Friday Funny: Devolving American Housing Preferences, Or, Life In A Mall

First came tract housing, then gated communities. Now Americans are shelling out big bucks for places that "seamlessly fuse life with commerce, eliminate the line separating home and shop, individual and commodity." Yes, life in a glorified mall.
May 5, 2006, 2pm PDT | David Gest
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"It began, perhaps, with the rambling communal cancer that is the American tract-home development.

Easily the most unpleasant domestic acne to pockmark the landscape since Wal-Mart Superstores, since T.G.I. Friday's, since Ashlee Simpson, the concept of tract-home living has mangled the way we think of home much like SUVs have inflated the concept of ego, like Cheez Whiz altered the way we think about cheddar. You know: sad, strange and more than a little toxic."

"Gated communities are a sign. They are part of our devolution toward...I'm not sure what. Communal self-loathing? Quivering mistrust of the universe? Fear of anything beyond our own driveway?"

The most recent mutation of American housing types?

"Santana Row. It combines all the best/worst/most cliched aspects of the American nouveau rich-wannabe yuppie life into one massive sprawling skillfully designed orgiastically moneyed complex: 70 shops, 20 restaurants, six movie screens, five spas, a four-star hotel, mini-gardens, courtyards, terraces, nice lighting, scented clouds, imported Guatemalan midget slaves, liquid Prozac in the drinking fountains, soul-numbing music, nose jobs and Botox like a requirement, snooty oddly asexual hottie blondes like a rash. It is positively lovely."

Thanks to Bruce Williams

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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