i haven’t been reading

lately and missed the
predictable results

of what happens when
thomas kinkade

builds a subdivision. much of the criticism is like shooting fish in a barrel, and it’s probably a bit much to ask thomas to become the posterboy for
new urbanism

. in any case, the following blurb caught my eye:

“Perhaps the greatest losses in the translation of the Kinkade fantasy to real life are the church with its familiar steeple, and the ever-present village square. No matter what you might think of Kinkade’s artistic merits, his celebrity suggests that he’s tapped into a collective longing among Americans for real community. Some would argue that Kinkade’s idealized vision of America is a Frank Capra/ Norman Rockwell fantasy. But no matter how gauzy Kinkade’s vision, there is no question that the current suburban aesthetic makes us want it — bad. “

i just moved from
woodstock, illinois

, which has an actual
town square

and it’s likely what i’ll miss most about the town. it was nice to be able to walk the dogs down to the square, grab a cup of coffee and stop by the farmer’s market. even though woodstock never seemed to take advantage of the square – how many rubber stamp stores and quaint curio shops does one town need – the square as a tangible community building construct always seemed self evident. i’m continually surprised that more new developments don’t take advantage of a community commons as a differentiator. then again, maybe i’m skewed by being brought up in the northeast, where town squares are the norm. maybe developers are onto something. maybe most people want to lock themselves up in their subdivisions and stare at tacky fabrications of community from the Painter of Light™, while waiting for the next episode of
the osbournes


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