Little Boxes: Discontent in the Suburbs

“In the U.S., 1950 was the first year that more people lived in suburbs than elsewhere.” (Wiki) It was 1962, when Malvina Reynolds saw these buildings through the window of the car:

Daly_City (1)

origins of the suburbs:
“Boston and New York spawned the first suburbs. The streetcar lines in Boston and the rail lines into Manhattan made daily commutes possible. No metropolitan area in the world was as well served by railroad commuter lines at the turn of the twentieth century as New York, and it was the rail lines to Westchester from the Grand Central Terminal commuter hub that enabled its development. Westchester’s true importance in the history of American suburbanization derives from the upper-middle class development of villages including Scarsdale, New Rochelle and Rye serving thousands of businessmen and executives from Manhattan.” (Wiki)

race, wwii and the rise of the suburbs:
“zoning laws” “FHA loans” “redlining” ”

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky

What’s wrong with having a house on a hillside? It looks quite nice. *modernity, housing developments and the environment?
What’s ticky tacky and why is it tacky? *”ticky tacky” is now included in the Oxford English Dictionary, and credited to Malvina. *materials in housing developments?

And the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same

How does the higher education system in the US make people specialise and conform at the same time?

And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

What’s wrong with doctors, lawyers and business executives? How are they all the same?

And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boxes
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,873851,00.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/12/suburbs-of-our-discontent/307131/#article-comments
“Westchester: the American Suburb” http://www.hrm.org/pressbox/Suburb_History.htm
“When America Became Suburban” http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8166-4885-6 https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=22977
“The New Suburban History” http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/N/bo3770947.html
http://ushistoryscene.com/article/levittown/
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/textbooks/boundless-u-s-history-textbook/politics-and-culture-of-abundance-1943-1960-28/culture-of-abundance-215/the-growth-of-suburbs-1196-5264/
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/apr/28/levittown-america-prototypical-suburb-history-cities

 

 

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