The Future of Suburbia: A Freakonomics Forum

It’s a pressing question in Dallas, one that I get asked constantly: What will happen to our suburbs in an age of high gas prices and urban hipness? My answer is that the outer ring, encompassing towns like Frisco and Southlake, will do fine as almost self-contained entities. The inner ring, say Richardson and Garland, are in for a bit of a shuffle as the housing stock deteriorates, and the infill increasingly becomes low income. For more opinions, go to this discussion on the NYTimes site.

There’s the positive:

As many “new urbanist” and “new suburbanist” projects demonstrate, suburbia is becoming a hybrid place that melds desirable traits of city living (activity, diversity) while still maintaining allegiance to primary suburban ideals of selfhood and domesticity (and, one might add, consumption). Still to be realized, but now on the horizon, are greater opportunities for aesthetic hybridity. Left behind will be master planning codes that leave critics complaining about the aridity of suburbia. 

And the negative:

The suburbs have three destinies, none of them exclusive: as materials salvage, as slums, and as ruins. In any case, the suburbs will lose value dramatically, both in terms of usefulness and financial investment. Most of the fabric of suburbia will not be “fixed” or retrofitted, in particular the residential subdivisions. They were built badly in the wrong places.

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Comments

77 responses to “The Future of Suburbia: A Freakonomics Forum”

  1. Puddin'Tane says:

    Part II:The Negative

    To quote Lloyd Christmas….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKRtdgQhVbw&feature=related

    “We’re There!”

  2. RE Diva says:

    Frisco is pretty far out and the construction is not the best – also check out the real story on the schools – they are overrated. Could everyone be moving there because the schools are whiter? Of course, they moved north to Richardson in the 70s, then to Plano.

    Expect the decay to follow over the next decade or two. Plano is next.

    Meanwhile Dallas schools are improving in many neighborhoods and more people are moving in for them. The homes are better built, have shade trees and walkable neighborhoods – there is also the redevelopment option. Places like Mount Auburn in East Dallas will probably ‘regenerate’.

    The areas outside LBJ which are not located near a DART station or an office park are going to suffer.

  3. shrinkrap says:

    Well, as a Lake Highlands resident who’s protest of their tax appraisal was rejected, either we are in the money since the house we bought 13 years ago for 230K was appraised for 465K or we were screwed, I would question whether the “near burbs” are really in trouble.

  4. AS says:

    Having just returned from two weeks in the suburbs of Detroit, I can happily say that the City of Dallas is in no way following their decay. Tiger Stadium, the castle surrounded by miles of slums. Detroit Free Press, the absolute worst city newspaper in the country – no suburban edition? It’s ALL suburbs, baby. And zero mass transit.

  5. Not so sure about Richardson. I’m 15 minutes from uptown thanks to 75 (negates the gas problem), our schools are consistently, and increasingly rated highly (3 magnets within 5 miles of the house) and on my run tonight, 3 of the 4 houses for sale that I passed were listed for over $400k. If anything, Richardson is the best bang for the buck, and people are noticing.

    Oh, and those 3 $400k+ houses? Next to them were a few lots that had been cleared for new construction. Those houses are also mostly 1-2 acre creek lots, 15 minutes from Dallas, and the build quality (from the 60’s) is still nicer than 90% of what you’ll find in Plano/Frisco.

  6. Jeff Duffey says:

    “Most of the fabric of suburbia will not be “fixed” or retrofitted, in particular the residential subdivisions. They were built badly in the wrong places.”

    This is one of the best and most accurate statements I have ever read.

  7. Dallasite says:

    “Meanwhile Dallas schools are improving in many neighborhoods and more people are moving in for them.”

    I really had to laugh at that. A 50% dropout rate somehow equals “improving” to the DISD defenders.

    I hate to break it to you, but suburbia isn’t going anywhere. It’s got more money per capita than the cities. It’s far, far more educated, both the parents and the children, and it’s crime rate is a tiny fraction of our beloved Dallas.

