Friday, May 19, 2006

I Hate Suburbs: Reasons #149 & 262

Let me put this into perspective. I hate suburbs. I have probably grown to hate them more as I learn more about them in this crazy industry called construction. I have several reasons but we won't get into all of that.
When I worked for Farrow Architects it was in a really cool neighbourhood called Westboro here in Ottawa. It is one of those self sustaining areas that draws specialty shops and great restaurants. It also draws rich people. But I loved the area and the I thrived on the movement of the city there. On the flip side, I have now switched jobs to work for Vandenberg out in Kanata. Kanata is known for the high-tech industry, Scotiabank Place (what a dumb name) and suburbs. It is one of the 5/6 main suburbs separated from the city by, what else, a 'green' belt.
Anyway, I get off the bus on inbetween a business park and suburbs. I walk for ten minutes through suburbia until I get to my office which is actually a really cool building other than its location. So during my walk while listening to Bright Eyes or Iron & Wine or Belle & Sebastien I get to take in the wonderful sights and sounds of suburbia waking up and going to work.
So my Reason #149 is this. I got off the bus a little earlier one day and there was no cars. I thought it was weird because usually it is impossible to cross the road for fear of getting run over by a suburbanite on his way to work in the big city or a perfectly manicured business park. But it turned out that everbody in suburbia is a clone because not more than 5 minutes later everyone got in their cars and and drove out of their garage to head to work. It was like flicking a light switch. So thats my reason: Everyone (yes I know its a generalization - get over it) in suburbia is cloned.
Reason #262 is more of an Ottawa thing. In the GTA and GHA people know what landscaping is. Here in Ottawa, however, people think landscaping is putting a few flowers in the front bed and keeping the grass green. They just don't know any better or they just don't care. In the Horseshoe people don't think twice about dropping over 10 grand on some big rocks and plants. I am not saying that you have to but at least try making some half decent flower beds. Granted you have to get a good company to do it. My point is, if you are going to live in an area where all the buildings are identically ugly, than the least you could do is make your yard stand out by looking relatively interesting.
Anyway, thats enough ranting for today.
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