What are suburbs? A simple definition is that these are small towns or villages that are in the outskirts of big cities or is a residential part district a town or city. This paper will analyze three suburbs in Long Island including Levittown which is among the first suburbs in the country. The other three suburbs will include, Picturesque Enclave, Borderland and Amityville. Long Island Suburbs There are many suburbs in Long Island whereby some of them are inhabited by rich people, some by the middle class people and others by poor populations.
Suburbs sprang up at a very first rate lore especially when railway and road transportation was extending out form main cities to other areas and after the Second World War. Long island was born of New York but a few later it was a city of its own with many suburbs. Levittown is not the only suburb but there exist many others. Many of these suburbs are facing many challenges including housing, crime and racial divide among others. Some suburbs were built from scratch as others were built rapidly but all depended who landed or settled there first.
Levittown is the ever first suburb in the untied states but that does not mean there are no other suburbs. Among the suburbs that came nearly after Levittown were; streetcar-Amityville, Picturesque- Garden City and Edge Nodes-Hauppague among many others. Sitcom-Levittown suburb. Levittown is another suburb in the outskirts of Long Island that grew after the Second World War. It was named after an American war veteran Bill Levitt who stared constructing houses here rapidly using his skills gained from the military. It was even referred to as postwar American suburb.
Houses built there were affordable and ideal for an American family. Currently, houses in this suburb are low costing and many people are moving there as the number of buyers has increased rapidly. As ideal way to allow many people to afford buying these low cost houses loans are given. “It was an affordable suburb built to propel blue-collar Americans into the property-owning middle class. Actually, Levittown was built for young, white men with families. Single people, people of color and the elderly were not welcome. As late as 1960, with 82,000 people, it was the largest all-white community in the nation” (Downes 2007).
Streetcar-Amityville Amityville grew rapidly because of a highway that passed through there hence accelerating its expansion as the population grew year after year. However, the other transport means that were available were trams, rail roads and horse cars which started in 1800s. Many houses there were built by factory owners to attract workers who could stay near work there. Other houses of low quality constructed of wood. Many of these people were and are middle class and of different ethnicities living harmoniously. Unfortunately in the year 1938 a hurricane struck the town and caused great damage.
The way of life changed as the idle land was put into use. New buildings were erected and from a suburb, today Amityville is a city neighbored by industries and modern buildings. There is a museum in the town that tells all about the town and its history from late 17th century. However, the dreams and the lives of people in this suburb have been altered to modernism but the picture of 1800s remains among people through the buildings. Picturesque Enclave This was another suburb that sprang up at almost the time with Amityville.
The first person to start life there was Haskell a committed Christian in 1850s and he started building in the West Orange side. Many people who started staying there were working class and they preferred other forms of dwelling like private homes to apartments. The neighborhood was ever friendly even though homes were far apart from each but which ensured privacy. Unfortunately, minorities were barred from this suburb though that sense of good neighborhood and social interaction was encouraged. To this day the majority of the Picturesque dwellers are middle class people and from the social aspect, other minorities are moving in.
Borderland Borderland was first thought of by among the first people to settle there including Esther Beecher, Andrew Jackson and others. It was not far from other because it was build in the mid of the 19th century that is 1840s. It also developed due to transport networks that reached there. People wanted to stay away from but near the city. Many of he houses were from farmhouses to villas and it depended on how rich is an individual is because everybody from either racial divide could own a house. Unfortunately, this was a suburb that was affected by rare problems in other suburbs that was pollution and family ties.
Pollution was caused by factories around like, slaughterhouses, tanning and brick factories and women were alone most of the time as men (husbands) went work in these factories. Discrimination was rare. Conclusion It will be a wrong notion if people think that Long Island was and is made up by Levittown. Levittown was just the first among the many suburbs in Long Island. All these other suburbs experienced unique problems like Levittown, like Borderland problem was not racial discrimination but pollution and family loneliness. Part Two
The history of each of these suburbs is very interesting and fascinating. It will be so appalling to look at some of these suburbs and wonder how their history is almost the same through the way they were built, who were the first people to settle there and their status or how they related. Having it in mind that challenges of racial discrimination or racial segregation, housing and crime were in existence, even though during those days crime was not rampant like in the later years. Pollution was another forgotten challenge that faced these suburbs though today the issue has been handled and settled.
Long Island has a long history and it developed due its proximity to New York City (45 minutes drive from) and it also started humbly as a middle income town but when the railway and the harbors around it were developed, it also grew rapidly. Houses were cheap even though it was near New York. Today, it is too expensive to live in Long Island as many people who had settled there are moving to other areas. However, outsiders believe that the suburb is wealthy and resources are enough for Long Islanders to afford buying houses there but this is not the case. These three factors or challenges strongly interrelate with one another.
This means if one factor is overlooked, then the others may be a burden to deal with. For instance, if housing is not affordable in any suburb, many people can not afford staying there and a certain class of people like the rich will stay in that suburb whereby they may be of one race. If crime is rampant in a suburb then people of any status will not like to own property or a house in that area. The issue of housing affects almost all cities in the United States. In America today, among the affecting many people or families is housing and to be precise affordable housing.
Affordable housing in many suburbs in the United States has been very controversial and problematic. Controversial because many families are thrown out of thee houses and the government has been forced to the desperate measures to save families and its citizens in general from distress. Many suburbs around the Long Island are not affordable to many; however there are those that exist for low income earners. Levittown is an example of a suburb that low income earners can not afford. However, this group of citizens is able to afford to stay in Bronx. Bronx is historically affordable for the middle class level and the poor or low income earners.
At this period of time when there is an economy slump down, housing everywhere for the rich or the poor is the major problem. Many families have been evicted from their homes because they can no longer afford paying for them and yet they do not have that money. “The recent downswing in the economy of this country has created two main problems in connection with housing; one, many houses are no longer affordable to many people or families and two; the numbers of families or people evicted is increasing daily” (Lambert 2007). But when evicting is happening, the problem is not and is never solved but augmenting it.
In recent years, many suburbs in long island have not been affordable compared to few back. (Lambert 2007) in the article On Long Island, More Are Priced Out of the Housing Market, confirms, “In 2000, 60 percent of the homes in long island were affordable for $100,000 per year earning families but due to sluggish income growth, loss of jobs and sagging economy, the area is becoming unaffordable and many people have been driven away”. Solutions to suburb housing. What has the government done to stop this problem much earlier before everything goes out of hand? With this problem, the bail out plan is only a short time remedy.
Politicians and leaders right from the top to the local counties must look for permanent solutions by strengthening mortgage institutions that will offer affordable loans but not credit to enable people buy or build homes. Another solution is the government to give grants to people who want to own homes. Already there are many grants that are directed to people who want to own or but houses in many suburbs in the country. Unfortunately many people do not know about these grants, therefore the government or leaders in counties where there are suburbs should spare time to inform people about the government grant.
(Internet source-www. nytimes. com) Long Island is faced with problems currently namely; shortage of housing racial segregation as it remains the most segregated suburb in the country and a-not-willing spirit to expand construction. Moreover, the local county officials are not taking any positive step forward to build Long Island. (Internet source- Island of Homes).
Works Cited: Downes, Lawrence. In Levittown, old Myths Meet Hard Reality. Editorial Observer. Published on 26th January 2007, Retrieved from the internet on 16th December 2008: www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/opinion/02sun1.html.