We’re going on a trip soon, back to the motherland, to visit my mother (and many others). I’ve been reading a great book on loan from zurika about the American influence on the English language. Here’s a quote that struck me.
As early as 1955, the phenomenon was noticed by the writer A.C. Spectorsky, who coined the term exurbia for this new kind of community that was emotionally and economically independent from the metropolis that had spawned it, but it was not until 1991, when a Washington Post reporter named Joel Garreau wrote a book called Edge City, that this vast transition in linving patterns gained widespread notice.
To qualify as an edge city by Garreau’s definition, a community must have 5 million square feet of office space, 600,000 square feet of shopping, and more people working there than living there. America now has more than 200 edge cities. Los Angeles and New York have about two dozen each. Almost all have been created since 1960, and almost always they are soulless, impersonal places, unfocused collections of shopping malls and office complexes that are ruthlessly unsympathetic to non-motorists. Many have no pavements or pedestrian crossings, and only rarely do they offer any but the most skeletal public transport links to the nearby metropolis, effectively denying job opportunities to many of those left behind in the declining inner cities. About one-third of all Americans now live in edge cities, and up to two-thirds of American work in them. They are substantial places, and yet most people outside their immediate areas have never heard of them.
Is it really as depressing as all that? Certainly not for us, because of our friends and family and memories there. But for those looking to make a fresh start there, I imagine this description is a pretty good deterrent. What do you think?
Also, for the plane trip, I’m trying to get one of those EmPower adapter thingies (and trying to get seats with a port like that reserved, but I can’t check in until Monday at the earliest). Does anyone have one of those already? Where did you get yours? I’m a little behind the game here — can’t get it purchased online in time for our flight, and there’s probably not time for me to shop for one between now and our departure. Amazon.de is showing a price of about €4, but Amazon.com wants at least $9.99. Yikes.