Jump to content
HAIF - Houston's original social media

Why some people hate the suburbs...


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 337
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I agree with the exurban v. suburban statement. However, exurbanites will get totally bent out of shape at the term. Pitch a fit even, and claim they are totally self-sustaining, and we live in this h

Houston has it's suburban neighborhoods. All those Master Planned Communities with Town Center, Market blah, Blah and Bellagio Blvd are Exurbs or Exburbs....whatever the term is. Just don't group wh

Ehh...Pasadena, Baytown, Sugar Land are independent municipalities in the Houston metropolitan area. Exurb perhaps, but not by strict definition. For nostalgia's/history's sake, Montrose, River Oaks

Interesting article on why some people hate the suburbs. Sorry if it has been posted elsewhere.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123033369595836301.html

Reasons to hate the suburbs:

1. Longer distances between things

2. The "things" are all cookie-cutter strip centers with national chains, few authentic interesting places

3. Less history

4. New uninspired cookie-cutter architecture

5. "family people" i.e. PTA Nazis, ragin' soccer dads, crappy bars full of old boring men who smoke like chimneys and bad karaoke

I mean uh, what's to LIKE about the suburbs. Lower crime? Yeah, okay. Eyeroll.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I mean uh, what's to LIKE about the suburbs. Lower crime? Yeah, okay. Eyeroll.

Here are a few things to like about suburbs:

1. Longer distances between things, for those of us who like that.

2. Old, uninspired cookie-cutter architecture. Houston has suburbs from many different periods, going back 100 years or so.

3. Quiet.

4. Swimming pools.

5. Big houses.

6. Cheap land.

7. Great restaurants. Some of Houston's best restaurants are in far-flung strip centers.

8. Jobs. Houston's employment is spread all over.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Reasons to hate the suburbs:

1. Longer distances between things

2. The "things" are all cookie-cutter strip centers with national chains, few authentic interesting places

3. Less history

4. New uninspired cookie-cutter architecture

5. "family people" i.e. PTA Nazis, ragin' soccer dads, crappy bars full of old boring men who smoke like chimneys and bad karaoke

I mean uh, what's to LIKE about the suburbs. Lower crime? Yeah, okay. Eyeroll.

Edit: Messed up, refer to #5.

Edited by CoolBuddy06
Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are a few things to like about suburbs:

1. Longer distances between things, for those of us who like that.

2. Old, uninspired cookie-cutter architecture. Houston has suburbs from many different periods, going back 100 years or so.

3. Quiet.

4. Swimming pools.

5. Big houses.

6. Cheap land.

7. Great restaurants. Some of Houston's best restaurants are in far-flung strip centers.

8. Jobs. Houston's employment is spread all over.

One of the things that guides medical practice is 'risk-benefit' analysis. Doctors do whatever they do on you and prescribe whatever because its benefits outweigh the risks. same goes for people's choices. suburbs are great for some, and sucks for others. make your best choice and don't critisize others for making their best choice.

btw, Houston suburbs are fast becoming atypical with closer malls, fine dining, and proximal services. A nurse in Sugarland don't need to drive to Medical center to work in Methodist or go to the Galleria to shop at Macy's anymore. Why won't she and her husband choose to live there?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Suburbs are great for some people but not me.

Why would anyone want to live in a house where the fifth house down is exactly the same?

In some cases all the houses, unfortunately...

No house is truly unique, you can try and for those of you who succeed ,praise to you.

The majority of people living there are white, no offense. Some suburbs are diverse but they're aren't many.

The burbs, to me are symbolic of a sameness, insipid bland , boring life.

Sure the houses look good, crime isn't high, most of the time good schools, but where is the excitement?!

Where is the mystery? Today ,there, is most likely alike as yesterday and tomorrow.

And if you live there, good for you. Maybe that's just your lifestyle, and maybe you see it in a different light.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Suburbs are great for some people but not me.

Why would anyone want to live in a house where the fifth house down is exactly the same?

In some cases all the houses, unfortunately...

No house is truly unique, you can try and for those of you who succeed ,praise to you.

The majority of people living there are white, no offense. Some suburbs are diverse but they're aren't many.

The burbs, to me are symbolic of a sameness, insipid bland , boring life.

Sure the houses look good, crime isn't high, most of the time good schools, but where is the excitement?!

Where is the mystery? Today ,there, is most likely alike as yesterday and tomorrow.

And if you live there, good for you. Maybe that's just your lifestyle, and maybe you see it in a different light.

When I signed up for our house to be built I know immediately that half the homes in our section is going to have that plan, but i don't care. It is simply a great plan for the space. There are 38 homes on my street, 19 built by my builder. 5/19 homes has my plan. I know because we were the first on the street. But why would that bother me. I love the suburbs for what it has to offer, listed by memebag above. Crowd, crime and cramped space for the money are about my top three reasons for not living inside the beltway. But we go there to enjoy life when we're hungry for it. Ever seen a parent with two wonderful kids who will forgo fine schools because of cookie-cutter homes?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The burbs are okay. We visit folks in the Champions area regularly, and I think it's pretty. Lovely trees. Nice Homes. They all seem to be great neighbors.

