After reading some his writings on his web site http://www.SouthTrenton.com, South Ward Councilman Jim Coston seems like a really intelligent guy. He spoke of the emptiness of the suburbs, something that really calls out to me because of growing up a few miles away in West Windsor.
People fled cities like Trenton for the suburbs because of what they believed would be a better life, and also because of perceived pressures in their old neighborhoods in the city. The influx of immigrants, more crime, and other common urban problems convinced these people that a move to the ‘burbs would provide a better life for their families.
Anyone who has grown up in these suburbs knows that they may be an OK place to grow up when one is extremely young, but they simply do not cut it for older children and adults. There is nothing to do, a fact that leads to idleness, drug use and delinquency. Anyone who grew up in West Windsor knows there was almost nothing to do on the weekends. The city offers you opportunities.
The options in the suburbs are severely limited unless you want to drive a distance to get to whatever you want to do. In the city, you can walk everywhere, and there is actually an interesting landscape of buildings and structures to make for an interesting walk. From my apartment door in the Mill Hill, I can walk to a coffee shop, several restaurants, two bars, a park, a basketball and hockey arena, and a train station that takes me to New York in one and half hours and Philly in one.
That sounds much better than driving everywhere like in West Windsor, which creates a sedentary lifestyle apt to give you a heart attack.