I felt bad because after going on a whole bunch of dates with pretty awesome girls in Chicago, I encouraged him to re-activate his profile and said I was sure he'd have similar luck. But then I actually searched for matches for myself there, and there wasn't a single 90%, and most were like 50% or below. And ugly. And fat.  "Oh, shit. Sorry. I didn't know what slim pickings you had to deal with."

Surely some of this effect is cultural, and what I happen to be interested in in a girl just tends to correlate with "girl who lives in a major city".

But I think the majority of the effect is simply numerical. The density in a city is much greater than in is in the suburbs, and in turn, much greater than it is in rural areas. So the more people there are in a given area, the greater likelihood of finding one who is a match for you, even if you're an extreme outlier weirdo. Again, seems obvious, but something about seeing the explicit examples really drives it home. Even if you live in a city, unless you're on a dating website, chances are you don't use a city-wide computer database to filter for friends, so that particular benefit of density is probably not as obvious (or even as accessible) to you.

Of course, that doesn't mean living in a rural area makes finding friends/dates hopeless for extreme outlier weirdos, but it surely *is* more difficult, and probably requires (or naturally causes) some shifts in your own cultural identity or a broadening of your selectivity.

the fixer

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2013, 02:19:01 PM »
I can't handle most forms of advertising anymore, it's just too much. I get in trouble with people around me when I watch TV or go to a normal grocery store, it all just makes me angry. I know that even though I don't want to be manipulated by the stuff, it's working. Their goal is for me to know about their new product, movie, etc. and that slightly increases my chance of buying it or telling a friend.

So, no TV, I browse the Internet with Adblock Plus, and when I go food shopping I spend as much time as I can in the produce and bulk sections of the organic stores. Overall I'm much better off for it.
A Mustachian climber and part-time vandweller: http://lifeoffroute.com

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2013, 02:56:44 PM »
It is really simple Rural, I find ignoring the consumerism noise does the trick. From a creative perspective sometimes I find them entertaining to look at and study, but usually I just ignore all of them. Working in the heart of downtown SF requires passing through some of most commercial and materialistic neighborhoods to get to work. Does it bother me? Not in the slightest! As the sage saying goes, "learn to control what you can control in your life, then do it". It really is as simple as that. Your mileage may vary but good luck.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 03:10:00 PM by Stashtastic Momo »

Rural

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2013, 03:28:55 PM »
As the sage saying goes, "learn to control what you can control in your life, then do it". It really is as simple as that. Your mileage may vary but good luck.


Thanks. I've got it covered, though; I controlled it by moving out of the city to natural beauty, peace, and a shockingly low cost of living.

Another sage said "there's more than one way to skin a cat." :)

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2013, 07:50:11 PM »
There are stable urban neighborhoods with residents that go back generations. Just with gardens and dogs and sidewalks instead of gardens and dogs and horses;)

Perhaps we have a different definition of urban.  You don't find gardens in an urban area (unless you are mega-rich, and can afford a mansion).  You maybe get single-family row houses, if you're lucky, otherwise you get multi-story apartment buildings where you might meet fellow residents in the elevator.  I think what you've got are suburbs.  Maybe close-in suburbs, but still suburbs.

anastrophe

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2013, 06:26:14 AM »

Perhaps we have a different definition of urban.  You don't find gardens in an urban area (unless you are mega-rich, and can afford a mansion).  You maybe get single-family row houses, if you're lucky, otherwise you get multi-story apartment buildings where you might meet fellow residents in the elevator.  I think what you've got are suburbs.  Maybe close-in suburbs, but still suburbs.

And perhaps we have a different definition of garden, because I have definitely seen some gorgeous little gardens in very, very dense cities. Not to mention community gardens, which I think are still gardens and are often right up next to multi-story apartment buildings.

https://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/ppatch/locations.htm
http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/gardensearch.html
https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&q=dc+community+gardens

But I can see we are getting nowhere here, so I'm done.

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2013, 09:36:07 AM »
I was thinking of places like the Sierra Nevada, around Lake Tahoe, where I live, as opposed to sat someplace in the Midwest where "rural" means cornfields stretching as far as you can see in every direction.
Are we really not done with the mindless bashing of people who live even slightly differently than we do? Not only is there no valid reason to live in a suburb or city, but any part of the rural US that's not where you choose to make your home is also apparently worthless? Seriously, can you hear yourself?

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2013, 11:00:49 AM »
Are we really not done with the mindless bashing...