What strikes me, particularly, is the diversity of our burbs. (#7 on Stuff white people like, after all). I have only a handful of non-anglo households in my neighborhood. So much for the urban experience. I do love the Heights. However, until cuteness and really short commutes become more celebrated than large yards and big homes, the Heights may lack something. (I know, Blasphemin'!) .

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are a few things to like about suburbs:

1. Longer distances between things, for those of us who like that.

2. Old, uninspired cookie-cutter architecture. Houston has suburbs from many different periods, going back 100 years or so.

3. Quiet.

4. Swimming pools.

5. Big houses.

6. Cheap land.

7. Great restaurants. Some of Houston's best restaurants are in far-flung strip centers.

8. Jobs. Houston's employment is spread all over.

I will grant cheap houses and land. Nix on the rest. In particular, Houston's best restaurants are in the Loop. In fact, pretty much Houston's best _______ are in the Loop.

One thing you won't find inside the Loop: Wal-Mart.

One of the things that guides medical practice is 'risk-benefit' analysis. Doctors do whatever they do on you and prescribe whatever because its benefits outweigh the risks. same goes for people's choices. suburbs are great for some, and sucks for others. make your best choice and don't critisize others for making their best choice.

btw, Houston suburbs are fast becoming atypical with closer malls, fine dining, and proximal services. A nurse in Sugarland don't need to drive to Medical center to work in Methodist or go to the Galleria to shop at Macy's anymore. Why won't she and her husband choose to live there?

I remember once during a time when I was working in Sugarland they were having an anti-gay marriage fair on the steps of the new City Hall in Town Square. Cotton candy and all kinds of nonsense. I know there are some who probably support such a goal, but I mean a fair? Come on, a little tacky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
When I signed up for our house to be built I know immediately that half the homes in our section is going to have that plan, but i don't care. It is simply a great plan for the space. There are 38 homes on my street, 19 built by my builder. 5/19 homes has my plan. I know because we were the first on the street. But why would that bother me. I love the suburbs for what it has to offer, listed by memebag above. Crowd, crime and cramped space for the money are about my top three reasons for not living inside the beltway. But we go there to enjoy life when we're hungry for it. Ever seen a parent with two wonderful kids who will forgo fine schools because of cookie-cutter homes?

Bingo. We can all admire and appreciate architecture, but if you have to choose between fine architecture and a good school/safe place for your kids, and you choose architecture, you're a real jerk. At the very least.

It's great if you have the money so you don't have to choose, but not everyone does. But here we go again with the people-who-live-in-suburbs-are-stupid thread. Really, hasn't it all been said?

edit: I don't live in the 'burbs, by the way. But I'm not saying I've made the best decisions.

Edited by sarahiki
Link to post
Share on other sites
Bingo. We can all admire and appreciate architecture, but if you have to choose between fine architecture and a good school/safe place for your kids, and you choose architecture, you're a real jerk. At the very least.

It's great if you have the money so you don't have to choose, but not everyone does. But here we go again with the people-who-live-in-suburbs-are-stupid thread. Really, hasn't it all been said?

edit: I don't live in the 'burbs, by the way. But I'm not saying I've made the best decisions.

Well uh, it doesn't have to be that way. Move to the suburbs without moving into a master-planned community. Give Kickerillo etc. the finger and hire an architect with his own ideas.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I will grant cheap houses and land. Nix on the rest. In particular, Houston's best restaurants are in the Loop. In fact, pretty much Houston's best _______ are in the Loop.

In fact, pretty much Texas's best _______ are not in Houston. I love all these inner loop snobs. That think that somehow inside-of-610 living is some how superior to anything outside of the loop. Drive down I-45 from IAH, through downtown, look on the left and right side of the freeway as you go. What a place to live. How depressing. I've lived all over this city, inside the loop; outside the loop... there really is no difference between inner loop suburbs, which they are, and outer loop suburbs, other than crime and a crappy school district inside of 610. Other than that... everything is pretty much the same. If you like Mongolian BBQ... there is only one place in Houston to get the best... and it

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Suburbs are great for some people but not me.

Why would anyone want to live in a house where the fifth house down is exactly the same?

How is that any worse than living in a condo or apartment where every house is exactly the same? And why would it bother me if my neighbor had my floor plan?

The majority of people living there are white, no offense. Some suburbs are diverse but they're aren't many.

We must be using different definitions of "suburb". Houston has a lot of suburbs where whites are a minority.

The burbs, to me are symbolic of a sameness, insipid bland , boring life.

Sure the houses look good, crime isn't high, most of the time good schools, but where is the excitement?!

Where is the mystery? Today ,there, is most likely alike as yesterday and tomorrow.

And if you live there, good for you. Maybe that's just your lifestyle, and maybe you see it in a different light.

Thanks.

I will grant cheap houses and land. Nix on the rest. In particular, Houston's best restaurants are in the Loop. In fact, pretty much Houston's best _______ are in the Loop.

You need to get out more. All the best Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican food in Houston is found outside the loop now. Most of it is in dinky little strip centers.

One thing you won't find inside the Loop: Wal-Mart.

No, just Target and Costco. Is Wal-mart attendance mandatory for us outer-loopers now?

I remember once during a time when I was working in Sugarland they were having an anti-gay marriage fair on the steps of the new City Hall in Town Square. Cotton candy and all kinds of nonsense. I know there are some who probably support such a goal, but I mean a fair? Come on, a little tacky.

Yeah, Sugar Land can be scary. Don't base your opinion of all suburbs on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why would anyone want to live in a house where the fifth house down is exactly the same?

In some cases all the houses, unfortunately...

just to play devil's advocate... with the townhome explosion, its possible to live in an urban environment, and have the houses next door through the fifth down look the exact same as yours.

I live in 30's montrose fourplex... there's a fourplex 2 blocks away that apears to be the exact same design and color.

As far as fourplexes go... there's only so many ways to go about it.

There are 2-3 fourplexes in a row on castlecourt that look the exact same.

Im sure sameness can be found in some of the Heights Victorians and Montrose bungalows too.

On the otherside of things, in my parents gated community in the suburbs.. they happen to have the 1 and only of a particular floorplan in a neighborhood of a few hundred. It's the same in brick color, style, and one of 6 paint colors.... but it is 100% unique in layout and area.

I'm happy to live in-city for several reasons.. but I think noting as a con of the suburbs the "sameness" is slightly dishonest and it's actually the staleness of the suburban environment that highlights the sameness there while the vitality of the environment here actually hides the fact that we have cookiecutter residential architecture in places as well.

Regardless.. the posted article was a good read. Thanks.

Edited by Highway6
Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason suburbs are successful is that developers have managed to convince people that the only criteria they should consider when buying a house is its size. This allows them to build large, cheap houses on small pieces of land far away from anything, and people will snap them up. The marketing is brilliant. Ever notice how the vast majority of suburban houses are two stories? More square footage on a smaller lot, more lots, more money for the developers-- but they'll tell you how "grand" the two story entry way is. Or they'll dig a ditch and fill it with water, build a house next to it and sell "waterfront" property. It's hilarious really.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason suburbs are successful is that developers have managed to convince people that the only criteria they should consider when buying a house is its size. This allows them to build large, cheap houses on small pieces of land far away from anything, and people will snap them up. The marketing is brilliant. Ever notice how the vast majority of suburban houses are two stories? More square footage on a smaller lot, more lots, more money for the developers-- but they'll tell you how "grand" the two story entry way is. Or they'll dig a ditch and fill it with water, build a house next to it and sell "waterfront" property. It's hilarious really.

Suburbs have been around for thousands of years. Are you really trying to argue that is due entirely to deceptive marketing practices?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Suburbs have been around for thousands of years. Are you really trying to argue that is due entirely to deceptive marketing practices?

No, I'm speaking specifically about modern suburbs of the type that are typically found in Texas. And I don't think the marketing practices are necessarily deceptive, they're just...misleading.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys really think suburbs are nonsense? Seriously? Ok let's go point-by-point...

The reason suburbs are successful is that developers have managed to convince people that the only criteria they should consider when buying a house is its size.

You forget about good schools, low crime, great place to raise kids, and in Houston suburbs, 5 - 10 minutes from every chain restaurant, a mall, a town center, swimming pool, tennis courts and soccer fields are all in the subdivision. They sure market more than size. Your city-centric eyes need to more attention.

This allows them to build large, cheap houses on small pieces of land far away from anything, and people will snap them up.

Why will a family of 4 buy a 1200 sf 1 bedroom in museum district or midtown for 250,000 when they can get a 2500 mcmansion in Pearland for 200, 000. If you'll do that then only one word describes you s-t-u-p-i-d.

The marketing is brilliant.

So is the marketing of your highrise condo.

Ever notice how the vast majority of suburban houses are two stories? More square footage on a smaller lot, more lots, more money for the developers-- but they'll tell you how "grand" the two story entry way is. Or they'll dig a ditch and fill it with water, build a house next to it and sell "waterfront" property. It's hilarious really.

Your last sentence sums up the rest of your post.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cookie cutter homes have been around for a LONG time. Go through Riverside, I can think of at least four houses right off hand that share floorplans, two houses share one plan dating from c. 1949, one is located on Rio Vista, the other on Del Rio, and two houses share the other plan dating from c. 1955, one on Ardmore, the other on Del Rio. I'm certain that there are more, they may not be five houses down from each other as today's are, but repetition does exist in these older hoods.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you guys really think suburbs are nonsense? Seriously? Ok let's go point-by-point...

