Thursday, January 14, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, January 14, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question:Has your hometown changed a lot since you were a kid?

For me, my town was constantly growing and changing because I grew up outside New York City and the town is a commuter's town for many people.

Although, hotels and apartment buildings started going up like crazy, it was one single thing that happened when I realized my hometown had changed even before I had a chance to move away.

As a small kid, my dad would take my sister and I to this little purple diner that was about 1 mile away from my house. I think the diner may have been 500 square feet, but it had this great counter with spinning stools and served the best hash browns that I have yet to duplicate.

The parking lot was always full and every other weekend YogaGirl and I spent a magical morning with my dad (the other weekends he took my brother to the diner). I wasn't a child of divorced parents, but my dad worked in NYC and spent a great deal of time on the train commuting. This was our time.

Breakfast, other than the hash browns, was a standard fare. It was the conversation, trivia questions and having a race with YogaGirl to figure out the tax on the bill what I remembered most about those trips. [Note: I don't think I ever beat YogaGirl at this game because she is 4 years older].

At some point, things changed. I thought it was because my sister didn't want to go to breakfast because she was getting older; or it was because my dad started playing golf on Saturdays. But, we stopped going.

The diner closed and remained vacant on the over sized lot for what seemed years and always hopeful that another person would revive the diner. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Instead, Vince McMahon demolished the building and put up a large office building of glass and the initials WWE at the very top of this building, the new home of the World Wrestling Entertainment corporation.

Forget the corporations that came to the town or the population growth, to me, my hometown changed when Vince McMahon squashed my favorite purple diner.


Candice said...

I grew up in a really small town. Less than 3k people and it only had one stop light. Did I mention it was small? ;)

I've been back recently, and on one hand it has definitely changed. Houses that were once nice, now look worn down and unkempt. Everything basically looks as though it could use a fresh can of paint.

On the other hand, the mentality of the people who live there hasn't changed one bit. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.

kk said...

My town has changed a TON. And, being married to Mr. KK – who is from the same hometown and who HATES change – he constantly points out all of the things that have changed.

Now we have strip malls. A Target. And an Olive Garden.

big time.

Brian Miller said...

it is amazing how much changes in so short a time. new stop lights where there really never should be. all the old haunts disappearing or changing to tanning salons...ridiculous.

Ice Queen said...

That's sad. Screw Vince McMahon!

My town has become significantly trashier since I was a child (or maybe I'm just starting to realize it now). Either way the basic dynamic is still there. If you fart, everyone in town knows which direction it blew in.

Mandy's Kidding said...

I still live in my home town, a quaint shopping town within a larger metro area. While two movie theaters, restaurants and bars have come to the quaint shopping area, which has brought more foot traffic to the sidewalks and more nightlife, I like the changes. It makes me feel more like I live in a city, than in a quaint shopping district.

Actual Scale said...

I grew up in a smallish town. Not small enough that everyone was related, lol, but small enough for one high school and there was a big ol' farm right behind my neighborhood.

Now, I could get lost in this town!
The farm behind my old house is now a neightborhood, the road was even re-routed! Now there are tons of stores, a movie theater and just about any eating establishment you can think of...heck, I remember how excited everyone was when Walmart came to town shortly after I moved out. Now Walmart is just another store in town.

TechnoBabe said...

Amazing the things we remember. Your trips to the diner are precious. In the town I grew up there were orange groves everywhere. Most of them are gone now and houses are crowded around the town.

theschmuck said...

Not really,except that it has become a lot less non-green...and mall-y lol.

Herding Cats said...

Sad story!

My hometown hasn't changed all that much. It's a suburb outside of Los Angeles. I guess the only thing I've really noticed is the population grew A LOT so now it seems more crowded.

Tasha said...

That's so sad about your favorite little diner! My hometown was small and is still small (around 7,000 people). Now they have a Days Inn AND a Best Western. When I was growing up, the nearest decent hotel was 30 min away!

Jane said...

This story broke my heart.

I grew up in Austin, TX, and have seen it change from a sleepy little college town to a city full of hipsters and techies. I love it both ways.

