Social Question

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

How have things changed where you live compared to years ago?

Asked by TheProfoundPorcupine (2512 points ) October 25th, 2012

The world is constantly changing, but how has the world changed where you live in the last few years and what things do you miss? (obviously this just applies if you have indeed lived in the same town or city for some time)

For me I miss the fact that in my suburb you used to be able to get everything you needed in the one single street with a series of local shops that then suffered when supermarkets really took hold and we also used to get different vans coming along such as a fishmonger, butcher, groceries, and a baker but they have now all vanished completely.

So as you look around what kind of things have changed where you live in the last few years that you wish still existed?

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14 Answers

ucme's avatar

Ice cream van tunes, where once us kids would delight at the sounds of chitty chitty bang bang
alerting us to the wonders of the humble choc-ice, they now play some dreadful re-hashed version of a Rhianna song…..not good.

Shippy's avatar

Gosh @TheProfoundPorcupine I remember those so well. I had no idea that they were still in action. Supermarkets suck big time. Here in South Africa it’s all about Malls. I hate Malls.

But to answer your question. About fifteen years ago I lived in certain areas, that were so great, so pretty to live in. Plus there were new Malls opening, which were very attractive. One had a ‘Big Wheel’ attached whereby young kids could ride on it, while parents strolled around the shops.

There was a huge eatery in the center of the Mall, which was very classy and abuzz with people. Plus a great piano player in the middle. They had gone all out, for this place (one of hundreds in our area). Carpeted walkways with red carpet and chandeliers.

Today, the shops are stuffed with goods from china. There are broken windows in the shop fronts from fights occurring in the center plus half baked robberies. . Some of the windows have been boarded with cardboard, and stuck there with masking tape. Where the grand piano was and eatery is a solid cement floor. The lifts don’t work, and the likelihood of being pillaged is very high. Or mugged and stabbed. The surrounding area too is much the same. It is sad.

marinelife's avatar

I actually lived in the area that I live in now 40 years ago, and just returned two years ago.It is literally almost unrecognizable.

One place that used to be a quaint neighborhoody town is now filled with high rises.

There is a large hispanic population all over the area now that was non-existant 40 years ago.

The traffic is horrible—worst in the U.S.

But, on the plus side, we can drive not even half an hour really, only 15 minutes, and get into farm country or woods. That is a blessing.

ragingloli's avatar

The entire block got renovated some years ago. The buildings lost the top 2 floors.

jonsblond's avatar

The most interesting change I’ve experienced was in my childhood hometown, Las Vegas. I lived there from 1st to 10th grade during the mid 70s to mid-80s. They had just started tearing down several of the older casinos to make way for the new McCasinos. My best friend still lives there, as well as one of my sisters, and I’ve seen pictures and heard about all the changes that have happened there, especially the size in population. There are at least a dozen new high schools, I believe. It’s not the same town I grew up in.

flutherother's avatar

All the local shops, apart from a newsagents, have vanished along with the familiar faces that worked there. The countryside has been replaced by large expensive houses and a new school. The roads which used to be quiet are now choc a bloc with traffic. I don’t go back often to my home town but when I do I walk the streets like a stranger. Almost everyone I knew has died or moved elsewhere.

Blondesjon's avatar

We moved here.

gailcalled's avatar

Here not much has changed. There are a few more McMansions and a few fewer dairy farms. But the little town looks very much like it did 100 years ago. 57 miles of dirt roads in my township and only 62,500 people in the whole county (it covers an area of about 634 square miles.)

The NYC commuting suburb where I was raised has become overbuilt, and the business section has lost its charm and individuality. If you were dropped into it blindfolded, you could be in any northeastern generic suburb.

DominicX's avatar

The area hasn’t changed much; it’s almost an entirely residential area, so there are really no new businesses or anything like that. There are noticeable new houses, including one across the street from mine which was built recently (in the place of a smaller older house). The middle school I attended has been completely torn down and replaced with an entirely new school. It kind of made me a little sad…

YARNLADY's avatar

There are one, two or more empty houses on every block, at least two of the elementary schools have closed, one is shuttered and the other is rented out to non-school businesses.

The shopping center has a several vacant stores, and is nearly empty every time I go there. Three of the dozen or so strip malls have been completely torn down, with vacant lots left, and others have numerous empty stores.

The high school has been renovated and ½ of it is rented out to the local community college. There are several large development projects that are no longer being developed, but the lots are being over grown with weeds.

One block of apartment buildings that used to be the crime center of the town have all been torn down and a neighborhood recreation center built in their place. Nearly every major street that used to have no sidewalks has now been converted to sidewalks lining them. A giant neighborhood garden has opened, for people to rent space and grow gardens.

We have a brand new Police Station and a brand new Civic Auditorium/meeting hall. All the private elderly board and care homes have been closed down and three new national board and care chains have been opened.

El_Cadejo's avatar

What fields and open land we had in my area has been taken over by office buildings and tons of houses. The worst spot for me is my old friends house. Out back of his house was a nice big field that I practically grew up in. There are now 12 houses crammed into that field. Its kinda depressing to see whenever I drive by.

Coloma's avatar

The city I grew up in has tripled it’s population in the last 35 years, many newer communities and suburbs and all the usual crazy urban sprawl.
The hills up here in the gold country of the Sierras where I have lived for the last 21 years have barely changed at all. The biggest event in the last 6 years was widening a narrow bridge on our highway and adding a stop light and stop signs. Just SHOCKING! lol

Otherwise there are still more horses, coyotes & deer than people it seems.
Just the way I like it. Of course it’s deceiving, lots of houses tucked away in these hills that you’d never know existed.

DrBill's avatar

Steel Mill, closed
Glass Plant, closed
Paper mill, closed
flour mill, downsized
Auto parts Manufacturer, closed
Electronics warehouse, moved to Mexico

rojo's avatar

@DrBill Like the song says “We Can’t build it here anymore”

Our town has grown two fold in the 30 years I have been here. Supposedly that is progress but do I really need that umpteenth mexican restaurant or mega apartment complex?
And we keep on providing incentives to businesses because we need a bigger tax base so we can provide for the people in the last bigger tax base we brought in.
The population has more than doubled but the unemployment rate remains constant so evidently more business DOES NOT lower unemployment. And because the rate is the same but the population has increased there are actually more people in the community that are not working.
Endless cycle of so-called prosperity.

What we really need is a new definition of progress.

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