You forget about good schools, low crime, great place to raise kids, and in Houston suburbs, 5 - 10 minutes from every chain restaurant, a mall, a town center, swimming pool, tennis courts and soccer fields are all in the subdivision. They sure market more than size. Your city-centric eyes need to more attention.

Why will a family of 4 buy a 1200 sf 1 bedroom in museum district or midtown for 250,000 when they can get a 2500 mcmansion in Pearland for 200, 000. If you'll do that then only one word describes you s-t-u-p-i-d.

So is the marketing of your highrise condo.

Your last sentence sums up the rest of your post.

For the record, I live in Pearland. And the marketing I see going on for highrise condos is every bit as nauseating as that for "master-planned communities." In both cases it's the work of developers eager to sell a "lifestyle" to one or another demographic. I find both equally stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone even read Revolutionary Road? I have it on my to-read list...

I have lived all over Houston, and there is blandness and monotony everywhere. Look at Bellaire - thousands of cookie-cutter 1950s era 1200 sf homes being replaced by thousands of cookie-cutter 4000 sf homes (on the same lot size, though). There are a few interesting newer homes (and older, too), but most are picked from a catalog (by the builder) and tossed up in record time.

The Heights definitely has its share of similar bungalows, but I'd argue that what's left is dwindling for Houston on the whole from that era. The issue I have is not replacing cookie cutter homes with more of the same (most people aren't as interested in architecture as we are, I gather, or more of that 900k would go to architectural planning), but more about why folks are wasting what's already there.

The point of the film, though, seems more geared toward the artificial glaze over everything - something that old suburbs' advertising often offered. Low crime, everything brand new, everything cheap, and a happy family.

We all know there's plenty of crime in suburban areas, some schools are crappy, some are not, but like others have said, everyone has reasons for their choices (and there are more job opportunities father out now, too).

Link to post
Share on other sites
In fact, pretty much Texas's best _______ are not in Houston.

Correct.

You need to get out more. All the best Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican food in Houston is found outside the loop now. Most of it is in dinky little strip centers.

Hugo's, Khyber Grill, Thiem Hung

and in Houston suburbs, 5 - 10 minutes from every chain restaurant

See here's the problem: You consider this a good thing. To you Macaroni Grill (or whatever) is an asset. To me it is an eyesore. Different priorities, different opinions.

Edited by kylejack
Link to post
Share on other sites
No, I'm speaking specifically about modern suburbs of the type that are typically found in Texas. And I don't think the marketing practices are necessarily deceptive, they're just...misleading.

I don't buy it. Ancient Romans built houses outside the walls for the same reasons modern Houstonians build houses outside the loop or beltway. They want to get away from the city center and they can afford it. Are there liars in real estate? Sure, there always have been. That doesn't explain the existence of suburbs, modern or ancient. Suburbs are built because people want them, plain and simple.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We can all admire and appreciate architecture, but if you have to choose between fine architecture and a good school/safe place for your kids, and you choose architecture, you're a real jerk. At the very least

Amen to that. Some of us family people want to provide the best for our children. You can have HISD.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Traffic, traffic, traffic - suburbanites are always at the mercy of developers' future plans and the idiosyncracies of the road-building lobbies.

Exhibit A: Hwy 290's distant burbs. Disasterously slow commutes/access to city....worse daily.

Exhibit B: Hwy 288's rapid unsuitability for purpose...and it will be worse soon.

Inside the loop, you're never far from: e.g., the world's largest Med Center, stadiums, universities, our four large downtowns, by FAR the most

extensive restaurant options (tastiness is a personal, subjective matter!), museums, Metrorail, the best shopping, and much more. On the flip side,

while there are myriad reasons to spend time inside the loop, why would an inner looper EVER care to visit the exurbs? They have almost nothing inner loopers need! (MUD districts, golf ?)

I can see why parents on a budget would move out to snag a better school or a bigger house/yard for kids. Also, if you work in the exurbs or just

can't pull off the finances close-in, then OK. Otherwise, downsize, pollute less and move in! Further, once the nest is empty, move in!

BTW, there is a Wal-Mart maybe 300 yards from the loop where the 610 W becomes 610 S., FWIW...

P.S. - I have read Revolutionary Road twice - superb prose! I liken it to Updike (my favorite ever), but a more stripped-down, spare style. Yes, people have

noted the suburban dolor almost since Levittown! Oates and Updike are two authors who write extensively about the suburban effect on our national psyche.

RR is an outstanding, relatively early (set in '55, written in '61) exposition of suburban isolation and conflict. Good read.

