And what do the Masters find? How are their wives and children living in the utopia designed for them? Anyone who has lived in a suburb at one time or another can tell something of the life of a suburb—of the daily round of travel to and from the house, of that part of the “community life” they happen to touch, of the quasi-friendly neighbors, of the financial and physical burden of being a householder. These are the small change of suburban complaints, but behind them there presumably lies a greater reality which distinguishes the suburb from the city and the suburbanite as a species from those of his fellow sufferers who live in different places.
But does anyone really live in a suburb? Are they not rather resting places where one stays for the night until the possibility of moving elsewhere offers itself? The phrase “flight to the suburbs” is a misnomer; the suburbs are as much fled from as they are fled to. Here is the first distinguishing feature of the suburb. The suburb is not the terminal of movement but rather a stage in movement. The suburb is a vast mart where land and houses are transferred from one hand to another, where families are moved from one neighborhood to another, and where the concept of living someplace has given way to the belief that a smooth curve upward gives more stability than a spot on the face of the globe. The suburb looks like a place to live, the city like a place to work. But like the city, the suburb is...
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