25 February 2009 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Justin
So over the weekend – well not exactly the weekend, but yesterday — I had to do something that I really don’t enjoy. Not that there are many things that I enjoy doing in the dead of winter, but I had to leave my comfort area of 6 blocks by 10 blocks of downtown and venture off into the hinterland I call the suburbs.
I have to admit that whenever I think of the suburbs the image of a horror movie and someone running around with a chainsaw comes to mind. So I wasn’t really thrilled to be going.
If you’re familiar with my blog posts, I’ve mentioned a few times about my living conditions and where I call home. So I won’t really get into that. But what I haven’t really talked about is my fear of the suburbs.
Some, well most, would probably disagree with me. But I’ve never really been a fan of this whole American Dream concept. The idea of a white picket fence and a two-car garage really doesn’t cut it for me. It probably has to do more with the expectations that come with it more then anything else. I’ve never owned a car, can’t pull off an Old Navy sweater, and avoid small talk with my neighbours. So I don’t think I will ever be able to become president of a homeowners association.
I find it strange how certain standards in one place don’t relate to the other. If you see someone taking the bus or walking in the suburbs, the general consensus could be that they can’t afford a car. But there is nothing wrong with that in downtown. When renting or owning a condo, you look to find a place that meets your current needs rather then buying a home that you think you will eventually grow into (Isn’t that how the mortgage crisis started?).
I guess that’s what I’ve noticed about the suburbs, though. Everyone seems to be paranoid. If someone drives into your cul-de-sac or pulls into the neighbor’s driveway it becomes ‘Dateline’ in the living room window, with binoculars and all. Isn’t it strange how the show ‘Cops’ is always filmed in the suburbs? In the city, if someone was sitting on the curb or sleeping on the sidewalk, you automatically think they were just looking for a little bit of change. While in the suburbs if the same thing happened, the National Guard would be called in, with the SWAT team on standby.
But in the city, you can kind of expect certain situations ands standards. There is almost an unwritten code about how to conduct yourself downtown. That code is generally interpreted in so many different ways that some may not think it’s normal. But it’s pretty easy to understand:
You stand to the right on an escalator. You walk with the flow of pedestrian traffic. Cars like to believe they have the right of way, but they don’t dare to hit you if you get in their way. The best public washrooms are always on the second floor. You walk with your head up and with confidence, and don’t judge someone on what they are wearing — no matter how gaudy you think it may be.
I could keep going but then I would give away too many secrets and then those people in the suburbs might start wanting to join the party downtown.
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