I’m away from my keyboard today doing on-campus recruiting at Georgia Tech. So, please read this lovely entry that I prepared earlier…
The other night’s pre-trivia walk was again through the Highlands. I went down the street on which my friend Bill used to own a house until about a year ago. From what I saw the Virginia-Highlands has entered Stage Three in my classification of urban redevelopment (note: I purposely didn’t call this ‘preservation’)
Stage One – ‘Let’s make them better’: During this phase a neighborhood is deemed ‘viable’ for gentrification and people with disposable income, called Urban Pioneers, start to move in and fix up the existing houses. The first houses to be snatched up are those which need minimal work, but soon thereafter the fixer-uppers are taken for a song and restored. Not all houses in the neighborhood are sold, some long-term residents manage to continue to live in the area.
Stage Two – ‘Let’s make them bigger’: During this phase a neighborhood is deemed ‘safe for families’ and people needing larger houses move in and add on to the existing houses. Often time the addition is a second story, in many cases detracting from the original lines of the house. More houses now go up for sale because the cost of additions is great and long-term residents can turn their house for a profit.
Stage Three – ‘Let’s replace the old with bigger and newer’: During this phase a neighborhood starts to lose the houses (and larger lots) which once defined it. The older houses, some of which underwent additions in Phase Two are levelled, along with many mature trees, so that mini-mansions can be erected in the space. Long-term residents, if they still exist, realize that the price offered for their house, in addition to the immenent raising of taxes, is too great to turn down, and move out.
Would You Like To Rent Some Space For Your Shit?
America loves the ‘big house.’ I admit that my house is too large for a single individual, but in my defense I was not looking for a house this size, I just happened upon it.
What baffles me is that Americans own so much shit that we have created an entire industry to rent us space in which to store it — the Self Storage industry. Clusters of locked, sometimes climate-controlled, garages are present across our country housing the accumulated wealth of Americans who don’t have enough space within their own dwelling to store it. Amazing!
Short of needing secondary storage I am as guilty as the next person in this country. It’s one of my character flaws, definitely something I intend to work on.
And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – nervous: Super Bowl Party ‘T Minus Four Days’
Current Music – none
Current Read – resumes