Laura said...

Mine has I am total middle america and my quaint little lakeside town has gotten a little ghetto...but no more less republican lols

Leslee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslee said...

Yes, most certainly my home town (which I still live in!) has changed!

I can recall that the main 4-way stop in town; it now has a stop light. Both main streets through town had huge oak trees lining them; now they are strip malls.

I can recall there being ONE high school; now there are nine!!!

I can also recall as a child talking my parents into riding my bikes to the hardware store which was located next to the fire department. The owner would give me a soda from the coca-cola machine with the opener on the side! He was such a sweet man... Now there is NO WAY that I would allow my child to bike around town as there is TOO MUCH traffic to be safe alone!

Ahhh memories ~

Anonymous said...

i lived in a small town too tht was surrounded by farms so when things in zim started to go downhill the farmers left and our little town became even littler and i said goodbye to way too many friends in a short period of time!

Ink Obsession Designs said...

My hometown has changed a lot. Whenever I am out that way it never even feels like I ever lived there.

Anonymous said...

HECK no! That's why I don't live there!

otin said...

Believe it or not, my hometown in NJ has changed very little. A few big stores came into town but that was about it.

DB said...

What I wouldn't give for a plate of scrambled eggs with those hash browns....followed of course by a slice of Boston cream pie. YUM.

Kristin said...

Stupid wrestling. Look how it wrecks things. Ah ha ha

Midlife Jobhunter said...

My hometown hasn't changed hardly at all in all my years. In fact, when I used to drive through it (about once every five years) it seemed as though I'd never left.

maria.palermo said...

LMB, I lived right next door to the Purple diner....yup, that was my house. I miss it too, heck, I could roll out of bed and be there. Imagine my dismay when they knocked it down and built the WWF. Funny, they tried to buy our property but only offered a measly amount......being a native, I miss the 'old' Stamford

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

My childhood town was a small sleepy little it's huge and bustling with business and tons of new homes. The home where I spent my first 5 years of life doesn't even exist anymore, there's a freeway in its place now...sigh!

Darn Vince McMahon for taking away your favorite place!


Unknown Mami said...

I haven't been to my hometown in so long I have no idea what it's like anymore.

P said...

I lived in my hometown all my life til I was 23 and then moved to Glasgow and everytime I go back there (which is rarely as I am close enough that my parents and family will come meet me in the city) I am struck by how so much is different but so little has changed at the same time. There's still things I recognise, but there's always a new surprise that has popped up. It's unsettling considering I lived there for more than 2/3s of my life!

Melanie's Randomness said...

I pass by that building on I-95 everytime I go to my grandparents house. It's a shame how corporate people just don't realize that this used to be people's lives. Where I live hasn't changed much, except that every movie theater I used to have to go see all the disney movies as a lil girl closed when the Palisades Mall opened. But I'll never forget. =)

Elizabeth said...

Hello, NE Bloggers!
Our 1-year anniversary is coming up on Jan 27. To mark the occasion I am going to put up a Mr. Linky on the evening of Monday, January 25. If you'd like to write a post about living in NE, fav places to visit, funny stories and stereotypes, recipes, photos of our gorgeous landscape, anything, it would be great if you would link in. I'd also like a little idea of # of participants, if you could just send me a reply.
Since I don't have emails from everyone, I'm also leaving this message in your comments, sorry for the double-up.

Midtown Girl said...

Yes, no one I grew up with is there anymore, so every time I visit my parents I feel like I am moving backwards...since everyone has moved on and out!

Erin P said...

Mine certaily has! I grew up in a county without a traffic light...that ended in 1994, I heard. Our nearest neighbor was 1/2 mile away, and there were 5 families on our road...all of whom we knew. Last time I was back, there were 2 developments there and a bunch of other houses beyond that. Sometimes I long for a space where you don't hear cars and instead can just listen to nature.

Dan said...

Considering I live in my old home town now, there are things that changed and things that haven't. The population is roughly the same, some businesses are new and some are old. A lot of the streets and traffic control are different, especially in the business district, the center of the business district has moved west, etc.

