Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Orange’ Category

Orange, Connecticut

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The landscape flashes by through the window; at first it is buildings, then the gray starts to thin out and is replaced with blurred brown and green resembling trees. The train ride from New York City to where I live in Orange, Connecticut is one that shows great contrast. Looking through the window one could see how the two locations are visually and social different.

I come from the small town of Orange in the state of Connecticut. It is similar to the stereotypical suburban town. There are houses that are just a little too close together, that look similar to each other. Unlike the suburbia of 1950s television shows, in my town there are no sidewalks or identical cars with cookie cutter families in each home. There are areas in my town that are farmland with animals and crops. Driving down the street one can see different landscape and architectural design used to create individuality in the neighborhood.

Living in such a small town means that there is a lot of community. Orange has many town activities that being the neighbors together such as the Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival and the Fall Arts Fair. Having such a close-knit community had its drawbacks. This environment allowed for everyone to be in each other’s business. There is often gossip going around town and it is garneted that my mother will be informed when I am at the local grocery store one morning before school. Having a constant surveillance results in safety, but it also was an invasion of privacy. Now where I live in New York City the neighbors do not even know your name, never mind caring where you go or when.

My favorite part about living in Connecticut was the ability to be barefoot. I had the freedom to walk to my backyard barefooted and not feel any shame or disgust. When I was little I would love to walk outside and feel the earth beneath my toes. As soon as I smelt the fresh scent of flowers and mowed lawn, I would automatically be transported to my imaginary world of fairies and mystery. It is this connection to nature that I miss when I live in the city.

Growing up in a town like Orange Connecticut was nice. There was something special about the community and nature that made an impact on my life. But New York City was calling for me, and as I grew older I found myself spending less time in my small town and more time on the train to the fast paced life of New York City.

Sent by Taryn from Orange, Connecticut