Edited by InTheLoop
Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I'm a city mouse, I will give the suburbs credit for one thing: quiet.

Sure, there's the occasional bitchin' Camaro or guy woodworking in his garage at 3am, but every time I go to a suburb (maybe every other month) I always take a couple of minutes to stand very still and listen to... nothing. Glorious nothing.

The city has a hum that's part of the underlying vibrance. It's nice, and sometimes it's even comforting. But you can't escape it except on Christmas morning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may as well be a Dallas v. Houston thread. Live where it works best for you. I'm single and choose to live inside the loop. If I had a kid, love child or other, I'd consider the suburbs.

Bryan, I love that Mongolian place, but it's not the only one. Check out China Town West (outside the loop). That reminds me, it's lunch time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Amen to that. Some of us family people want to provide the best for our children. You can have HISD.

I respect that folks choose suburban homes near good suburban schools, but depending on your zoning (or magnet expertise), HISD has plenty of good schools.

Traffic, traffic, traffic - suburbanites are always at the mercy of developers' future plans and the idiosyncracies of the road-building lobbies.

Exhibit A: Hwy 290's distant burbs. Disasterously slow commutes/access to city....worse daily.

Exhibit B: Hwy 288's rapid unsuitability for purpose...and it will be worse soon.

Inside the loop, you're never far from: e.g., the world's largest Med Center, stadiums, universities, our four large downtowns, by FAR the most

extensive restaurant options (tastiness is a personal, subjective matter!), museums, Metrorail, the best shopping, and much more. On the flip side,

while there are myriad reasons to spend time inside the loop, why would an inner looper EVER care to visit the exurbs? They have almost nothing inner loopers need! (MUD districts, golf ?)

I agree about the traffic unless you work in the suburban area you live in.

On the flip side, I have lived about 2-4 miles from work (in the city) in various places and always sat in traffic. Recently it took me about thirty minutes to get home (~3 miles).

BTW, there is a Wal-Mart maybe 300 yards from the loop where the 610 W becomes 610 S., FWIW...

True, and it's the nastiest ever.

P.S. - I have read Revolutionary Road twice - superb prose! I liken it to Updike (my favorite ever), but a more stripped-down, spare style.

I will definitely move this up the list - I am a big Updike fan!

Live where it works best for you. I'm single and choose to live inside the loop.

Exactly - and we can't possibly know all the reasons behind where a stranger chooses to live...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well uh, it doesn't have to be that way. Move to the suburbs without moving into a master-planned community. Give Kickerillo etc. the finger and hire an architect with his own ideas.

:lol: :lol: :lol: ROFLOL

Please, educate me on a cheap architect/contractor that can design/build me a unique home for 150k, WITHIN 30 miles of downtown, and with in 15 minutes any existing commercial development.

Good luck!

Edited by Jeebus
Link to post
Share on other sites

You would think that after nearly 70 years of ongoing debate concerning this that the answers would be pretty obvious. To review: there are clearly benefits to living in the suburbs for some or even just a general subjective appeal. The opposite is true for another large percentage of the populace.

The two sides will debage, huff and puff, get indignant and self-righteous, yada, yada, yada.

But also don't be surprised to find out that a larger number of people than you'd expect doesn't have a general preference one way or another and will choose as it benefits them at a particular time and place.

Link to post
Share on other sites
:lol::lol::lol: ROFLOL

Please, educate me on a cheap architect/contractor that can design/build me a unique home for 150k, WITHIN 30 miles of downtown, and with in 15 minutes any existing commercial development.

Good luck!

Eh, what developments is Kickerillo doing $150,000 homes in? I think we're probably not speaking the same language.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can see why parents on a budget would move out to snag a better school or a bigger house/yard for kids. Also, if you work in the exurbs or just

can't pull off the finances close-in, then OK. Otherwise, downsize, pollute less and move in! Further, once the nest is empty, move in!

Finally, almost some sense has been made. This is EXACTLY why we had to move this far out. My wife and I lived in an apartment in Westchase, and even then hated living that far out. Unfortunately, we could never afford to live closer to town on the same budget, and get the same level of comfort we had in Westchase - and that was just apartment living.

When it came to purchasing a home I started at Briargrove and started heading west, past at least a dozen neighborhoods we just could afford. West Oaks Village was the closest neighborhood we could afford (AS IN WHAT I COULD REALLY PAY AND NOT CHEAT BY GETTING AN ARM AND PAYING INTEREST FOR FIVE YEARS) where we found a nice (enough) neighborhood, good (enough) schools, low crime, close amenities, and easy access to the freeway system (Westpark - 5min then to: Downtown - 25min, Med Center/Greenway - 20min, Galleria - 15min). But I've never a more than 30 minute drive from the center of downtown - if that's where my destination is.

My wife and I have talked extensively of moving into the inner-loop once we retire, but until then, we have our children to think about first, and saving money second.