But, there is nothing that has changed to the extent you wouldn't recognize it if you time-traveled in from the mid 60's. You might be surprised at some of the new housing. The biggest change would be that the regional medical center has been built in the area that used to hold the old county hospital.

The net verdict - limited change. Rural areas don't change rapidly unless civilization (population) invades.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone can avoid seeing their hometown go through changes. It's sad , I totally agree.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yes and no. My small hometown still has kids who ride their bikes "downtown" for ice cream and the whole town turns out for the Friday high school football game. But the surrounding areas are totally different. All the horse farms are gone and housing developments are going up.

This was an interesting post and so are the comments.


Sara said...

I'm so glad a much loved restaurant was knocked down in order to further the cause of fake wrestling.

That hurts me.

Melissa Blake said...

Great blog and great question!!! YES! I sometimes don't even recognize my hometown anymore!!

kys said...

My hometown is very small. Two stoplights. (Suckit Candice) It never changes much. The biggest thing that happened to them was when Wal Mart moved in about 10 yrs ago. Then all the small businesses closed. It's sad.

Anonymous said...


SogniSorrisi said...

I would say yes. There has been a lot of development, building, etc. since I was a kid.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Candice – My parents’ hometown was like this. For the longest time, the youngest person was over 70 and the major business was the funeral home. It’s just starting to flip.

Kk – You’re not from Milford? Land of the restaurant franchise….

Brian Miller – I remember when tanning salons first starting popping up. If there was a small storefront available they moved in.

Ice Queen – I’m happy my hometown isn’t like that. I don’t think I’d want everyone knowing my business.

Mandy’s Kidding – That does sound nice. Civilization without the trash.

Actual Scale – That is a major change! Luckily or unluckily all that stuff happened to me while growing up.

TechnoBabe – That’s sad. I can’t believe orange groves were torn down for developments.

Theschmuck - I remember when they put a mall in our town, but they don’t put malls in towns anymore do they?

Herding Cats – Ahhhh…traffic…So a trip that was once 15 minutes takes 30 minutes. Yuck!

Tasha – Wow, that is small. My college was larger and I thought it small. However, it must be nice to have such a quaint small town.

Jane – I hear Austin is a great town. I’ll get there one day.

Laura – LOL. I think middle America screams Republicans

Leslee - The removing of the Oak trees for the strip malls would break my heart.

Fgrngtllt – Your town went the opposite direction and that can be just as sad.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Ink Obsession Designs – Isn’t it an odd feeling?

Jules – LOL.

Otin – Get out. Really?

DB – no hash browns for you….

Kristin – Exactly.

Midlife Jobhunter – Wow. That is very unusual. I drive through mine and can’t believe how much has changed.

Maria.palermo – How long did you live next door to the WWE?

Karyn Bernard – Okay, that tops any story I’ve read here. Your house is now a freeway???

Unknown Mami – Really? Anyone still there?

P – Isn’t it odd when old businesses change or fields become homes? I always think when did this happen?

Melanie’s Randomness - It is sad, but it did bring jobs for people. No one I know, but they did bring jobs to the town. I used to drive by the Palisades Mall everyday to work.

Elizabeth – hmmm. Sounds fun.

Midtown Girl – that’s an unsettling thought I’d forgotten about.

Erin P – Wow that is a big change. It must have been nice growing up in a really quiet neighborhood.

Dan - A regional medical center coming to the area is a good thing.

Girl, inspired – It’s just hard to see them when you’re growing up in it.

Joanna Jenkins – Wow, that still happens? Play dates have replaced just hanging out in the neighborhood.

Sara – What? WWE isn’t real? Now, I’m sad.

Melissa – thanks!

Kys – LOL (laughing at comment to Candice). Don’t you wish Target came instead of Walmart?

SogniSorrisi – It’s hard when your hometown doesn’t look the same.

CarrieAnn said...

What a bastard.

My hometown is exactly the way it was when I was a kid. I'm so glad. It makes going home that much better. I just wish I had appreciated it more when I was younger.

prashant said...

Sometimes that can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.

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