Suburban Prisoner Calls Out For Help

<p>A new suburbanite writes into an advice columnist for help dealing with his suburban depression.</p>
February 18, 2008, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"Late last year we sold our cheap, tiny condo and bought a big house in a fancy suburb with not a lot of money down."

"The problem is that, ever since we moved in, I've been having a visceral feeling that this move was a terrible, terrible mistake -- I hate the feeling of slowly falling asleep in suburbia and never waking up. And I hate the commute. And I hate not being able to walk anywhere. And the lack of character. And the McMansions. And the SUVs. I want out and I want out now."

"What should we do?"

"--Living the American Dream ... I Guess"

Advice from columnist Cary Tennis:

"Dear Living the American Dream ..."

"The kind of American dream you are living is the kind you wake up from in cold sweats."

"There is another American dream."

"It is a dream of wholesale revamping of cities, towns, transit and housing. In this dream, you get up in the morning and shower with solar-heated water and walk down a pleasantly crowded pedestrian way to catch some breakfast at a sunny outdoor cafe and then walk to a well-designed mass transit hub where you catch a fast, comfortable and efficient train to work. Or you work at home, using video hookups when necessary for meetings, transferring digital files at high speed, and when you start to feel isolated and restless you step out of your house to mingle on the street or jog or cycle on a nature path. And maybe you pick some wild watercress on the way and when you get back you make a salad for your wife, who is conducting a seminar on Chaucer in the living room."

Thanks to LA Curbed

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Published on Thursday, February 14, 2008 in Salon
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