Inside the loop, you're never far from: e.g., the world's largest Med Center, stadiums, universities, our four large downtowns, by FAR the most

extensive restaurant options (tastiness is a personal, subjective matter!), museums, Metrorail, the best shopping, and much more. On the flip side,

while there are myriad reasons to spend time inside the loop, why would an inner looper EVER care to visit the exurbs? They have almost nothing inner loopers need! (MUD districts, golf ?)

And you are exactly right. There are no museums, large medical centers, major sport stadiums, large universities, fancy trollies, or the "best" shopping -- but let's really break those things down:

1. Museums - We went to the zoo three times, and the natural science museum twice in 2008 - each time on a weekend where traffic was not an issue, so there was no real benefit to living inside the loop, or even inside the belt.

2. Large Medical Centers - We did not go to the hospital once this year, much less visit anyone at the hospital. We use Kelsey which has a Ft. Bend campus 15 minutes from the house. We have Sugar Land Methodist, Memorial Herman Fort Bend AND Katy, as well as Christus St. Catherine and West Houston medical center - all within a 15 minute drive.

3. Major Sport Stadiums - We did not go to one Texan's, Rocket's, Comet's, Aero's, Astro's, Dynamo, Cougar's, or Owl's game this year. We had no desire to go. If we do decide to attend a game next year, it will most likely be that: a game, 1 game. We will no hold season tickets, nor be regulars, so there is no reason to live in the loop to be close to the venue.

4. Large Universities - We don't go to school. No Benefit.

5. Metrorail - My wife uses the park & ride to go downtown. the time spent on the bus equates to a catch-up/reading/online bill-paying/quiet-time she gets to share with other business people. She drives 15 minutes to the P&R in the mornings and 15 minutes home with traffic. Even if we lived in the loop, we would most likely not be able to benefit from the existing metrorail, and she would be more inclined to drive since we "live so close". So it would still serve no benefit to live inside the loop.

I work 15 minutes away from home in a neighboring suburb.

6. "Best Shopping" - L. O. Freakin' L. News flash yuppies. My wife and I make less than 80k annually, we have a daughter with another on the way, we have a mortgage, a car note, student loans, pre-school tuition, etc etc etc. we can NOT afford the "best" shopping the inner-loop has to offer, much less the "best" dining the inner-loop has to offer. So yet again, there is no benefit for my budding family to live inside the loop.

I would estimate that this is the scenario for 70% of the families in the suburbs. We're just trying to "live the good life". We're not concerned with gourmet dinners, boutique shopping, rail-based mass-transit, proximity to hospitals, stadiums, or museums.

I think the inner-loop is GREAT for rich people, poor-people, and single people. Middle class families (if I may call mine that) just don't get the privilege of the inner-loop, and in all reality, don't need it. But please, keep it nice for when we retire, and can come join you. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
They want to get away from the city center and they can afford it.

The reason they typically want to get away from the city center is that they can't afford it. Or at least they can't afford the gigantic house they want inside the loop. That's what I'm saying, it's all about square footage with suburbanites, that's all they care about. And spare me the "good schools" argument. If it were really about "good schools" they'd enroll their kids in private schools. But again, they can't afford it. So when they say "good schools" what they really mean are "public schools where the majority of students are white."

Link to post
Share on other sites
Eh, what developments is Kickerillo doing $150,000 homes in? I think we're probably not speaking the same language.

Then exactly what did you mean, and who were you referring to?

For me the problem with suburbs is that they have all the inconveniences of living in the country (long drives, bad food, nothing to do) with none of the benefits (solitude, privacy, quiet).

Are you married? Do you have children? What exactly are you doing in the city that you can't do in the suburbs? Please exclude once or twice annual examples of going to the museum or to a sporting event.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason they typically want to get away from the city center is that they can't afford it. Or at least they can't afford the gigantic house they want inside the loop. That's what I'm saying, it's all about square footage with suburbanites, that's all they care about. And spare me the "good schools" argument. If it were really about "good schools" they'd enroll their kids in private schools. But again, they can't afford it. So when they say "good schools" what they really mean are "public schools where the majority of students are white."

This is the biggest load of crap. I would have killed for a home inside the loop. The problem was that for $150k, my kid was going to have to share her education with apartment dwellers. Watch the news once in a while and you'll see why that's a problem for me.

Please, educate me on where I can get ANYTHING inside the loop for $150k, that is an actual home on private property that has good schools.

As for private education, that's for the rich and the lazy. Neither of which are willing to put in the time to contribute their time and attention to help the teachers of the public schools whose salary their taxes ALREADY pay. God forbid I get back some of the social services I pay for.

I agree with whoever said it earlier in the thread and will expand: if you picked your home based on architecture and/or location over your child's safety and education, then you are a jerk. If you don't have children, then please ignore.

Well I suppose I was referring to people who were considering building with a builder like Kickerillo in a master-planned community!

