Suburbs Quotes

Quotes tagged as "suburbs" Showing 1-30 of 56
Neil Gaiman
“Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine. First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Alice McDermott
“If you want to see how far we have not come from the cave and the woods, from the lonely and dangerous days of the prarie or the plain, witness the reaction of a modern suburban family, nearly ready for bed, when the doorbell rings or the door is rattled. They will stop where they stand, or sit bolt upright in their beds, as if a streak of pure lightning has passed through the house. Eyes wide, voices fearful, they will whisper to each other, "There's someone at the door," in a way that might make you believe they have always feared and anticipated this moment - that they have spent their lives being stalked.”
Alice McDermott

Shirley Jackson
“Upstairs Margaret said abruptly, 'I suppose it starts to happen first in the suburbs,' and when Brad said, 'What starts to happen?' she said hysterically, 'People starting to come apart.”
Shirley Jackson, The Lottery and Other Stories

Christopher Brookmyre
“Just for a while": Death's opening chat-up line in His great seduction, before he drugged you with soporific comforts, distracted you with minor luxuries and ensnared you with long-term payment plans.

Join the Rat Race "just for a while."

Concentrate on your career "just for a while."

Move in with your girlfriend "just for a while."

Find a bigger place, out in the burbs "just for a while."

Lie down in that wooden box "just for a while.”
Christopher Brookmyre, A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away

Jane Jacobs
“There is a widespread belief that americans hate cities. I think it is probable that Americans hate city failure, but, from the evidence, we certainly do not hate successful and vital city areas. On the contrary, so many people want to make use of such places, so many people want to work in them or live in them or visit in them, that municipal self-destruction ensues. In killing successful diversity combinations with money, we are employing perhaps our nearest equivalent to killing with kindness.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Steven Millhauser
“Others saw in the trend still another instance of a disturbing tendency in the American suburb: the longing for withdrawal, for self-enclosure, for expensive isolation.”
Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter

“It was like hundreds of roads he'd driven over - no different - a stretch of tar, lusterless, scaley, humping toward the center. On both sides were telephone poles, tilted this way and that, up a little, down...

Billboards - down farther an increasing clutter of them. Some road signs. A tottering barn in a waste field, the Mail Pouch ad half weathered away. Other fields. A large wood - almost leafless now - the bare branches netting darkly against the sky. Then down, where the road curved away, a big white farmhouse, trees on the lawn, neat fences - and above it all, way up, a television aerial, struck by the sun, shooting out bars of glare like neon. ("Thompson")”
George A. Zorn, Shock!

Robyn Bachar
“I am opposed to Naperville. It's all cute, trendy and expensive, and filled with cookie-cutter Borg houses that assimilate you into upper-middle-class America.”
Robyn Bachar, Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered

Dolores Hayden
“In 1995 Bank of America issued a famous report on sprawl in California. The bank pronounced: 'Urban job centers have decentralized to the suburbs. New housing tracts have moved even deeper into agriculturally and environmentally sensitive areas. Private auto use continues to rise. This acceleration of sprawl has surfaced enormous social, environmental, and economic costs, which until now have been hidden, ignored, or quietly borne by society.”
Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

“Henceforth the crisis of urbanism is all the more concretely a social and political one, even though today no force born of traditional politics is any longer capable of dealing with it. Medico-sociological banalities on the 'pathology of housing projects,' the emotional isolation of people who must live in them, or the development of certain extreme reactions of rejection, chiefly among youth, simply betray the fact that modern capitalism, the bureaucratic society of consumption, is here and there beginning to shape its own setting. This society, with its new towns, is building the terrain that accurately represents it, combining the conditions most suitable for its proper functioning, while at the same time translating in space, in the clear language of organization of everyday life, its fundamental principle of alienation and constraint. It is likewise here that the new aspects of its crisis will be manifested with the greatest clarity.”
Tom McDonough, The Situationists and the City: A Reader

