Monday, 6 March 2017

09:41 – It was 42.7F (6C) when when I took Colin out this morning, with light winds. Barbara is off to the gym this morning, followed by a Friends of the Library meeting this afternoon.

I just read an interesting article on Business Insider about how suburbia is dying. Big anchor stores like Sears, JCP, and Macy’s are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and closing scads of under-performing stores. That hurts suburban malls, many/most of which are dead or dying. And even those that still have an anchor store are suffering because they draw much less foot traffic than they used to. Kids don’t gather at the mall any more. They’re too busy staying home, interacting with their friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat instead of meeting at the mall.

Suburban casual dining establishments are closing right and left because people are eating at home more. People who used to dine out three or four times a week now do so once or twice. People who used to dine out once a week are now doing so once a month. Even golf courses, which used to epitomize the suburban experience, are closing in droves; 800 of them in the last decade. Millennials don’t play golf. Big businesses are relocating headquarters from suburbia back to large cities. The infrastructure is inadequate and wearing out, making long commutes between suburbia and the cities increasingly impractical. Suburbs are increasingly trying to reinvent themselves as self-sustaining cities rather than just bedroom communities, but that’s very difficult because they lack real jobs. As this trend continues and accelerates, it’s going to be interesting to watch, but not in a good way.

I’m really glad that Barbara and I moved to a small town/rural environment. Areas like ours have problems, but nothing like what cities are becoming. The kettle is already at a boil. It’s not a question of if but when the lid is going to blow off. It may be years or even decades, but it also may be tomorrow.

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