suburban sprawl, and explosion radius

It’s kind of odd visiting home again, from a societal point of view. Ohio’s economy is much, much larger than Maine’s; there are certainly many more people, but it seems like there are more stores and places to buy Stuff(tm) per capita.

2-3 decades ago, I grew up in northern Cincinnati, in a town called Springdale, which was the outer edge of suburbia. All the main retail outlets were near us, it was glittering and shiny new. You could tell there was money there.

Now, all these glitzy new buildings are 2 or 3 decades older, and show wear and tear. Even the houses look older, which of course they are.

Last night, my wife and I had a dinner & movie date, and we headed further north, a couple exits up the highway, to the restaurant and the theater. There, 5 miles north of where I grew up, now looks like my area did when I was a kid. The radius of Cincinnati, or at least the suburban sprawl, is expanding.

It occurred to me that this sprawl expansion must look something like a nuclear shock wave in slow motion. Things heat up as they go outward, leaving slow decay in its wake.

Kind of a crude metaphor, I suppose. But it was an image that struck me, and I wanted to record it here for posterity. Perhaps I’ll develop the idea more.

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