11 August 2006

The Burbs

I have fought living in the burbs. I’m a downtown girl. I want the symphony and Shakespeare in the Park and art museums and jazz clubs at my doorstep. But I live in the burbs. It’s not so bad, really. Most daily activities are the same either way. Starbucks is still on every corner. I can drive to two Half Price bookstores within 5 min. Chinese, Korean, Vietnam, Thai, Italian, Indian, Mexican foods all only blocks away (still missing a good Spanish Tapas place, if anyone would like to volunteer opening one near me). Oh, and Cuban. We need a good Cuban restaurant. (Ever wandered why we call all food derived from countries outside the U.S. ethnic as if our own food isn’t ethnic? Aren’t we a culture, an ethnicity? Is this a case of our ethnocentricity? If we went to India, would hamburgers be the ethnic food? But back to downtown…) I miss Keith, the homeless and legless man on my corner that always had, well, interesting insights, to say the least. I miss walking down to Davino’s where I would get a slice of pizza the size of Manhattan and a soda for $1.50. I can’t walk anywhere in my current location. I miss running up the apartment stairs in socks to grab a book or sugar or a hug from friends. There is something different about life living downtown. Everytime we trek down the interstate, I find myself antsy to be back. Except, that is, for the growing jeunesse dorée parading through glitzy shops and overpriced cafés. That’s when I feel separated from my previous home. The wealth of downtown explodes next to the ghettos, sometimes replacing the ghettos. Is it a co-op wealth meets poor on equal footing opening whole new worlds? Or is it displacement and turning a blind eye? (I’m going for the Guinness of most clichés in one blog.) And yet, in the burbs, I often feel assembly-lined. Not much diversity in ethnic or economic or philosophical statuses (is the plural stati?). We do have our Asian corner: Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese restaurants all next to the Asian market. Across the street is the Iranian restaurant. And my hairdresser is Indian. But it feels simulated. My neighborhood is white bread through and through.

11 comments:

joannsdaily.com said...

I enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing :D

Margo Carmichael said...

I've been emailing you but it bounces back. Trying to notify you of local writers meeting TOMORROW. Please get my email address off of the website and email me.

Thanks!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh, a kindred spirit! We share the same middle name, exaclty. And here I thought I was the only Ann with an "e." ;-)

willowtree said...

Statuses is correct. I've been reading your recent posts and have been hardpressed to come up with a sensible comment on such weighty issues (you've read my stuff so you know what I mean).

However there is one area in which I consider myself fairly knowledgeable: cuisine. You lament the fact that there is no generic term for american food, everyone outside America just calls it MacDonalds ;)

Robin said...

So I thought this was a beautiful post and I'm not even sure why. I felt your suburbia angst, I suppose. Guess I've always been a mid-size-town-girl, so I've never been around the diversity of which you speak. I don't even know what "jeunessee doree" is (and how the heck do you type the "e" with the accent over it...I can't remember what it's even called!).

I'm left feeling that my neighborhoods have always been over-processed, enriched, white bread :/. As one devoted to following Christ, that just doesn't sit so well...

willowtree said...

depends which way the accent goes, if it points towards 2 o'clock its an acute, if it goes the other way its a grave. if it looks like a house its a circumflex and if its under a c its a cedilla. And all of that from memory (sheesh, what a wisearse!)

Also, I think jeunessee is phonetic for je ne sais "I don't know" (but it needs pas at the end if it is), or it could be the plural of young which is jeunes (adjectives take on the numerical value of the noun) . No Idea what doree is.

Can you tell I've got nothing to do?

Margo Carmichael said...

If we went to Paris, a foreign car would be a Chevrolet~ : )

Margo Carmichael said...

Was that brilliant, or what? LOL

Heather said...

jeunesse doree means young rich people (it is the plural of jeune).
see, you learn something new everyday.
love the mcdonald's and chevy references! Ha!

willowtree said...

Thanks, I was in the ballpark.

Robin said...

And once again, I say, "blogging is educational":). Willowtree, what would we do without your clarity?