    Oh, and it’s a myth that they might one day move back into the city to keep from driving so far to work in the days of high gas prices. There are more fortune 500 companies based in our suburbs than there are in the city.

    Dallas needs to focus on fixing its’ problems instead of hoping that some outside forces, like high gas prices, are going to compel people to move back. Dallas has so much going for it, but it spends its’ energy debating the definition of “black hole” and which street to name after someone to whom it has no historical relationship.

  8. Saakashvili says:

    “Dallas needs to focus on fixing its’ problems instead of hoping that some outside forces, like high gas prices, are going to compel people to move back. Dallas has so much going for it, but it spends its’ energy debating the definition of “black hole” and which street to name after someone to whom it has no historical relationship.”

    Word.

  9. Trey Garrison says:

    Dallas is walkable?

    Yes, I see people in Dallas walking to the supermarket, to school, and to work all the time.

    /sarcasm

  10. Trey Garrison says:

    The extra $500 a year that gas costs a suburbanite isn’t incentive enough to pack up for Dallas proper.

    Private schools cost a heckuva lot more than that, for instance.

  11. For the record, I’m a big city guy and always will be.

    I don’t think it’s suburbs vs. cities. I think it’s DFW vs other metros. And we’re winning.

    DFW in general is positioned well because there are more opportunities here. People want to move here. Companies want to move here (AT&T, etc). There is diversified commerce, instead of being mired in one industry (which is killing the so-called rustbelt states).

    The only thing that is slowing us up is the lack of decent close-in housing that doesn’t cost $400K and the progression of downtown (which has been slower than expected).

    The cities that will die are those that didn’t manage their infrastructure needs well. I would count Arlington and Grand Prairie in this group. They let developers build whatever they want, which is fine except the planners and policymakers in those cities didn’t make the build roads at a commensurate pace. Example…The new development at 20 & Matlock (Highlands?). They allowed a gigantic development but have a small frontage road to accommodate traffic. With no real non-highway shortcuts, it will be a disaster once it’s all built out. That’s why you always see accidents on I-20 in Tarrant County that take hours to unwind. Poor planning.

  12. amanda says:

    I have to disagree. I live in SW Richardson. We have great access to public transportation, a diverse mix of people, and access to all of the major arteries in DFW. What Stephen says is true.

    Families are moving here because they want to. The parents are involved in the schools.99% percent of homes in my area are pier and beam, solid brick (vs. brick veneer), and immaculately maintained. The city of Richardson offers outstanding city services, and in recent years has programs to incentivize owners to make improvements.

    My feeling is that in another decade or so, Richardson will be another Lakewood… Meaning enclaves of beautiful homes, nestled within a city with families living well.

    I lived out in the outer band for 7 years. The infrastructure never kept up with growth.

  13. Pete says:

    Let the next round of urban/suburban navel gazing begin. With history as a guide, there’s always going to be an ebb and flow between the city and the suburbs. It has less to do with commuting costs and “hipness” than jobs and quality of life.

    I agree with Michael Davis: cities in the south and Dallas in particular are pulling people away from the decaying northern metros. The reasons for this are jobs and quality of life.

  14. Joe Morales says:

    If you really want to look at a neighborhood project that takes the best of all worlds and melds them into what all cities, large and small, should look like, feel like and aspire to, consider McKinney’s Appleseed Project. The designers truly looked at the project from the outside (resident POV) in, versus from the inside (tenant POV) out.

  15. BubbleHead says:

    Richardson is the next re-boom town. No doubt about it.

    It has excellent access to public transportation — in part because of the previous mayor insisted on it — and because its had the foresight to see its age and act. Although not soon enough and not strongly enough.

    Unfortunately the current mayor and most of the city council are clowns. Its attitude is still one driven by business development in the northern sector. The council lets the city manager tell them what to do. The new mixed use developments are plain and when mixed use is normal these first spots in Richardson will look old.

