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I've got no dark secrets, I wasn't beaten up, my parents were kind to me and there was a low crime rate where we lived. Maybe that's where the comedy comes from, as some sort of reaction to the safe, boring suburbs.
The whole 1950s notion was find the right girl, get married, move to the suburbs and then hang out with the guys while she stayed home with the babies. I felt that was sort of sad.
I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves.
What I want to do is tell stories about normal people in the American suburbs. I don't write the book where it's a conspiracy reaching the prime minister; I don't write the book with the big serial killer who lops off heads. My setting is a very placid pool of suburbia, family life. And within that I can make pretty big splashes.
When I was little, I didn't really travel - from the suburbs to Paris was already a journey. I had a foreigner's eye on the city, and I still enjoy that point of view. Then there's the fact that one of the things that touches me most is injustice.
Most Americans acquire dogs impulsively and for dubious reasons: as a Christmas gift for the kids. Because they saw one in a movie. To match the new living-room furniture. Because they moved to the suburbs and see a dog as part of the package.
'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' is about two guys named Will Grayson who live in different Chicago suburbs who eventually meet each other.
A lot of parts of L.A. are interchangeable with suburbs in Joburg. Very big, ostentatious houses with palm trees and lawns. Lawns are very important. Never underestimate lawns.
If mass media, social isolation in the suburbs, alienating workplaces and long car commutes create a bunker mentality, the Internet does the opposite.
I was born in Darien, Connecticut, but in 1959, when I was four, my parents moved to the suburbs of Toronto. Then, in the late 1960s, they bought a cottage in a resort/trailer park in the Kawarthas region of Ontario, and we moved up there. I wrote a book about it in 2000 called 'Last Resort: Coming of Age in Cottage Country.'
The rapid growth in many of our suburbs has spawned a booming construction industry eager to hire low wage immigrants who gladly fill these jobs, many of them happy to be paid in cash, free of federal and state taxes.
My ambition was to be cosmopolitan. I grew up in the suburbs. I went to college in Maine. I had a dream in my head that if you wanted to be the most urbane, living-life-to-the-fullest kind of person, Paris was the place to be.
It was described as Sex and the Suburbs. It's so not that. Because on Sex and the City, those women told each other everything; on our show, it's much more like the real suburbs - nobody tells anybody anything. Everything's a secret.
When I made my first film, I had hardly ever seen a camera before, and I was a young man when I arrived in Paris from the suburbs. At the time, I didn't talk much. I was very shy, so the bluff served me. I was telling people that I had no money, and that I knew how to make films, but I had no proof.
The whole idea of the suburbs was to create these family-friendly places where people could flock and have more control over their existences, and keep things very controlled and placid and keep outside forces at bay.
In the traditional modernist planning that created the suburbs, you put residential buildings in suburban neighborhoods, office spaces into brain parks and retail in shopping malls. But you fail to exploit the possibility of symbiosis or synthesis that way.
I grew up, as I joke around, in the 'People's Republic of Charlestown' in the city of Boston. And I was blessed to be raised right there on Monument Square in Charlestown, and every morning I'd hop on the bus and go on a 45-minute ride out to the suburbs in Brooklyn for elementary school. And I got to have my seat, really, in both worlds.
If you say city to people, people have no problem thinking of the city as rife with problematic, screwed-up people, but if you say suburbs - and I'm not the first person to say this, it's been said over and over again in literature - there's a sense of normalcy.
I myself am consummately middle class. We grew up in upper-middle-class suburbs in Oklahoma City, and that's very much the same ethos as what Richard Yates and John Cheever wrote about.
My dad worked two jobs and moved us to the suburbs, and just being a black person, I went through a lot of racism and being called names and being bullied every single day. And it was hard. I didn't have any friends.
I'm from Mt. Clemens, Michigan. It's right outside Detroit. The suburbs. I was always very heavily involved in theater back then. I was always in drama club or forensics. Anything that you could do that had some performing, I was doing it.
Where I come from, out in the suburbs, I didn't know anyone who was a professional actor. And girls that looked like me? No girls like that were on TV.
If you could take a subway from the suburbs in Boston, where I live, to downtown in 10 minutes, that improves your life over sitting in a traffic jam. People should see that.
I grew up in the suburbs, so I figured 'Why not try downtown living?' And, honestly, I love it. I've been very pleasantly surprised at how much downtown Indianapolis has to offer.
The vast majority of the guns in the U.S. are sold to white people who live in the suburbs or the country. When we fantasize about being mugged or home invaded, what's the image of the perpetrator in our heads? Is it the freckled-face kid from down the street - or is it someone who is, if not black, at least poor?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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