Urban Fold

Suburban Myths

Common conceptions about suburbs are fading away, according to William Upski Wimsatt.

He lists five suburban assumptions that are no longer valid, from demographics to activities. For example, Wimsatt argues that the idea that suburbs aren't cool is a misconception.

"In August, Travel and Leisure featured the nation's 26 "coolest suburbs" that "blow up the stereotype" of these communities as "boring, conformist places." The magazine focused on older suburbs with traditional town centers, such as Mt. Lebanon, Pa.; Birmingham, Mich.; Lakewood, Ohio; and other "culinary and cultural hot spots."

Just consider the Washington region. Did you ever imagine that spoken-word poetry would take root in Rosslyn, Vienna, Chevy Chase and Kensington? Did you ever think that the District's go-go music scene - largely exiled from the city by higher rents and a yuppie-friendly Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration - would take refuge in Prince George's County? Did you ever dream that Busboys and Poets could thrive near the characterless condos of Shirlington?"

Full Story: Five myths about the suburbs

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