    Add to that the fact that I cant see any future leaders and there seems to be no plan. They are just letting it happen.

    Also, the schools are in good management hands with aggressive people who don’t believe that diversity means middle of the road at best. The coming problem is that when Richardson’s older multi family places get torn down then and replaced the RISD will lose vast amounts of state money and that will be a big problem.

  16. Daniel says:

    Wick, your prediction is spot-on, except that it’s not really a prediction at all: It’s an iteration of the trend that’s been afoot for 15 years or more.

  17. Daniel says:

    Shrinkrap,

    Lake Highlands may have the feel of a suburb, but since it’s in Dallas, it’s not — not just technically, but fundamentally. When suburbs become entirely built out, as the inner ringers are, their challenge is to continue to grow their tax base. Nobody wants to redevelop them when it’s so much easier to simply build in the latest Edge Town. Amanda, Richardson may well be an exception, but if so, it’s just that.

    LH is part of the larger Dallas tax base. Completely different dynamic.

  18. Brandon says:

    Nice to hear your insight on Richardson, BubbleHead, as I grew up there. Not sure the current city council are “clowns” though, and as much as Slagel was a good mayor, 16 years at the top is a few too many IMHO.

    I’m not there, but I bet that the Richardson Heights area and other older parts of the city could see an M-Streets-style renaissance.

  19. Torn says:

    People move to the suburbs because:
    1. they can likely get more amenities in a house/apartment for their money. They get a warranty on these new houses as well.
    2. Their jobs are in the suburbs
    3. It is normally quieter
    4. “less crime” (sorry, but I know people in who live in Lakewood who have been robbed multiple times, but I have never known anyone who got robbed in the burbs… could be a coincidence”

    People buy in the city because:
    1. It is a status symbol.(!)
    2. It is closer to their job.
    3. They are close to the activities they appreciate; bars, clubs, boutique stores, White Rock, etc
    4. Is Oak Cliff considered a suburb?

    Who wins? The media and their idiotic portrayal of this never ending battle.

  20. East Dallas Eccentric says:

    Dallasite, people are defending Dallas schools because they have actually tried them and are pleased with the results. AP/college bound teens are not dropping out. As areas gentrify, the dropout rate will ‘magically’ improve.

    What argument do you use against the 100 or so recognized and exemplary schools in Dallas?

    You should check the AP rankings Newsweek did recently – five Dallas high schools are beating most of the suburban schools.

    Blind bigotry against DISD is not attractive!

  21. Trey Garrison says:

    “What argument do you use against the 100 or so recognized and exemplary schools in Dallas?”

    Lowered standards.

  22. Bethany says:

    If we’re following your claim, Trey, then wouldn’t that mean that suburban schools aren’t that great, too?

  23. Trey Garrison says:

    Definitely maybe.

  24. Dallasite says:

    East Dallas Eccentric:

    “Dallasite, people are defending Dallas schools because they have actually tried them and are pleased with the results. AP/college bound teens are not dropping out. As areas gentrify, the dropout rate will ‘magically’ improve.”

    It will take a lot more than magic, EDE. It will take a massive overhaul of the entire district. It will require an end of hiring a superintendent solely because of the color of his skin. It will require building school systems that focus on the basic academics instead of sociology based curriculum like “no child left behind”. Most of all, it will require that our society stop pretending that dropping out and failing are acceptable, and that if you make poor choices you are not a victim, you are an id*ot.

    “What argument do you use against the 100 or so recognized and exemplary schools in Dallas?”

    http://tinyurl.com/6rclpy

    http://tinyurl.com/6e2o35

    http://tinyurl.com/6ysurq

    “You should check the AP rankings Newsweek did recently – five Dallas high schools are beating most of the suburban schools.”

    I’d rather see the dropout rate fall below 30%. I’d rather see those exemplary Dallas schools graduate people who can actually read and write instead of just claiming they can.

    “Blind bigotry against DISD is not attractive!”