Dolores Hayden
“Since the Leeburg Pike [at Tyson's Corner] carries six to eight lanes of fast-moving traffic and the mall lacks an obvious pedestrian entrance, I decided to negotiate the street in my car rather than on foot. This is a problem planners call the 'drive to lunch syndrome,' typical of edge nodes where nothing is planned in advance and all the development takes place in isolated 'pods'.”
Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

Dolores Hayden
“In the 1954 Internal Revenue Code, a Republican Congress changed forty-year, straight-line depreciation for buildings to permit 'accelerated depreciation' of greenfield income-producing property in seven years. By enabling owners to depreciate or write off the value of a building in such a short time, the law created a gigantic hidden subsidy for the developers of cheap new commercial buildings located on strips. Accelerated depreciation not only encouraged poor construction, it also discouraged maintenance...After time, the result was abandonment.”
Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

Dolores Hayden
“By the mid-1950s real estate promoters of the commercial strip were attaching it to the centerless residential suburb. Both strips and tracts expanded under the impact of federal subsidies to developers, but since these subsidies were indirect, it was hard for many citizens or local officials to know what was happening.”
Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

Dolores Hayden
“In the wake of the tax bonanzas for new commercial projects, roadside strips boomed. Private developers responded to the lack of planned centers, public space, and public facilities in suburbs by building malls, office parks, and industrial parks as well as fast-food restaurants and motels.”
Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

Hal Porter
“...the reality of late summer and early autumn when Adelaide, more than any place on earth, and as simply as pouring tea from a pot, pours fourth from a lavish cornucopia into gardens and parks and markets and arcade stalls a cascade of carnations and grapes and melons, guavas and Michaelmas daisies and tomatoes, zinnias and belladonna lilies and tuberoses, lavender and quinces and cumquats and pomegranates, roses and roses and roses.”
Hal Porter, Paper Chase

Mary Roach
“Californians are like, 'Lions are everywhere now!'" What's on the rise are home security cameras. Doorbell cameras are the mammograms of wildlife biology.”
Mary Roach, Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law

Nancy Rubin Stuart
“Rhythms. You can almost feel them on suburban streets, divine the hour of the day without consulting a clock from the sounds heard in the cool, leafy neighborhoods.”
Nancy Rubin Stuart, The New Suburban Woman: Beyond Myth and Motherhood

Nancy Rubin Stuart
“We have made cities out of our suburbs, and now, with the corporate drift form urban centers, are beginning to make suburbs out of our cities.”
Nancy Rubin Stuart, The New Suburban Woman: Beyond Myth and Motherhood

Nancy Rubin Stuart
“The suburban dream began innocently enough one and a half centuries ago, with a weariness of city life and a craving for all things green bright and pure.”
Nancy Rubin Stuart, The New Suburban Woman: Beyond Myth and Motherhood

Jean Baudrillard
“Dogs and roses. All these suburban houses bespangled with roses and bristling with dogs. A dog behind every rose bush. For people and their hellish imaginaries, dogs are as ornamental as roses. In reality, the roses are just as vicious as the dogs or an electrified fence. There are too many of them, they are too red, their carnivorous petals close on a forbidden space. The pleasantness of the residential suburbs, the pleasantness of the sarcophagi of greenery where the television aerials gleam. The pleasantness of aphanisis in the death-laden detached houses, set in a bower of lilacs and hollyhocks. The only sign of the frenzied urge to bite and fight, the only sign of the vitrified and howling passions beneath the film of plastic is the beast of the Apocalypse, barking on the horizon beyond the flower beds.”
Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories

Langston Hughes
“...Me, I do not want to go to no suburbans not even Brooklyn. But Joyce wants to integrate. She says America has got two cultures, which should not he divided as they now is, so let's leave Harlem."

"Don't you agree that Joyce is right?"

