July 28, 2007

Front Yards : A Suburban Requisite

A few days ago our hired lawn crew arrived on schedule and hurriedly whisked through the chores associated with keeping our lawn manicured. They mowed, they edged, they swept ... and I wept. Okay, okay ... I didn't truly weep, but every time they arrive, I do feel a little sick knowing that I'm paying for a resource that, when considered objectively, is a complete and total waste.

Some of you might be thinking, "Hey ... stop whining about paying to have the lawn mowed and save that money by mowing it yourself." For those who are thinking along those lines, I present the economic concept of "opportunity cost." Because I value opportunities that I'd be forced to forgo if I were to take care of my own lawn, I choose to pay someone else to do it instead. Don't you just love economics? Back to lawns, though.

I actually don't mind my backyard, even though it doesn't get the regular use that it should. You can blame that on the Texas heat. It's the front yard, though, that I really despise. To put it bluntly, front yards are dumb. I would submit that front yards are a waste for so many reasons. For example, in most in suburban neighborhoods, you will rarely see people actually enjoying their front yards. Instead, most people typically choose to hide behind privacy fences in their backyards ... closing off their world to neighbors and potential friends.

The fact that people don't really use front yards, though, doesn't stop people from maintaining them. My relationship with my front yard actually resembles a dependent type of host/parasite relationship. I water it, fertilize it, weed it, and mow it ... but it honestly gives me nothing of value in return. So, why do I continue to maintain it? Because it's there, I guess. Isn't that the reason we all deal with our front yards?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazing how you can spend 40 hours a week with someone and never know they have a blog!

August 28, 2007 10:38 PM  

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July 15, 2007

Video: New Urbanism

The following segment was broadcast on CBS' Sunday Morning program back in May 20, 2007. It highlights a couple of the communities that have become tangible references for the movement called New Urbanism. The CBS segment is well done and appears to be relatively free of bias. Imagine that. Anyways, at a quick six and a half minutes, it's worth your time.

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