    Blind loyalty doesn’t solve our very, very severe problems. Denying that there’s a problem doesn’t help those children one bit.

  25. Daniel says:

    Trey, you’d do well to revisit your assumption that anybody gives a damn where you send your kid to school or why. Look: We all hope against hope that someday we’ll have your remarkable courage and strength of character. Our children are ill-bred brutes compared to yours. Satisfied yet? Now give it a freaking rest.

    You moved to Plano; bully for you. It’s like a guy being smug about making great grilled cheese sandwiches. And going on and on and on and on about it.

  26. Bethany says:

    God, I had a great grilled cheese sandwich today. I did. Colby jack. And tomato basil soup.

  27. Daniel says:

    I had quail and guacamole. In Big D, little a, double-l-a-s!

  28. Daniel says:

    mean Big D, little a, double l, a s
    And that spells Dallas, my darlin’, Dallas, darlin’
    Don’t it give you pleasure to confess
    That you’re from Bid D, my oh yes
    I mean Big D, little a, double l, a-
    Big D, little a, double l, a s, and
    Big D, little a, double l, a
    That spells Dallas, where every home’s a palace
    ’cause the settlers settle for no less
    Hooray for Big D, my, oh yes
    I mean Big D, little a, double l, a-
    Big D, little a, double l, a-
    Big D, little a, double l, a s.

    And that spells Dallas
    Just dig a toe in Dallas
    And there’s oil all over your address
    Back home in Big D,
    My, oh yes, et cetera

    And that spells Dallas
    I mean it with no malice
    But the rest of Texas looks a mess
    When you’re from Big D
    My, oh yes, …

  29. Enrique De La Fuente says:

    As a product of both DISD (K-6) and Allen ISD (7-12), I believe there is a lot of hype surrounding suburb schools. Regarding “dropout rates”, just because one student drops out of high school, does not mean I would have dropped out of high school. You see, my high school dropout prevention mentor, my dad’s foot in my arse, would have prevented that. That would have applied in DISD or Allen ISD.
    Schools don’t make the child, parents do (literally and figuratively).

  30. East Dallas Eccentric says:

    I hate to think that someone named “Dallasite” is so down on Dallas kids.
    What horrible experience with a Dallas school leads you to make such statements? And when was this?

    Everyone wants poor students to perform better – except maybe DISD detractors who seem to enjoy having their personal decisions and prejudices affirmed.

    They are doing better – and nobody who wants to achieve is being held back. This is not blind loyalty; it is the voice of experience and involvement.

    I’m sure if 40,000 low-income, limited English proficient students suddenly appeared in Plano, their dropout and literacy rates would be instantly corrected.

    Here’s a clue, they are headed out of Dallas – I know of three or four schools just around here which have lost hundreds of these students over the last two years (not true drop-outs). So y’all keep running north until you qualify or run out of gas.

  31. Trey Garrison says:

    Oh my, the anger.

  32. jrp says:

    Schools don’t make the child, parents do (literally and figuratively).

    Word.

    I hafta laugh at people that got a public school education for K-12 then went to a JUCO for a semester and finished college at a state school who think their little precious Schookums is somehow gonna make it to Penn Princeton Harvard or Yale only if he can get that alleged first-class education the suburbs provide.

    I also maintain my belief that anyone that moves from the city to the suburbs “for the schools” feels guilty because they know they haven’t prepared nor taught the child enough during the newborn to pre-K age.

    My son is one month old today. Plan to send him to Rosemont Elem in North Oak Cliff, where he’ll no doubt learn Spanish almost through osmosis, hopefully enjoy himself in their Arts-heavy curriculum, and then get himself into TAG or one of the other DISD magnet high schools, which are a few of the most highly rated high schools in the US and A.

    So please tell what DFW suburban school system would do a better job than those DISD schools in molding a child to be so well rounded and worldly, not to mention fluent in a language that’s only going to become more prevalent over the next 20-30 years

  33. Trey Garrison says:

    Your first and last paragraphs contradict each other.