"White is right," said Simple, "so I have always heard. But I never did believe it. White folks do so much wrong! Not only do they mistreat me, but they mistreats themselves. Right now, all they got their minds on is shooting off rockets and sending up atom bombs and poisoning the air and fighting wars and Jim Crowing the universe."

"Why do you say 'Jim Crowing the universe'?" "Because I have not heard tell of no Negro astronaughts nowhere in space yet. This is serious, because if one of them white Southerners gets to the moon first, COLORED NOT ADMITTED signs will go up all over heaven as sure as God made little green apples, and Dixiecrats will be asking the man in the moon, 'Do you want your daughter to marry a Nigra?' Meanwhile, the N.A.A.C.P. will have to go to the Supreme Court, as usual, to get an edict for Negroes to even set foot on the moon. By that time, Roy Wilkins will be too old to make the trip, and me, too."

"But perhaps the Freedom Riders will go into orbit on their own," I said. "Or Harlem might vote Adam Powell into the Moon Congress.''

"One thing I know," said Simple, "is that Martin Luther King will pray himself up there. The moon must be a halfway stop on the way to Glory, and King will probably be arrested. I wonder if them Southerners will take police dogs to the moon?”
Langston Hughes, The Return of Simple

John Green
“I can’t believe she’s been living like this, this irreconcilable mix of tidy suburbanality and creepy decay. But then again, I can’t believe how much time I wasted believing she was living any other way.”
John Green, Paper Towns

Barbara Pym
“What was the point of living in a suburb if one couldn’t show a healthy curiosity about one’s neighbours?”
Barbara Pym, Less Than Angels

“Even though we lived in the Garden State, it was more important to display a beautiful lawn to our neighbors than to boast a bounty of healthy vegetables. I never saw one vegetable garden in my neighborhood nor in any of my friends’, until I planted one.”
Donna Maltz, Living Like The Future Matters: The Evolution of a Soil to Soul Entrepreneur

Sara Bonnett Stein
“I urge you to imagine the interlaced abundance if, throughout suburbia, every stockade fence, every chain-linked boundary, were to be buried in varied greenery and each of them and every hedge transformed into a hedgerow. I ask you, at least, to open the door to some first guest that your party might begin.”
Sara Bonnett Stein, Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards

Stewart Stafford
“Submerged Suburbia by Stewart Stafford

Fell out of bed, dragging my soul,
Looked out the old goldfish bowl,
To see suburbia was underwater,
And I was engaged to Neptune’s daughter.

There were buses like whales,
Driven by aquatic snails,
And jellyfish squatters,
Chased by octopus coppers.

Crab and lobster schoolkids,
Scurried by making online bids,
As a serial killer shark,
Prowled for surfers before dark.

Someone let the water out,
And it all went down the spout,
Flopping fish still tarried,
But I got out of getting married.

© Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.”
Stewart Stafford

Anthony T. Hincks
“Sheep will live in corrals of neighborhoods when society comes of age.”
Anthony T. Hincks

Rebecca Solnit
“The treadmill is a corollary to the suburb and the autotropolis: a device with which to go nowhere in places where there is nowhere to go.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Tania Runyan
“Only 15-20% of Rossmoor houses are “originals”—structures unchanged from their construction in the 1950s. The land is what’s valuable. People knock down the gingerbread cottages to build Mediterranean villas with no yards between them. I don’t want our family’s house to suffer that transformation.”
Tania Runyan, Making Peace With Paradise: an autobiography of a California girl

Martin Luther King Jr.
“The end result is that the United States is today a more segregated country in many respects than it was twenty years ago. Problems of education, transportation to jobs and decent living conditions are all made difficult because housing is so rigidly segregated. The expansion of suburbia and migration from the South have worsened big-city segregation. The suburbs are white nooses around the black necks of the cities. Housing deteriorates in central cities; urban renewal has been Negro removal and has benefited big merchants and real estate interests; and suburbs expand with little regard for what happens to the rest of America.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

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