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Posts Tagged ‘consumerism’

Having strayed little from the isle of Manhattan before my college days, my ignorance led me to believe that nothing but cornfields comprised the Midwest. Accordingly when my roommate and I landed in her home state of Michigan in order to evacuate Tulane for Hurricane Gustav, I was ready to get my picture taken while standing in tall fields of corn. While I did get my picture, I also got clued into the fact that there’s more to the Midwest than cornfields. Lesson learned.

I must admit, however, that while gearing up for my trip to Illinois, the images of the cornfields couldn’t help but flow back into my mind. Open land, and good old farmers. While I was warned about the suburbs of Chicago, the rows of crop still were the prevailing image. Upon arrival, I saw cornfields, but cornfields of suburbs and shopping malls. You hear about American consumerism and the big corporations, but until you see a shopping mall at least 5 miles long, and than that SAME shopping mall with the SAME exact chains 15 miles down the road, you just don’t comprehend it.

A lamenter of American consumerism, Parker began to point out just how developed the area had become. A huge vacant building, a former Walmart, was unoccupied because they built a bigger Walmart a few miles down the road. Housing development projects that had rows and rows of cookie cutter homes prevailed throughout the landscape. We began to hypothesize about what it would all look like years from now. What will a vacant Walmart become? We liked the rosy idea of it becoming a civic center, which spurred my next thought.

These housing developments were actually great environmentally. Yes they were gigantic homes, but they were also very concentrated therefore taking up less land and leaving more land for natural habitat and other creatures. With some forward-thinking, the developments can essentially become little towns, with their own stores right within the complex. With 400 + homes in some neighborhoods, the population could easily support their own grocery store, and overall, local businesses. Looking to the future, hopefully we can transform these developments into towns with mom & pop stores and homes intermingled. Then, perhaps, those cornfields of shopping malls will revert back to just cornfields or maybe even prairies. It’s our future, we do get to create it, you know.

The twigster,

Josephine

PS: Who knew the Midwest was so golden? Just take a look at those prairies.

PPS: Love is in the air. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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