  34. Daniel says:

    Trey, it’s not that I’m not angry, it’s that you’re insulting. I’m hardly the only one to have picked up on it.

  35. Trey Garrison says:

    Where did I insult? It’s a verified fact standards were lowered this time around. Is pointing out the fact of it an insult?

  36. Daniel says:

    I’m sorry, try again:

    Trey, it’s not that I’m angry, it’s that you’re insulting. I’m hardly the only one to have picked up on it.

    It’s not that I’m not angry about plenty, but I could give two hoots about your moving to Plano. However, I won’t endure your pompous insinuations that the rest of us have relegated our children to lives of intellectual squalor. It’s not merely myopic of you, it’s offensive and arrogant.

  37. jrp says:

    no they don’t

    i plan to “make” my boy as intelligent as possible before he gets to school

    then i expect the DISD to continue to “mold” him into an upstanding young man with my continued help and guidance

    dude, i’m never going to say there’s anything good about living in the suburbs because i don’t think there is. and i believe those that do, yourself included, are delusional. period. not that the city intrinsically better, it’s just that i see the suburbs as a culturally wasteland and always will

    deal with it, man, some of us think you’re nuts for living in Plano. i understand, as i purchased a home in Oak Cliff and few are short on telling me what a bad decision they think i made.

  38. jrp says:

    and i’ll agree with Daniel there once again

    it’s the tone, dude, a little to condescending and somewhat off-putting

    although that may be your ruse

  39. jasonleonwright says:

    I don’t understand this city vs. suburbs argument going on. I live in Dallas now, but like a lot of people, I grew up in the suburbs. Hoping for the demise of one or the other doesn’t benefit anybody. It’s true that the suburbs are safer and have better schools (and no, jrp, your child will not learn Spanish by osmosis), but most suburbs
    are isolating, boring and lack cultural entertainment. Dallas has a little entertainment and infrastructure, but it has serious academic and crime problems. This being said, there’s no reason for either the suburbs or Dallasites to be so condescending to one another. In the future, bad kids from Dallas will haunt these wonderful suburbs, and your great kids from Plano will move to this city or a more exciting one because suburban life is lacking in many ways. We better get off our asses and try to make the metroplex a better place for everybody, because we all reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

  40. Trey Garrison says:

    Funny, I see the merits and drawbacks of both decisions. Without the need to declare one side or the other delusional. Different strokes, I guess.

  41. jrp says:

    before the a-hole editor/grammar police pounce: shoulda been *a little too* there not to

  42. Trey Garrison says:

    Daniel, I don’t think I said anything of the sort. You’re reading more than is there.

  43. jrp says:

    the third definition of delusional: a false belief or opinion

    sad how some words have become offensive and/or hurtful for reasons that escape me

    and my Spanish has improved greatly since moving to Oak Cliff three years ago and i’m not studying it, asi que me dice por que, por favor

  44. Louisa Meyer, Dallas ISD parent since 1993 says:

    Trey, What’s your basis for the lower standards comment?

  45. jrp says:

    i see no benefits to living in suburbia

    none

    consequently, i think those that do are delusional

  46. Trey Garrison says:

    See Dallasites links above.

  47. Brandon says:

    Hey Daniel…would you mind sayin’ Neiman Marcus?

  48. Trey Garrison says:

    Great logic there, jrp.

  49. jrp says:

    not saying, i’m not without my owns delusions, dude, i’m a Philly Phan for chrissakes

    i’ll just never understand moving to Plano, Frisco, Levittown or another suburb

    as you said, different strokes, i guess. apologize if my tone comes off as pissy, as i’m not offended nor trying to offend. just love this debate and love to argue my side

  50. jasonleonwright says:

    Jesus, jrp, I live in Oak Cliff too, and you aren’t giving us a good name. For all your talk about tone, you should look at yours. Y esta chevre que hables con fluidez asi. Again, it’s a stupid fight here. We all live in 1 huge metroplex which intermingles every day, so we better hope for the best for everybody.

