November 12, 2013

Poll: The Influence of Sesame Street

Steve Patterson is doing a poll in UrbanReview STL: How did Sesame Street influence your childhood perceptions of urban neighborhoods?”

Steve grew up here:

Ses 1

My family moved into a brand new home in suburban Oklahoma City just months before I was born. Our subdivision lacked sidewalks, we had a 9-car driveway.

This is what he saw on TV:

Sesamestreet

Watching Sesame Street though, I knew there was another way to live.  I’m not sure when I got too old for Sesame Street, but the images of the conversations on the front stoop stayed in my memory.  Looking back, I think Sesame Street gave me a very positive image of urban neighborhoods.

That’s the subject of the poll, the question being “How did Sesame Street influence your childhood perceptions of urban neighborhoods?”  Vote here.

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For comparison, an article and video just out in Atlantic Cities: A City With No Children – Kaid Benfield’s take on how suburban communities, which families choose because they believe them to be safe and nurturing for their children, have become places where children are not allowed unsupervised play outside.

These two themes come dramatically together in the case of Tammy Cooper, the mom who was arrested for allowing her kids to ride their scooters in a cul-de-sac in La Porte, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

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UPDATE: Getting from here to there makes connections (and provides links) to popular TV shows from the 80s to make the point that urban places have always been the settings for young people.

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