I was born and raised in a relatively rural area. Many parts of the Pemberton Township area surrounded by forest and cranberry bogs and away from society. Such areas were the housing developments of Country Lakes, Presidential Lakes, and Lake Valley. Homes in Piscataway and Plainfield remind me more of home and are where I’m more comfortable. In each development that I mentioned earlier, there’s almost a pattern made with the houses built. There are two main types of structures of homes built throughout the whole community. One could say the communities are homogeneous I experienced some of what was discussed in chapter 10 where there was no corner store, I was bused to school, and a simple trip to a decent grocery store or mall was at least a 30 minute drive away. There wasn’t much interaction between neighbor’s unless they were outside doing yard work. There also wasn’t much of a public transportation system until you were outside of Pemberton Township. I had become used to things not being within walking distance and depending more on the automobile. On the plus side, I enjoyed the piece and quiet of the forest and crickets chirping rather than trains and noisy city traffic. We had a spacious front and back yard, drive way and garage. My neighborhood offered more privacy. There was significantly more that a 5 foot gap between my house and that of my neighbor. I guess you could say that the place I call home mirrors Andres Duany’s theory of “the suburbs being planned wrong” and the separation of land uses that is opposite the of the “traditional city”.
On the flip side New Brunswick is not at all what I’m used to and I can honestly say I don’t like. It could be because for years I’ve become so dependent on my car, or being used to parking my car in my driveway or parking lot and not on the street and making sure I have coins to feed the meter, or because there was more the a 5 foot gap between my house and my neighbors house. The city does have it’s pros. I can walk to just about anywhere and catch the bus or train. New Brunswick seems to follow the neo-traditionalist way, in that there are pedestrian-friendly streets with lines of cars that kind of serve as a buffer for pedestrians on the sidewalk and the many alley ways. It does follow the new urbanism/neo-traditional way of planning to a T. There’s more human interaction considering the great use of public transportation and walking, but just a little too much for my liking.