  51. Louisa Meyer, Dallas ISD parent since 1993 says:

    Citing the DMN article on exceptions is simply put, “drinking their Kool-aid.” I’ve rebutted their lazy piece of journalism once before but will add to that and be back to post.

  52. Trey Garrison says:

    Kool-aid comes in many flavors.

  53. Bethany says:

    And all of them are better when mixed with vodka.

  54. Trey Garrison says:

    Aye

  55. mm says:

    DALLAS vodka, not that inferior suburban vodka.

  56. LakeWWWooder says:

    Dallasite, if you cite the Dallas Morning News and depend on it for your judgments of DISD you need to understand that they never print anything complimentary. When the Newsweek rankings came out showing my alma mater Woodrow, along with W.T. White and Hillcrest outranking all but two Collin County high schools, they would not print it nor would they allow letters about it to be printed. Instead, two of their columnists tried to disparage the formula used for the ranking on a couple of Dallas News blogs. One called it, ‘crap’.

    I would like to invite the people who hate Dallas schools so much to attend one of our football games, a musical or theater production or ANYTHING and look into faces of our kids. You will be ashamed of the aspersions you have cast on these children.

  57. Ana Moure says:

    Another city-vs-suburbs fight?

    I think, people vote the most reliably with their money: wherever the price per sq. ft. of real estate is the biggest, is the best place to live. I didn’t look at actual prices, but I believe Uptown Dallas and Highland Park beat suburbs by a landslide (and the gap will only grow).

    Also, I find it strange that in America people take it as a given that suburbs are so much better for kids in general. Maybe schools there are better, but schools aside, raising kids in the big city has lots of advantages. It was good to have 20 same-age friends living in the same building, and a hundred of them within 5 minutes walking distance. How do kids in the suburbs socialize if they don’t have their own drivers?

    Besides, I could go to school and all after-school activities all by myself, my mother never needed to turn into a full-time Mom. (I’m not sure she even knew where my school was.)

  58. Trey Garrison says:

    “How do kids in the suburbs socialize if they don’t have their own drivers?”

    Um, walk next door or down the street?

    And let’s not pretend Dallas neighborhoods are any more or less walkable than any other suburban neighborhood. They’re all about the same.

    Seriously, the worst of this silly suburb vs. city argument is that my West Plano home is all of 15 minutes from downtown Dallas, Uptown or Lower Greenville (non rush hour) so I get all the benefits without any of the drawbacks.

    People talk about the suburb/city divide like it’s the 19th Century or there are lengthy Checkpoint Charlie gates you have to go through.

  59. LakeWWWooder says:

    Try this: http://www.walkscore.com/

    Here is my score:

    74 out of 100 – Very Walkable

    I typed in the only address I know by heart in Plano near FM544 and Preston and got:

    31 out of 100 – Car-Dependent

    Even though a lot of Dallas was developed in a suburban way, much of it was built as ‘street car suburbs’ which are much more compact than “The Vistas at Gleneagles” or whatever..with the Forward Dallas plan and DART TOD developments the city will become more dense over time.

    I think you should try to understand that people who grew up in Dallas wonder why anyone would live so far out in places which were unimaginable even 20-30 years ago. I suspect natives in other cities with sprawl problems feel the same way.

    Calling our beloved schools “Potemkin villages” does not exactly endear you to the community.

  60. Trey Garrison says:

    [shrug]

    I call ’em like I see ’em.

  61. Trey Garrison says:

    “I think you should try to understand that people who grew up in Dallas wonder why anyone would live so far out in places which were unimaginable even 20-30 years ago.”

    That’s pretty much what I meant when I talked about “urban yokels.”

  62. LakeWWWooder says:

    OK I’d like to see if you can get here in 15 minutes and call me that!

