During recent trips to visit my family in the suburbs of
And it makes me nervous, I suppose because it feels like I'm entering a community where the residents will never be satisfied with anything. They need to improve upon something that is already inherently "perfect" (well, not my idea of perfect, but perfect in the general sense). It's almost like they need to prove to the world that they can a) afford to buy a house there and b) make a statement by ripping down a beautiful older home and leaving their mark. I equate it to Chester's incessant need to mark every tree or shrub outside by peeing on it.
I don't know: there is just something very disturbing about driving down a residential street I have known all my life and no longer recognizing a good number of the homes. It just doesn't seem right. I mean, a renovation here, a new paint job there, some new plantings or a new fence...these are changes I'd expect to see in neighborhoods over time. But entirely new buildings that change the character of a TOWN?? Doesn't seem possible to me. Several years ago my now late father was elected a village trustee there because he knew the town backward and forward; today I think he probably wouldn't recognize the place.
My mother moved to a smaller ranch house in another suburb very near where I grew up. Her neighborhood has both ranches or 1960s split-level homes. It's a very nice, and relatively affordable, neighborhood with good schools, etc....a place that many people would like to live. Next door to my mom's place stood a home that was the mirror-image of hers. An older couple lived there, and they moved away last year. The home needed some updating, but in general it was in good shape as a smallish, sturdy, brick ranch home. Well, a realtor bought at a reduced price after telling the sellers it was for her daughter, supposedly a single mom living in the city. The realtor proceeded to tear it down and build a large two-and-a-half story house with a 3-car garage, and she is now attempting to sell it for about three times what she paid for the old house. Hmm...where's the daughter/single mom going to live?? She probably couldn't afford to purchase the home HER MOTHER decided to build.
How does this realtor sleep at night with such a warped sense of ethics? What's happening to our society if people who essentially have 'everything' are so dissatisfied with idyllic suburbia that they have to rip down decent homes and start over? Can people in the United States ever be satisfied with the good things they have?