Humm... So anyone who has opinions that differ from yours, and who takes some time to try to explain them, is guilty of "mindless bashing".  So tell me, are MMM and the rest of us here mindlessly bashing the consumerists?

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2013, 08:30:25 AM »
You dismissed an entire region of the country out of hand because there's corn there and you can't see how that's different than reasoned consideration?

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2013, 11:39:42 AM »
Now really.  Am I dismissing such places out of hand when I simply point out that they are likely to attract less, and less diverse, inward migration than a place which offers mountains, lakes, forests, ski areas, etc?

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2013, 01:18:01 PM »
Yes, that's exactly what you're doing. First, you're ignoring features Midwestern states do have for the convenience of your argument (Ohio's got mountains, lakes, forests, and a whole lot of et cetera to do outdoors), Second, even ignoring that the statement itself is factually wrong, you're assuming that as a result of you not wanting to live in a place you misperceive, most people won't want to, and certainly not diverse (read: interesting; worthwhile) people.

It would be the same as if a New York City Mustachian were to complain that Lake Tahoe doesn't have a single cultural attraction or gourmand-welcoming farmer's market, and so clearly nobody would want to live there. It's factually incorrect, terribly ill considered, and drippingly contemptuous of anything different than the speaker's preconceived notion of 'the one right way to live'.

It's not disliking my home, a place I love very much, that offends me -- I've got best friends that want to get the hell out and stay out. More power to them. It's acting like it's clearly worthless on the basis of a terrible attitude and a handful of blatant falsehoods like failing to notice literally the largest lakes in the world because you can't see them from your own ignorant backyard.

Jamesqf

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2013, 09:50:24 PM »
First, you're ignoring features Midwestern states do have for the convenience of your argument (Ohio's got mountains, lakes, forests, and a whole lot of et cetera to do outdoors)...

First, Ohio is not a Midwestern state, it's an eastern state.  Second, it does not have mountains.  Per Wikipedia, the highest point in the state is a mere 1550 ft elevation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_Hill_(Ohio)

Third, I've no doubt that you can find areas in the western part of Ohio that fit the flat & covered with cornfields description.


BlueMR2

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2013, 09:32:00 AM »
First, you're ignoring features Midwestern states do have for the convenience of your argument (Ohio's got mountains, lakes, forests, and a whole lot of et cetera to do outdoors)...

First, Ohio is not a Midwestern state, it's an eastern state.  Second, it does not have mountains.  Per Wikipedia, the highest point in the state is a mere 1550 ft elevation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_Hill_(Ohio)

Third, I've no doubt that you can find areas in the western part of Ohio that fit the flat & covered with cornfields description.

All the parts of Ohio that I frequent are flat & covered with cornfields.  It's a good 2-3 hour drive to anything resembling hills.  :-)

Oh, and please don't lump is in with those Eastern states.  We don't like coasties.  We're technically considered "MidEast"...  No clue why people like to call it the MidWest.  The only thing we're West of is the East coast.  :-)

grantmeaname

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Re: Drove in the city today
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2013, 10:00:07 AM »
First, you're ignoring features Midwestern states do have for the convenience of your argument (Ohio's got mountains, lakes, forests, and a whole lot of et cetera to do outdoors)...

First, Ohio is not a Midwestern state, it's an eastern state.  Second, it does not have mountains.  Per Wikipedia, the highest point in the state is a mere 1550 ft elevation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_Hill_(Ohio)

Third, I've no doubt that you can find areas in the western part of Ohio that fit the flat & covered with cornfields description.
You're first wrong about the region Ohio's in according to the census bureau and any other definition I can find, but you're missing the point: the great lakes also touch Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and even you can't possibly think that none of those states are Midwestern. You're again wrong regarding the mountains, as we have the continent's oldest mountain chain unless you're interested in an assholish game of "no true Irishman"; besides, Campbell Hill is way the hell over on the other (flat, glaciated) side of the state and it's quite certainly a hill, which is why mountains are measured by prominence and not elevation.

Even setting all that aside, you're so wholly missing the point that I literally facepalmed. Regardless of which region Ohio is in, how tall a mountain has to be before you deem it a mountain (USGS and the UN be damned), or the fact that in jamesworld a state that's 40% forested is covered with forests and interesting people while a state that's 32% forested is a barren wasteland of corn: the point is that you're taking a massive bias against anyone or anything slightly different, you're making up 'facts' to support it, and then you're mindlessly waving them about so you can feel smug rather than contribute productively to the discussion.