  63. Trey Garrison says:

    It’s interesting that I never once condemned anyone’s decision to live in Dallas — even said it was a hard decision for me not to — yet a lot of urban yokels attack suburbanites for their choice.

    Why is that?

  64. jrp says:

    because those that flee to the suburbs always seem to look back over their shoulder and thumb their nose at those that stay

  65. AMD says:

    “Seriously, the worst of this silly suburb vs. city argument is that my West Plano home is all of 15 minutes from downtown Dallas, Uptown or Lower Greenville (non rush hour) so I get all the benefits without any of the drawbacks”

    I love it when people claim that “it’s only 15 minutes” from wherever they live, even if that means you have to leave at 4AM on a Sunday morning and pray the green light gods are smiling down on you that morning all the way from West Plano to Lower Greenville. Seriously people. Claim all the benefits you want about the burbs, but don’t give us that crap of “it’s 15 minutes away” when in reality, you’re double, triple that time.

  66. Trey Garrison says:

    AMD — It really is for me. And I’m self-employed, so I don’t bother with rush hour traffic. Off-rush hour, I make it door to door to the D offices in right at 15 minutes.

    I do pity the clock punchers who commute.

  67. Ana Moure says:

    “How do kids in the suburbs socialize if they don’t have their own drivers?”

    “Um, walk next door or down the street?”

    It’s all about how much choice the kid would have.

    Say you want to find a girl to go out with. If any girl works, you will be equally successful in a suburbian cul-de-sac or in the Uptown Dallas. But if you are picky and want to have couple hundreds of pretty young girls to choose from within 5 minutes walk from your place – I’d strongly recommend moving Uptown (or to SMU girls dorm).

    Besides, it hugely depends on the size of the plot in the suburbs, – I saw some where next door neighbor wasn’t in walking distance. But say kid lives in 20-family homes cul-de-sac, and, say, each of those families has 1-2 kids. That means there are maybe 3 kids of comparable age around (when you are little, 2 years age difference is huge) – and kid without a car is doomed to spend time either alone or with those 3 kids. Meanwhile in a 150-apartments house there could be 10-20 kids to choose your best friend from – and you don’t even need to cross the street. And another bunch in a house accross. Etc.

    (all of this of course would only be valid if well-to-do American families were raising their kids in the city: me, I haven’t met a single kid in my big building. So, in a current state of affairs, an American kid definitely has more social opportunities in the suburbs, you are right.)

  68. LakeWWWooder says:

    Trey my Lakewood levity ‘didn’t seem to reasonate’ with you.

    I admit I lived around the corner from the well-known urban yokel, Stanley Marcus.

  69. Daniel says:

    IMHO, suburbs offer all of the drawbacks and none of the advantages. But I agree it’s a tiresome debate. I just think the school Trey’s kid goes to churns out brainless automatons who use heroin in a desperate and futile attempt to excavate a morsel of humanity from the place where their soul should be, but blind and compliant consumerism is instead. That’s all.

  70. Daniel says:

    I’m just glad I didn’t grow up in a sterile corporate dormitory. You can do whatever you want to your child, it’s your right as an American.

  71. Rico Suave says:

    Game, set and match to Mr. Garrison.

  72. Daniel says:

    Great name, Trey. Who was that guy? Gerardo? Ecuadoran, if I recall.

  73. skeptic says:

    I think the new grading guidelines are to prevent dropouts. isn’t that what you wanted
    ?

    I doubt a plano person would know an ecuadoran from a brazilian. they assume everyone from south of the border is mexican. plano is the least hispanic place on the planet texas.

  74. Gwyon says:

    City vs. suburbs is a particularly silly argument for Dallas because the two are so similar.

  75. LM says:

    Tom Thumbs and Sams Clubs are better in the suburbs. And there’s no IKEA in Dallas. And there’s only one Sprouts in Dallas. And the only outlet malls are way out there. And I know it’s only shallow shopping, but things cost less in the suburbs.