Friday, March 20, 2009

History repeats itself

The New Yorker's George Packer points out this passage in a history of the twenties published in 1931:

The suburban boom itself did not begin to languish in most localities until 1928 or 1929. By that time many suburbs were plainly overbuilt: as one drove out along the highways, one began to notice houses that must have stood long untenanted, shops with staring vacant windows, districts blighted with half-finished and abandoned ‘improvements’; one heard of suburban apartment houses which had changed hands again and again as mortgages were foreclosed, or of householders in uncompleted subdivisions who were groaning under a naively unexpected burden of taxes and assessments.
Eerie, isn't it?

He also links to Sweet Juniper's haunting photo essay, "School's Out Forever," published recently in Vice Magazine. Definitely worth a look.

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