Thursday, June 4, 2009
Little Boxes, the anti-Suburb anthem
Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, Little boxes, little boxes, Little boxes, all the same. There's a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky-tacky And they all look just the same. Do y'all watch WEEDS? We're hooked, though have been slowly plowing through it via Netflix. Finally finished Season 3 the other night (wow, some of the characters really went off the deep end, ahem, Celia!) and it reminded me that I needed to finish my post on those Little Boxes. I was of course referring to the show's theme song in my last post. Those little boxes Malvina Reynolds was referring to when she wrote and sang her folk song were those of Henry Doelger's development, Westlake District, in Daly City, California. Maybe you've already wikipediaed this, but Reynolds and her husband were apparently driving through the area south of San Francisco in the early 60s when she saw the many roofs of the District and was inspired to document the scourge of suburbia on the landscape. Life magazine evidently wanted to take a photo of her pointing to the original houses she wrote about, but when they went back to the site she coudn't find them because so many others had overtaken the hillside. I did a little further checking and found these images of the Westlake District: I can definitely see the appeal of this little house, especially that Dr. Seuss-looking shrub out front. Landscape architects help me out? Here's another one: Looks like they have held up decently, with the exception of the yard in the example above. Originally, each had a single palm tree in the front yard, as you can see in the photo of the yellow and torquoise house. I wonder how ticky-tacky the construction really was, especially as compared to some of the suburban developments of today's time that seem to spring up overnight. Here's a final shot of a street in Daly City, from November 2008 Well, that concludes my first post of June. Thanks for sticking with me- I have lots of material from May and already for this month, so I will try my best to post more frequently now that phase one of the move is complete.