11. Bashing the ‘Burbs

It is a well known fact that all architects live in the city.  No architect in their right mind would be caught dead living in such places as “the ‘burbs”.  It is also the duty of every architect to criticize the suburbs in such a way that elevates those who live in the city above those who choose the suburban way of life.

After all, it is the nature of architects to desire to be unique.  They set out in life to make the world a better place; if they cannot actually accomplish this feat, then they at least want to make their life better.  If that cannot be accomplished, then they’ll settle for just making it better than yours.  The easiest way to do this is by criticizing the suburbs.

Suburban sprawl in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Image via Wikipedia

If you bring up the location of your residence in the ‘burbs to your architect friend, you will most likely be met with a somewhat sympathetic look combined with a twinge of disgust.  In his mind, the architect is thinking, “Ugh.  How could you commute for over an hour just to get to your house?  Plus, you have to drive another 30 minutes to get to the grocery store.  Not to mention those cookie cutter houses that lack any trace of design merit.”

You will watch as the architect furrows his brow and frowns a bit as you describe your commute and how you enjoy living in the suburbs because of the vast expanses of cheap land and non-existent crime.  He may even let out a chuckle or two.  At the end of the conversation, the architect will do one of two things, at which point you may choose your own adventure:

Scenario 1. He may mention that he currently resides in the city’s prestigious loft area with his wonderful wife.

Here’s a way to shake up his world:  Ask what he plans to do once children arrive into their 600 square foot apartment with no yard and only average public schools.

Enjoy the show as you watch him squirm.

Scenario 2. He will have omitted mentioning where he resides, hoping all the while that the question would not come up in conversation.

Cut to the chase and ask: “So, where do you live?” and wait for the fumbled (and mumbled) response of, “…uh….the burbs – but one of those master planned communities…it’s different.”

After all, it is an affordable option.


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