Photography

Vinyl Village preview: The beauty

Driving through this vinyl village, on first glance everything does look attractive, fresh and cheerful. If you’re driving in to look at one of the homes for sale, especially within the sections, this vinyl village presents well.

Photographs like these are in my new book, Vinyl Village, which takes a look at this neighborhood as typical of the American suburban subdivision. It looks behind the beauty as well. I’ll share some preview photos of the not-so-beautiful parts of this neighborhood over the next few days.

Meanwhile, click here to learn more and to get your copy of Vinyl Village.

Flowering tree in the front yard
Along the fence
Vinyl village homes
Over the retention pond

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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11 thoughts on “Vinyl Village preview: The beauty

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    I always have somewhat of a fascination for these areas. Being raised in the city, these types of neighborhoods are not attractive to me at all, but even people that are 10-15 years younger than I am, and were “white-flighted” out of the city to the suburbs by their parents, know nothing different and are perfectly comfortable in these areas. Some of the oldest suburban projects in my area, that looked like this in the 70’s, no longer look like this now after 50 years of tree growth; you’d have to go way out to the suburban/exurban line to find new projects that look like this.

    I’ve spent most of my life living in “bridge” areas between poor (and crime ridden) neighborhoods, and better, but not really wealthy, areas; all in the city. Now even my areas have problems with the housing stock getting too high for the incomes, and yet I’m not sure a person of limited means should take a chance buying, because in many areas I’ve lived in, you have as much of a chance of getting re-gentrified, as you do having it go off the edge and losing your investment!

    Now younger marrieds are voting with their pocket book and interest in schools. I’m amazed at the people I thought were “hipsters” that are moving way out to the exurbs into areas like this, solely to prevent loss of real estate value, and to get into a school district that won’t mean they’ll have to investigate private schooling. My area of the mid-west has been losing population for 30 years, but they’re still building these areas farther and farther out.

    It’s funny that at my age, me and my friends are talking more and more about what a hassle it is to keep in touch with our friends. 30 years ago, I’d go anywhere for any reason, and used to drive the 90 miles to Chicago just to go back to the old neighborhood and get a lunch. Now we all talk about not even wanting to drive 60 minutes anywhere any more, which is dropping our interaction with the “outliers” in these neighborhoods. They don’t want to drive in to us either, but there really IS no reason to drive out there to look at big box stores and chain restaurants, especially if you’ve been raised in the city.

    It’s a different world….

    • I never, ever, want to live in a neighborhood like this again. It’s not for me.

      I know what you mean about not driving back to see old friends. I used to drive out to Terre Haute pretty much at the drop of a hat to see friends there. Now, as those friends can attest, it’s like pulling teeth to get me out there. It’s less than 90 minutes away by car from here.

      • matt says:

        I know what you mean about driving anywhere. I used to love to drive — would go out just to drive places. But the influx of traffic, the godawful amount of time to get anywhere in town any more, the proliferation of revenue agents waiting to write you tickets… just sucks the joy out of it: Es gibt keine mehr Freude am Fahren.

        We cannot wait to get away from the city.

        • I love driving around Indiana – there’s so much middle-of-nowhere here. Yet I don’t mind living in the city. I sort of wish I could live in a smaller city again, though.

        • matt says:

          When we visit central Kansas, we do drive around a lot more than we do here.

          A couple of years ago, I was talking with a coworker about escaping Colorado. She said “there are no mountains” and I said “There are no people”…

          Not long ago, I was coming out of Woodland Park (“the mountains”… or a gateway to them) and it was a solid five miles of two lanes of stopped cars all on their way to The Mountains. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

        • Andy Umbo says:

          I’m city born and bred, but to your comment, I don’t think I’d have any problems living in a smaller city, especially a university town; as long as it had some city amenities. My group have talked about that for years. It’s the vacuous suburbs and exurbs that we have no feeling for. I’ve had a few friends that moved to rural areas on 25-40 acre “hobby farms”, that are at least 30 minutes away from shopping or anything else, mostly to set up their retirement, and I have to say, five years in, they don’t sound to happy about the decision they made.

        • matt says:

          I’m no expert and can obviously only speak for myself; but I think you have to be ready and willing to give up the amenities you’ve become used to. It sucks to get into something like that and find out it wasn’t for you.

          I’m looking for the insulation from other people. I grew up in a small town with “nothing to do” so maybe I’m better prepared… I don’t know.

        • Andy Umbo says:

          Matt, I think a lot of people might be willing to give up a lot to be “left alone”, but what my friends found out, is that they also had to give up cell phone service and high-speed internet (they have some cobbled together satellite down-load, copper-wire land line modem up load thingy, waiting for Elon Musk to get to them). I don’t think there’s a whole lot of people willing to be “that alone”. Still lots of areas in rural Wisconsin with no cell and internet service, no matter what they maps say. Even I had cell phone service that when I was 30 miles north of San Francisco on a job, wouldn’t work at all, out of the nearest towers….

        • matt says:

          You may be right at that. I’m no fan of technology — rather how the tech is being used against us… but it is damn useful on occasion.

          A lot of that part of it is completely location-dependent. Some rural areas have nothing, others have better. But you’re not wrong that’s a factor.

  2. Your vinyl village does not look too bad. You should see some of the gawd awful pretentious McMansion subdivisions in the US South. Maybe in 50 years, when the trees mature, they will look like something, but when new they look lonely, fake, and imitation. I better not write anything about the occupants.

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