Whatever it is
The suburbs surrounding a city are a lot like the city itself. For instance, there's downtown, uptown, midtown, the warehouse district, the docks, and so on. Suburbs are like that, they vary. Not all suburbs are like where the Clampetts live, or where the Bundys live. Some might have a cement pond and others might have a cement lawn.
Here is the rundown on suburb sub-categories and how to identify them.
Older middle-class community with well-kept lawns and gardens; big, mature trees; lots of hedges and shrubs. What to look for: Privacy fences, ground cover and folks doing gardening.
Nondescript, middle-class, comfortable suburb. Can you say cliché? What to look for: Garden gnomes, sports team flags and satellite dishes.
Older area with not-so-well-kept yards full of scrub and dying trees. Often as not a shruburb gone to seed. What to look for: Broken pavement, aluminum siding and wildflowers, a.k.a. weeds.
Town with recently built tracts, often condos and gated communities. What to look for: McMansions and brick walls.
Slightly run down bedroom community. This was a brand spanking new subdivision in the 50s, only now it's 2012. What to look for: Strange home "improvements" and kids riding bikes.
Gentrified older area with caché. What to look for: Volvos, hipsters, rainbow flags and adults riding bikes.
SMUG-burb Up-scale suburb of big houses and big lawns. Can you say hoity-toity? What to look for: Topiary and landscaping crews.
Town so up-scale the denizens look down their noses at the smugburbs. Posh with a capital $. What to look for: Golf courses and private police force.
Swath of unfinished homes where the builders ran out of money and buyers when the housing bubble burst. Basically a just built ghost town. What to look for: Construction sites without construction crews.
A suburban tract in the middle of farm country. What to look for: Deer, both real and painted cement.
I think the name tells you everything you need to know. What to look for: Graffiti and security grates on doors and windows.
Trailer park. What to look for: Houses with wheels and pickup trucks without wheels.
Perhaps you live in one of these. Though it goes by another name: Something Park, Whatever Heights, Whatnot Woods, or the like. Call it what you will, it's the burbs of some sort or other. What exactly that means depends on the prefix. At least, according to this article.
© Terry Colon, 2012