Friday, July 30, 2010

Out of Town

This space will be quiet for the next week, as I will be in the midwest taking some time off and visiting family. To tide you over, I'll give you a quick story.

When back in Michigan (where I went to college and Mrs. Redbricker was born and raised), we often stay at the in-laws, a few miles north of Ann Arbor. Now, before I go on, I feel the need to say that I actually get along very well with them, and always have a good time there. This may have something to do with the fact that my father-in-law is only able to express affection by saying "you don't have a beer in your hand. Let me fix that", but I digress. The point is, they live in a newly created subdivision, and on occasion will unwittingly show everything that is wrong with the suburbs.

Example: My in-laws live at point A. My brother-in-law used to live at point B. To visit, they would get in the car and drive the .6 miles to each others' house. This happens even in the summer, when it's nice out, even though the road is 3 times as long as cutting through the field behind the street. A rough guess is that walking is 12-1300 feet, while .6 miles converts to somewhere north of 3100 feet.

It would be easy to make fun of my new family as "lazy", but that would miss the point. Whoever made the subdivision decided not to put sidewalks in some places (the first section of our trip), and also did not connect the trail to the dead-end street, leaving all but the most die-hard walkers an easy choice to drive. I don't think it's a coincidence that I gain 5 pounds every time I visit this place.

Fortunately, the cul-de-sac's days may be numbered, for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Read about it here, in a great post at the Infrastructurist.

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