I’m Just Weird

I’ve been paying attention recently. I’m listening to experts talk about what people in this community want. I’m reading and listening to planners, consultants, bloggers, politicians and business leaders. I’ve commented on it ad nauseum both here and on other forums. After letting it all sink in for a while I’ve come to this realization… I’m just weird. I thought I was just like tens of thousands of other relos who came here. Not true. Here’s the crazy and weird stuff I like.

My House

I like my house. It’s a single family home that is probably of typical size and value for this area. I like the lot my house sits on; it’s a little shy of a half acre. I like feeling the soft Bermuda grass between my toes. I like playing catch with my kids in the backyard. Weird.

My Cul-De-Sac

I like it too. I like the other families that live in our little curve. My kids like riding their scooters and skates here with little fear of getting hit by a car. Strange.

Diversity

Yes, we have it here and I like it. Within a block of my home are Dutch, Nigerian, Indian, Chinese, Africian-American, and Cuban families. Yes diversity exists here contrary to what you might believe. I like that.

My Car

I love my car, not that it is nice or anything. I drive an eight year old Toyota with one missing hubcap. It’s a piece of crap really. No, what I really like is the freedom my car brings. It can take me anywhere in almost all forms of weather. I don’t have to rely on others for my transportation or wait for it to arrive. My car’s purchase and operating costs were not subsidized by taxpayers with borrowed money. It travels on roads, a form of infrastructure that is far cheaper to build and maintain over rail.

I love my car, a lot. This makes me very strange indeed. In fact I love my car so much that I don’t own a bicycle, horse, golf cart or any other alternate mode of transportation. Crazy? Certifiably.

My Suburb

I love this place. I like the fact that Alpharetta is safe and free from nearly all forms of violent crime. I like the high caliber of schools here. My family will thrive here and I don’t take that for granted. I would much rather live in a suburb versus an urban environment. I could have four eyes but that wouldn’t be as strange as this.

Sprawl

Yes, for lack of a better word, I like sprawl. *gasp!* I like lower to medium density development and big, wide roads. You could call me pro-traffic if you want, but you wouldn’t be the first to do so.

I love the choices I have for restaurants and retail. And yes, I even like big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, Fry’s and Home Depot. Would it be nice to walk to stores? Sure but I’d never have the choices available that I have now. There are enough restaurants close to my Windward office that I could eat at a different one each day for months. I love choice and I love freedom. This perhaps is my strangest trait of all.

So there you have it. I thought I was just like everyone in Alpharetta. I know better now.

11 Responses to “I’m Just Weird”

  1. Laura April 14, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Here here!! I live in the “poor” neighborhood in the middle of the Windward compound (meaning our houses aren’t McMansions but normal sized family homes) and I love it. I have great parks around me, my kids’ schools are amazing, I can walk to the Publix and several restaurants and if I get a desire to go downtown I just hop on 400. I drive a 6 year old car, my husband drives a 13 year old car but they are both paid for. We have no credit card debt and yes, we have outgrown our house but we know we can pay the mortgage with ease.

    People spend so much time worrying about what others have and they don’t, complaining about big box vs. Mom and Pop, and bemoaning the lack of diversity that is found in urban centers that they miss all the great things this area has to offer! I love Alpharetta and I don’t know if I would want to live any where else.

  2. Laura April 14, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I meant to say in my second paragraph that people feel there is no diversity in this area and it is only found in the urban centers. Proofreading is your friend!

  3. Greg April 14, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I like all of that, too. But I also would like the option of being able to take a train from (reasonably) near my house to my office downtown.

    I guess that makes me weird.

  4. Bob Strader April 14, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    You’re not weird, but I think there is room, obviously, for more than “sprawl” development. Call it development diversity. What I find weird is that when a higher density development is proposed, detractors speak as though it will change the very fabric of our community, negatively impact our ability to raise our families and gridlock all our roads. Just like you, I like choices in stores, restaurants and homes – I think it would be a good thing for our cities to have a choice in communities. Call it a lifestyle choice, call it density, call it what you like. In my view, it’s a positive if we have that choice.

  5. Dustin April 14, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I am weird too. :)

  6. Lee April 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Glad to know I’m not that weird. Phew!

    Bob – No single development is going to wreck everything. But when we build dozens of these like Alpharetta wants, it will change the very fabric of this area. And when I read material from proponents of this stuff, it makes me and my lifestyle out to be something strange, odd, or even destructive.

  7. Kim April 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    I’m weird too.

    What Bob is describing is Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. We rejected all that and came up to Alpharetta for a reason…. because we are weird, I guess.

    Perhaps the next town full of weirdos will be Dahlonega?

    Another weird thing about us is that want to buy a Suburban while the cool thing to go toodling around in a [Not So] Smart car.

  8. DRW April 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    There are a lot of “weird” people like you (and me) that just don’t understand why the “new urbanist” types aren’t content to live in places like Atlantic Station and just let us be.
    Yes, I pay more for car and gas costs because I live all the way out here. I like it here, I moved here because I didn’t like the place I was before. ‘Nuff said!

  9. Ken April 18, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    Guess I’m weird too…… I will take the excellent schools and many food/shopping choices I have all day long

  10. Larry June 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Weird and…. probably old. At least that’s what “they” tell us. If you were young and hip you would be looking for a high rise condo near a transit stop and a Starbucks. You would have a road bike and a mountain bike and perhaps a kayak (except that no New Urbanist hipster would be caught dead in an actual natural stream). And it’s unclear how you get the mountain bike to the mountain. OK. The transit has to have a line to the mountains. Grass between your toes??? Surely you don’t go out with bare feet!!!!
    By the way: “SPRAWL” is a word coined as a perjorative. It is used specifically to denigrate the suburban life style.

  11. Michael Mealling March 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    I had to write about this too: I LIKE SPRAWL – http://rocketforge.org/2013/03/16/i-like-sprawl.html

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