Lots of Little Brothers

10 thoughts on “Lots of Little Brothers”

  1. Grew up in Tipp City, Oh, (1950) South of Troy, North of Dayton and I’m staying in Yellow Springs, which now sports a huge white (completely) out of place Hotel in the middle of town. Vote for Hillary and Kane everywhere, outside Yellow Springs just the opposite. These two theologies have been at each other’s throats since the sixties. Divide and conquer is the rule, both sides being so emotionally invested in their point of view they haven’t noticed a whole new group is slipping in the side door. With an infrastructure meant to handle farm equipment and the occasional pick up is now so overwhelmed by this new wave that the farmer and hippy”s little war seems nonsensical. Very much like the last scene in the movie Apocalypco, where the two characters after being chased to the ocean behold in an instant a greater more evil adversary then anyone could imagine.

  2. This is near where I live in Fairborn, Ohio. You must have ventured this way during your visit to Yellow Springs.

    Our mayor recently gave a State of the City address. He listed off a few accomplishments from last year. One was that the Kroger in the exurban strip mall you photographed is expanding to become a Kroger Marketplace. Another was that the city finally sent out a a wrecking crew to tear down the Elder-Beerman that sat vacant for a decade and a half in the center of town.

    Your blog has been tremendously informative and enjoyable to read, thanks.

    1. What your mayor and other locals may not realize is that Fairborn is heading down the same road as most other rural towns that are pursuing a suburban land use pattern. The historic downtown (compact, walkable, surrounded by productive farmland) is a centuries-old highly adaptable, hyper efficient urban form. In contrast, the suburban growth model is a slow motion Ponzi scheme that works for a few generations and then caves in on itself. It’s a shame to see how the old downtown was gutted after WWII with vacant lots, crappy strip malls, parking lots, and sad motel style apartments all designed to embrace cars rather than people. The good news is that over the next century everything will gradually go into reverse as the suburban model unravels and traditional towns revive. But that will, in fact, be a hundred year process.

      1. The vacant, failed strip malls are splattered all over town. It’s been a very orderly decline that anyone can see continues right up to the far fringes where “growth” continues on. Part of the downtown has made some very Faustian bargains to stay alive. The part you speak of has no semblance of being a former downtown, or of having been once serviced by trolley to Dayton. It’s a grim and dull place, but the history that led to our current state of affairs actually has many fascinating aberrations (and more missed opportunities) from the traditional suburban trajectory. In the end I believe a few large shocks will hasten that hundred-year process.

        Anyway, I’m a bit jaded with it all, and I’m going down to Cinci to check out a few of the neighborhoods, thanks in part to your blog.

        1. I bought a place in Cincinnati last June. Love Cincy. Neighborhoods to explore: Over-The-Rhine, Northside, Walnut Hills, East Walnut Hills, East Price Hill… and the great towns directly across the river in Kentucky. I’ll be in town from May 11 – 18 if you want to meet up.

  3. Maybe he already has! Ergo your unenviable experience. The casual, intrusive attitude of government is well said in the few short words wrote.

  4. You never know with individuals. Hey, have you ever been to Athens, OH? I never have, but my mother went to some art gathering of some kind and insisted that I would like the place — I am sure I would, but it looks like a lot of cool places in Upstate NY I am familiar with. Ohio is one of those “in-between” places in my and many American’s minds — no one gives it much thought until November elections when they remember how important (if average) the place is —- so, I am ALWAYS interested when someone points out something off-the-charts about it.

    One of my wife’s college friends from Kansas who lives in Chicago was driving through the rolling hills rural areas of Ohio and was just AMAZED and in LOVE with the landscape, posting pictures and saying it was the most beautiful place. I have been developing theories about how folks form their perceptions of what makes a landscape beautiful and hospitable, and I think where one grew up has a big influence. He grew up on the prairie, so he likes that, — throw in some hills = paradise. (?)

    I grew up in forested valleys and foothills, so I am attracted to that sort of thing, but many folks from other parts of the country (like west of the Mississippi) feel a little claustrophobic. I am sure Jimmy Buffet would also feel a bit uneasy, and a little chilly too.

    I looked at the Kansan’s pictures and sorta shrugged — they looked pleasant but very everyday to me — reminding me of the landscapes of the more “boring” parts of upstate NY — the fingerlakes region to the Ohio line — much of the state actually, most other NYers like myself want there to be some mountains or ocean or cool cityscape or SOMETHING.

    I lived in a town right on one of the Fingerlakes for 4 years and I explored the area so I know of what I speak — people that are not from there are willing to travel far to get a little SOMETHING ELSE.

  5. Johhny, I know those government offices well!

    I’m a Cincinnatian and a Northsider. Please if you have time lets have a coffee or something next time you are in town.

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