The Suburbs Are Alive in New York City

How far outside of New York City do you have to travel to find the suburban pleasures of miniature golf, batting cages, or an Applebee's? Surprise, they can all be found in the five boroughs. Jesse McKinley seeks to explain this phenomenon.
June 2, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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As a native of America's sprawling hinterlands, McKinley is acutely aware of the telltale signs that the pleasures of the suburbs are seeping into Manhattan. And he seeks to diagnose the source of the city's suburbanization.

"There could be a demographic explanation: The city is always being restocked by people like me from less urbane environments, and we bring our cultural traditions, just as immigrants to New York have for generations...Every few years seems to bring another trend - dodge ball, kickball, paintball - bred from a yearning for kitschy, nerdy cool and comfort food for the formerly suburban soul."

"The weirdness is even more acute when you consider that these are among the very same activities that New Yorkers will travel out of town to enjoy. The thought seems to be, hey, why make the trip to your summer home - and the grueling Friday night commute - when you can get your suburban fix without crossing a bridge or enduring a tunnel? "

Thanks to Daniel Lippman

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Published on Thursday, May 31, 2012 in The New York Times
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