We were interrogating the new co-worker.
"Where do you live?"
"Oh, off of Elm, by the river."
(Gasps of horror.)
"Oh my God. You live in New Town."
"NO! NO, I don't!"
Whew, all said, and then commenced a group review of New Town.
"Weird. Just creeped me out."
"Like Stepford in the cornfields."
"Yeah. You don't live there, do you?"
I'd heard of New Town. It's a planned community down by the river. I thought I might wikipedia it, so you could see some photos. First I looked up Celebration Florida, the first planned community I'd ever heard of. Then, hey, maybe New Town is on Wikipedia. Guess what? They don't call them planned communities anymore. They call them New Towns.
I had heard Mom describe it years ago, and the image I had in my head was of a collection of Georgian row houses. Down by the river, instead of Regent's Park. Everything was said to be in walking distance. "Cool," I thought. "I need to take that New Town exit sometime. That sounds pretty."
The work conversation piqued my interest, so sometime came 'round on Sunday. So we motored to New Town.
It's wrong. It's so, so, wrong. First, it is no longer in the cornfield, it is a disease spreading across the cornfield. You know how DisneyWorld is "in" Florida, while DisneyLand is "IN" Anaheim? This is DisneyLand. Not so isolated anymore at all.
The first thing you see when you drive in are the display homes. "Ew," I said, "It isn't all Georgian. It's a row house next to a bungalow next to a French Quarter home next to a brownstone."
You know what's worse? Driving past the display homes. To the "Brownstone" block, then a few blocks later the "French Quarter" block, then the Town Square. Main Street. I looked for that store where you can get ice cream cones for a nickel, like at DisneyWorld. Then you pass Futureworld, then you pass the church (THE church), then you pass the giant sign titled "The Colors of New Town" -- the colors you are allowed to select for your New Town home. Which had better coordinate with the home next door, because there's about ten inches of side yard separating you and your neighbor.
It was such false diversity. "Be unique, as long as you conform!" I smell trouble in New Town.
I can see the Great New Town Riots of 2115.
Does anyone out there live in New Town, or in a New Town? What's it really like? 'Cause Gary wants to move there.