Which makes no sense as those are the NICEST neighborhoods IN the suburbs. Its exactly those neighborhoods that help keep my "little neighborhood that could" from sliding down in status like the newly build KB home neighborhood adjacent to mine is trying to do.

If anything, give KB builders and ilk the finger, not the nicer ones.

Edited by Jeebus
Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the woods that I explored with my friends as a kid was long ago replaced by beige suburban homes and fast food restaurants and other infrastructure to support them. If I am to take sides, I would argue that there is value to undeveloped open space in our world. But our frenzy to develop every nook and cranny doesn't favor this.

I think there are definite disadvantages to suburbs. The increased distance between the homes in master planned communities and places of work and business drive more dependence on fossil fuels and make mass transit far less effective. So, there is more traffic, more infrastructure required to handle it, more taxes to pay for said infrastructure, and more pollution as a result of the increased traffic.

But Houston really is just one big suburb. Homes inside the loop may be a bit closer together, but there's no denying that, outside of a few neighborhoods, the city is dependent on the automobile.

The social dynamic of suburbs is less of a problem for me as I have a choice of where to live. To me, it really comes down to containing the sprawl and saving some of the remaining open spaces, if that's possible. It just seems like there is no stopping the march of development farther and farther from the core.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the biggest load of crap. I would have killed for a home inside the loop. The problem was that for $150k, my kid was going to have to share her education with apartment dwellers. Watch the news once in a while and you'll see why that's a problem for me.

Please, educate me on where I can get ANYTHING inside the loop for $150k, that is an actual home on private property that has good schools.

As for private education, that's for the rich and the lazy. Neither of which are willing to put in the time to contribute their time and attention to help the teachers of the public schools whose salary their taxes ALREADY pay. God forbid I get back some of the social services I pay for.

Dude, that's exactly my point. You wanted a house inside the loop and couldn't afford it. And as far as schools go, you're telling me public schools are better than private schools? Are you serious? If it all comes down to time and attention on the part of the parents, then why don't you home school? Not willing to put in the time and attention?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Dude, that's exactly my point. You wanted a house inside the loop and couldn't afford it. And as far as schools go, you're telling me public schools are better than private schools? Are you serious? If it all comes down to time and attention on the part of the parents, then why don't you home school? Not willing to put in the time and attention?

Because then I wouldn't be able to work and even afford THIS home.

To send my kid to private school means we would have to find a cheaper home, either in a "worse" neighborhood closer in the city, or worse, a smaller home ever further out from where we are now. That or I just up my work hours from 60 to 80. Like I said before, God forbid I actually get to use one of the few social services I faithfully pay for.

Public schools can far exceed private schools when the parents will take the time to contribute and help the traditionally underfunded teachers. When the teachers can focus on teaching and not raising the children or funding the lesson, it makes a huge difference. IMO, you're not going to find parents who care in areas high in apartment complexes the same as you will in the suburbs. It all relates to the very simple saying of "birds of a feather flock together". If anyone wants to be a racist and say that suburbia = white, that's fine, but my Vietnamese, Black, Hispanic, and Indian neighbors might take issue with that. On my block, I'M the minority.

Private schools and their superior educations are just as worthless as the poorest inner-city public school educations when the parents are too busy working to pay for the education or too lazy to take an interest and their kids are left unchecked.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there are definite disadvantages to suburbs. The increased distance between the homes in master planned communities and places of work and business drive more dependence on fossil fuels and make mass transit far less effective. So, there is more traffic, more infrastructure required to handle it, more taxes to pay for said infrastructure, and more pollution as a result of the increased traffic.

But Houston really is just one big suburb. Homes inside the loop may be a bit closer together, but there's no denying that, outside of a few neighborhoods, the city is dependent on the automobile.

The social dynamic of suburbs is less of a problem for me as I have a choice of where to live. To me, it really comes down to containing the sprawl and saving some of the remaining open spaces, if that's possible. It just seems like there is no stopping the march of development farther and farther from the core.

I fundamentally agree with you, but honestly, even if you compress every neighborhood outside 610, would the city still not stretch for miles? We are home to over guesstimated 3+ million people outside of the 610 loop. Is there any real solution for traffic, sprawl, and other suburb issues when dealing with millions of people?

I think the only logical answer to this issue three fold: 1. commuter-rail modeled after the P&R bus system, 2. initiation of unincorporated areas to incorporate and encourage more centralized commercial growth from the center of these newly formed town centers. 3. short distance light rail/bus transit from suburbs to newly formed town centers.

This would help cut down on traffic, congestions, pollution, and fossil fuel usage. It would also encourage individual town identities to form closer, and more central to the surrounding suburb communities. This would hopefully create new jobs, and encourage businesses to anchor in these town centers, allowing employees who want to live in the suburbs to lessen their commute times and strengthen community ties.

