Thursday, April 25

Yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Rick Anguilla, Nike’s director of brand communications, said that skateboarding will soon become so mainstream that “in the next few years, the kid who plays Little League baseball is going to be considered ‘alternative.’” The nexus for this cultural transformation is of course Orange County, California, whose municipalities contain America’s most archetypal suburbs since Levittown.

I thought white people were starting to like cities again. Is Orange-County-hip representative of the suburban magnetism that could keep Generation Y from seeing any value in an urban life? Was the 1990s revival of urban living in cities all across the U.S. just a brief glimpse into what America could be like if we learned to live more densely and sustainably? Was the move back into cities just a Gen-X thing?