Attack of the lawn-pavers


[Image: "Peter Oppedisano at his home with paved yard in Malba, Queens." Suzanne DeChillo/New York Times].

"The grassy front lawn, once a staple of the American dream, is steadily being usurped by the pave-over. Many homeowners, opting for grayer pastures, are pouring concrete over their patches of green."
Perhaps living proof that you can read too much J.G. Ballard, when "Christina Groza moved from an older building in Astoria, Queens, into a recently built one in College Point, the new home had a major selling point... the original lawn outside the new building had been paved over with concrete."
One instantly wonders how many pave-overs you could get away with, and what law it is you'd be breaking if you tried: wait till everyone's away on holiday vacation, wake up your cousins – then pave everything.

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11 Comments:

Blogger javier said...

I dunno why people do this. So ugly. I mean, have they never heard of astroturf?

November 27, 2005 11:42 PM  
Anonymous David Knight said...

The changeover is complete in much of the UK's suburbia. And at the same time grass or green rooves are becoming increasingly popular. Potentially, the location and not the quantity of the grass could be the change...

And at the same time, the discussion swings around to paving as serious ecological problem within the urban. We are getting to the point where rain can't soak through. Sounds silly, but its true in a lot of London. Pavements become rivers within minutes of heavy rain starting. We are slowly sealing off the ground. Thank heavens for the weeds in the cracks - such as the custard-yellow snapdragon that has self sown out of my front step. There's soil down there somewhere!

November 28, 2005 5:28 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Jav: act now, and you've got a business model... and some customers.

And David that's a great point about location: roof gardens v. paved lawns. Very interesting, actually.

November 28, 2005 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it will be until some green-loving neighbors decide to take some guerrilla gardening action.

In the middle of the night they might stick a prollific grower (bamboo, kudzu) in some cracks or occassionally toss a handfull of grass seed.

November 28, 2005 2:30 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

They could drop a tree bomb.

November 28, 2005 2:38 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

As I was reminded, via email, the article also features this little gem of abiotic thinking:

"His mother, Angela Casaro, stepped outside to voice her preference for brick over grass. 'Lawns have ticks and disease and worms and stuff,' she said. 'This way, it's safe and sterile. It's a cleaner area for the children to play. I love nature and I love grass, but I don't want my family exposed to disease.'"

Perhaps this is "those who would sterilize" as a new character type...

(Thanks Sarah!)

November 28, 2005 2:40 PM  
Anonymous A.J. said...

meanwhile... about that horrific house.
is it made of lego? is it from the sears catalogue?
looks like some cartoon version of a florentine hacienda.
eek

November 28, 2005 8:22 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Yeah, that house just kind of looms there, like some sort of Willy Wonka machine. The color is... what, Ford Escort? It's interesting. In it's own way.

I'd like to pave it.

November 28, 2005 8:50 PM  
Anonymous David Knight said...

Regarding my earlier point...

We have potential for the urban to be greener than the suburban, after some serious extrapolation.

Green roofs are a growing phenomenon in the urban, and in the extreme rural have been popular for ages, but in the suburbs?

November 29, 2005 1:04 PM  
Blogger cripPaul J Mushrush said...

This may be the secret of a disabled citizen's suburban existence.

December 24, 2005 4:51 PM  
Blogger Charles Prendergast said...

I recognize the trend (and hate it!) but here in the UK I've noticed a lot of people taking out the stuff and laying some proper turf. Might just be a knock-on effect from a rash of gardening/DIY TV programmes we've had over here in recent years, but whatever the cause it's very welcome! (Great blog by the way)

December 12, 2007 6:28 AM  

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