Bliss in the Suburbs

This is a great article from Sacramento News & Review about the joy found, after moving from Midtown and other city locations, in Roseville, yes, Roseville.

An excerpt.

The idea seems simple enough, but when I tell the barista at my favorite cafe that I’m writing a piece on why Roseville doesn’t suck, he swivels away from the espresso machine and casts his gaze upward toward the ceiling, confused.

“How … do you plan to do that?” he finally asks me, nervously.

I just shrug.

“It’s all relative,” I admit. “I’m just here to say it doesn’t suck as much as you think.”

I won’t lie. When we moved to Roseville from Texas in March 2009, it was in part a type of giving up. Our expectations were low. We had suffered major income loss due to the recession, and we had a support network here ready to help us get back on our feet. I anticipated a sad and sterile suburban existence, but what I got instead were creeks banked with wildflowers, ladies in babushkas, tree-shrouded streets lined with early 20th-century bungalows, and just enough fellow oddballs to keep me entertained. But even with all that, why would people who identify as “cultural creatives” move to what many consider a cliché of a soulless suburb in the first place?

Indeed, there is a Roseville that is separate, distinct and altogether better than the stereotyped version that’s limited to the Westfield Galleria at Roseville mall, big-box stores and shoppers in SUVs.

Here, for example, we’re allowed to have backyard chickens, there are bike lanes and trails galore, and the town even boasts some great used bookstores. We have parties on patios with twinkling lanterns, with background noise provided by the gentle, monotonous rumble of the passing trains.

And more and more, we’re meeting the type of people we thought of as the “exception to the rule,” but their increasing visibility makes it seem less exceptional and more the “way things are going.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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