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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.
There's an overwhelming sense of paranoia in the suburbs. People there seem so much more paranoid to me than people in the city about their kids being kidnapped or their parties being raided or their drinks being spiked. There's a kind of hysteria about that.
The Internet has made some phenomenal breakthroughs that are still only poorly understood in terms of changing people's ideas of us and them. If mass media, social isolation in the suburbs, alienating workplaces and long car commutes create a bunker mentality, the Internet does the opposite.
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.
'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' is about two guys named Will Grayson who live in different Chicago suburbs who eventually meet each other.
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.
If mass media, social isolation in the suburbs, alienating workplaces and long car commutes create a bunker mentality, the Internet does the opposite.
I think there are two prevailing views of the suburbs in the States: either they're this sort of tedious place, where everyone is the same, buys the same food and drives around in their little minivans, or the view is that the suburbs are extremely perverse in a humorous way.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
In Brussels, you are able to have a lot of appointments in a day. In Paris, you can have one, two, maybe three, but you spend all your time on the road, in the car or in the suburbs. In Brussels, everything is easy. It's not a very big city, and the people are very quiet and warm.
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.
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.
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 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?
They're very, uh, you know, I don't come from the suburbs and a jolly, Disney type of lifestyle. I come from something totally different. And they're cool and bare minimum so it's not always a money issue for me.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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