In The Madding Crowd.

Sometimes when I pass by the various apartment buildings that have started to dominate Nashville now that so many people are moving in I wonder what it would be like to live in one, especially if it’s one along a bus route because, hey, as long as I’m imagining I can also imagine I’m pragmatic and somewhat civic-minded. It’s not that I want to move, although my wife has said that if we win the lottery we’re moving out of Nashville and away from the crowds. If that happens I hope to travel frequently so I won’t care where we call home, except on its birthday when I’ll call it “Jimmykins”, but that’s another story.

There’s one I pass by regularly that has patios built facing the sidewalk which I think is a really cool thing. I like the idea of being so close to passers-by, of having interactions with them, or at least being part of the comings-and-goings. So far I haven’t had interactions with any of the people who live in these places although a large chocolate Labrador retriever has popped his head up over the edge to watch me. I’ve said “Hi!” to him and, true to his breed, he’s wagged his tail and is probably wondering why I don’t stop and give him something to retrieve, but I’m not usually carrying a Labrador.

Recently I noticed that one of these places was empty so I stopped for a better look, and somehow I never realized before just how tiny the patios are. They’re designed so anyone who sits on one would have to sit sideways. They’re not welcoming, they don’t really create a sense of community. And that’s the down side of the population boom. There’s been so much attention given to building for numbers that people are being forgotten. It’s all pragmatics and I couldn’t imagine living there.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Spoken Like A True Nut

    I’m so sick of all the new condos going up in my city that have balconies/patios the size of a Scrabble tile, which only exist so the developers can put “balcony/patio” on the listing and jack up the price.

    If you can’t squeeze more than a few potted plants onto it, it’s not a balcony, it’s just a self-aggrandizing windowsill hemmed in by a botanical baby gate.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      “Botanical baby gate” is a phrase I am definitely stealing, especially since it makes me think of the plants trying to escape. Which they will, inevitably, because there’s not enough room on those miniscule patios for them to really grow.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    As someone who lives in a high rise condo in the middle of an large urban centre, I completely agree. I could use more sense of community, although I would also be happy with a large Lab as a neighbour:-)

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Large Labs do make great neighbors. I had forgotten this until just now but once when I was a kid I was out walking in my neighborhood and this huge black dog came running at me and knocked me down…and licked my face.
      I’ve been fond of Labs ever since.

      Reply
  3. Christy Birmingham

    I would require a bigger balcony to truly enjoy it. At the moment I have a small slab.. it needs an update! As for the lab, a fine pet it would be!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I suppose a small slab is better than nothing, but there needs to be space to stretch out.

      Reply
  4. Ann Koplow

    You know a lot about creating a sense of community, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      And I’m so glad you’re part of my community.

      Reply
  5. Jay

    I feel like your inner old man is coming out, wanting to sit on a patio and yell at the hoodlums passing by. Or is that just how I’m imagining it 😉

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s definitely my inner old man coming out, although I have a bad feeling that instead of being one of those guys who yells at the hoodlums I’ll annoy them with pointless stories about how it was back in my day.

      Reply

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