The Suburbs

Tell people you are moving from down-town to the suburbs and see what kind of reaction they give you.

To contextualize.

Essentially I’m moving from here:

Downtown Ottawa where everyday is Canada Day

To Here:

Hanging on a couch in the driveway - Giving the neighbours something to talk about.

To the outsider this is translated as: Downtown to the Suburbs. 

It’s really fun to watch the facial contortions. After telling people of the move I received some fake-sour looks (the kind where people look like they had just tasted something bad when they merely thought the word “Suburb”). What’s even more fun is to explain your new 45 minute commute and you will get a near-to-vomiting reaction. This coupled with the I-feel-sorry-for-you-looks, has led me to a new deeper understanding: the ‘burbs? They’s is stig-ma-tized. (Not sure why I just did that in a hick accent). 

So far from my brief inspection into people’s attitudes from both downtown and in the burbs, I have observed the following stigma of both places:

  • downtown people=self-perceived trendiness
  • suburbs people=kinda weird and sometimes aloof

Caveat: this is not tested yet. I’m going to carry out a thorough investigation and I’ll get back to you. Lucky for me I’ll have been able to play both downtown and suburb roles in one year. So I guess this makes me a bit of a weird-aloof-hipster? And also excellently poised to make judgements on both.

Either way, the stigma got me singing. On the day we got the keys the first thing I did was to unload the Ipod dock (remnants of my downtown hipster days) and put on “The Suburbs.”

Arcade Fire needs no intro. They are excellent. And this song is one of the first memories of my new home. Thank-you to all who truly made me feel that leaving downtown would be the end of my life. I don’t want you to worry though because I’ve been back and forth a few times this week and it appears on first glance there are ample opportunities to buy fruit from a market stand, do yoga, eat vegan fair trade food and ride my bike with a basket on the front 🙂


I am sure this will be the first of many posts to come with something of a suburban feel. I have my great friend at Red Pants and Mustache to thank for reminding me of one of the first memories I had inside the new place 🙂


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5 thoughts on “The Suburbs

  1. Pingback: 7X7 Link Award: Tribute to Currie Rose | Red Pants And a Mustache: Exploring Coffee Shops in Stockholm

  2. What a great post! I know what you mean, when I moved from Los Angeles to small town Minnesota, people looked at me like, “Oh my god… Do you have any idea what you are doing?!?!)…. and I was culture shocked in a big way. However, if you find the right burb, I think it’s cool. Sounds like you have some fun things to do… yoga, vegan eating and a bike with a basket sound pretty good to me. I think some cities are awesome and some not so much… just like some small towns fit a certain not so great stigma, while others are really really wonderful places to be. It’s all a matter of context.

    Great luck on your move. 🙂

    • Hey Currie Rose thanks for the comment! Wow… LA to Minnesota, that’s a huge move!! I can imagine that it was a pretty big shock to the system!
      Thanks for the visit – I’m hoping to make it through the last week before the actual move unharmed.: )
      Emily

  3. Pingback: Six Moves in Four Years « Sparrow in the Tree Top

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