15 November 2007

Civic Angst

The primary characteristic of this region is it's overdeveloped inferiority complex. We still pine for Bob Dylan, Tom Lehman and F. Drunk Fitzgerald to come home. We forever apologize for our manic/depressive climate. Even central-lefties plead with the House Organ to get off the self-affirmation/feel-good bandwagon.

The latest incantation of this plague is that, after fleeing the cities for the 'burbs, the 'burb types crave cute synthetic downtowns in the very suburbs where they never existed before. They press their elected sheep hard to give it to them like some manner of birthday gift.

James Lileks has eloquently details the latest round of this folly:
You almost feel sorry for the city leaders: their desire to live in a place unlike the one in which they live is painfully obvious. Denser development would be fine, as we keep repeating in this space. Dense can be great. But in this example, Plymouth wanted the obligatory brick swank-node to have upscale retailers – which meant another interchangeable pseudo-historical building with a Banana Republic on one end and an Ann Taylor – well, maybe an Ann Taylor Loft – on the other. It’s as if they have a hip smart cousin from New York coming in for the weekend, and they’re just embarrassed how things look.

No comments: