Why the suburbs suck...

No, I'm not one of those turtle-necked elitists who simply can't understand why anyone would want to live outside of Chelsea. I wouldn't presume to tell other people where they should live. I'm aware there are many valid reasons why people would want to live in suburban areas. But let's face it, the suburbs are dull, especially for a young buck like me.

I was driving around in my mother's south metro Atlanta area (for two years of high school, mine as well) the other day, and I and my passenger were keeping a sharp eye out for a place to eat. This standard place was closed for the day, that slightly more exotic place was closed for good, who the hell wants a fast food lunch on Sunday, and on and on. The locale was suburban, but it's Henry County, one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. So it's not like everyone there is just a rube who wouldn't know a good bite to eat if the dog dragged it to him. That being so, why does it still suck?

I've written before about population density's effect on cities, and this appears to be another prime example. To use the restaurant example: it's risky for a non-chain restaurant (i.e. one that no one knows what to expect from) to open up. Let's assume that all populations have a uniform percentage of people willing to try new places. When a new restaurant opens in San Francisco, thousands and thousands of people go by it, and that small percentage of risk-takers will try it. Word of mouth does the rest. When a new restaurant opens in the south metro area, far fewer people go by it and so it's harder for it to become established.

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