Sunday, July 27

Eye on Suburbia - Our London correspondent, an avid reader of the NYTimes Home section (in his fantasies he's a fabulous real estate tycoon), writes to tell us about two recent articles of interest:

    In the first item, the Times looks at the high costs of fighting not city hall, but instead the local homeowners association. Adam editorializes that "It is an amazing thing, what some of these [censored] will do to satisfy their power/ego trips." However, I'm not sure whether he means the intemperate loners who try to do things "their way"and end up paying the penalty, or the petty bureaucrats in the association who think someone elected them God. Neither side seems especially sympathetic, if you ask me. How's all this gonna work out in your new neighborhood, Ben?

    The second item is an examination of the way new developments and planned subdivisions get their names. Apparently even tony New York City addresses can't resist the temptation to "play dress up" with their names. Adam and I always chuckled about the transparent naming conventions of many developments -- not only the incongruous use of British orthography but also the ever prevalent old-country place references. In the end it's hard to take these trite attempts at glamor and cachet seriously. "Cardiff Cwms," anyone? (Oh, how Adam and I love our inside jokes.)

Thanks again for the report from across the pond.