Its all a wet pipe dream though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Suburbs can be just fine, but I like the city for where we are right now. I bet in the near future that changes though.

One thing I don't like about the burbs is the street layouts and traffic. I feel like I zip around, not using freeways, around where I live. but going out to the burbs, the damn wide streets, left turn signals, LONG traffic signals not timed to anything, and honestly far more traffic (see FM 1960 and 518/Broadway) than I get here. Even when I'm in traffic around where we live, it's bearable. But trying to go 3 miles down the road where I work (near Pearland) and I want to start shooting people.

Suburb pros: typically bigger houses/lots, less crime, better public schools.

Suburb cons: traffic/driving, everything is new, too much fake stucco, cutting down old trees to build new homes (I NEED OLD/BIG TREES!!), shopping centers (I hate them inner loop too), and the mentality that a new Red Robin being built = exciting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Suburbs can be just fine, but I like the city for where we are right now. I bet in the near future that changes though.

One thing I don't like about the burbs is the street layouts and traffic. I feel like I zip around, not using freeways, around where I live. but going out to the burbs, the damn wide streets, left turn signals, LONG traffic signals not timed to anything, and honestly far more traffic (see FM 1960 and 518/Broadway) than I get here. Even when I'm in traffic around where we live, it's bearable. But trying to go 3 miles down the road where I work (near Pearland) and I want to start shooting people.

That deserves some underlining. Every time I leave the Loop I am horrified by the traffic I encounter and I can't get my head around people dealing with that every single day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
That deserves some underlining. Every time I leave the Loop I am horrified by the traffic I encounter and I can't get my head around people dealing with that every single day.

Funny. I feel the same way when I go visit my daughter who lives in the Montrose area. Have you driven down Shepherd or Kirby or Westheimer?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Although I'm a city mouse, I will give the suburbs credit for one thing: quiet.

Sure, there's the occasional bitchin' Camaro or guy woodworking in his garage at 3am, but every time I go to a suburb (maybe every other month) I always take a couple of minutes to stand very still and listen to... nothing. Glorious nothing.

The city has a hum that's part of the underlying vibrance. It's nice, and sometimes it's even comforting. But you can't escape it except on Christmas morning.

I hear ya'...literally.

Having told this story in the past, it still sounds appropriate on this thread:

Years ago, my girlfriend and I moved in together into the city in the galleria area. She moved from the 'burbs, I have always lived in the city.

First night, I slept like a baby. She was awake all night hearing all the sirens and junk.

Forward a couple of years, we move to the 'burbs.

We couldn't sleep for a few days because it was TOO quiet.

I found the 'burbs a soul sucking experience. The home architecture didn't bother me, but the whack job neighbors did.

To my left was a Coca-cola collector, that was peeved we moved our lawn a little TOO short for her tastes.

To my right was a neighbor who, for a year, would't take care of his bee problem that was on OUR property.

Behind us, was a kid that loved shooting his BB Gun all the time and claimed innocence when we found a dead bird by our birdhouse and who's father wouldn't contribute money for a quality fence when ours got knocked down during a rainstorm.

To the kid across the street that LOVED playing his radio at 6am on saturday.

No, you want peace and quiet, you hope everyone respects it, otherwise, because it might not fit in your neighbor's agenda.

In the city, you expect noise, you can easily avoid your neighbors if you want to. You adjust to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I hear ya'...literally.

Having told this story in the past, it still sounds appropriate on this thread:

Years ago, my girlfriend and I moved in together into the city in the galleria area. She moved from the 'burbs, I have always lived in the city.

First night, I slept like a baby. She was awake all night hearing all the sirens and junk.

Forward a couple of years, we move to the 'burbs.

We couldn't sleep for a few days because it was TOO quiet.

I found the 'burbs a soul sucking experience. The home architecture didn't bother me, but the whack job neighbors did.

To my left was a Coca-cola collector, that was peeved we moved our lawn a little TOO short for her tastes.

To my right was a neighbor who, for a year, would't take care of his bee problem that was on OUR property.

Behind us, was a kid that loved shooting his BB Gun all the time and claimed innocence when we found a dead bird by our birdhouse and who's father wouldn't contribute money for a quality fence when ours got knocked down during a rainstorm.

To the kid across the street that LOVED playing his radio at 6am on saturday.

No, you want peace and quiet, you hope everyone respects it, otherwise, because it might not fit in your neighbor's agenda.

In the city, you expect noise, you can easily avoid your neighbors if you want to. You adjust to it.

This sounds more like a personal problem. Our neighbors we've had in both houses out here in Sugar Land have been fantastic. They watch over our place when we are gone and are just good people to be around. And even if we should get a bad neighbor at least our house is at least 30 feet from the closest neighbors house. How do you avoid your neighbors when their house is only 5 feet away from yours? Which seems to be the prevalent style in the inner loop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...