Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When a Country Village gets a name for being Picturesque, you may as well hang it.

Stanford was quite a nice little place when my mother moved there: a dusty little Victorian Village with a few houses huddled around a village green. Then it became famous.

I think it became famous for being pretty and quiet and out of the way, and possibly for having ‘atmosphere’. Of course, as soon as it became famous for being out of the way etc, it suddenly became very much in the way. Burned-out yuppies from every part of the country purchased land and built holiday houses. The village became a construction site. I knew the rot was terminal when they tarred the roads and put in street lights.

When a village this size suddenly becomes a tourist destination, the next step is the de-usefulization of the main street. This culminates in a situation where the tiny business district contains three antique shops that sell hideously expensive bric-a-brac, no less than five restaurants that change hands like hot potatoes, an art gallery and a tourist information center.

The only useful shops left are a general dealers in the old style, a filling station with convenience store, a greasy take-away foods and a library. Its not much use when you’re looking for chicken to serve up to an invalid – you can, however, purchase the ailing patient a painting or an antique brass whatnot.

The old, cheerfully doggy set with their scuffed walking shoes and shaggy sweaters have given way to the sort of 4x4 drivers who need tarred roads (which is probably why they tarred the things in the first place- for the 4x4’s) and who complain about everything from dogs (they bark, you know) to kid’s parties (a mad debauch at lunch time on a Saturday, for shame!).

I don’t like this town much any more, really.

Today’s pics: Stanford, of course. At least the mountains are still magnificent.


  1. Sad, but that happens everywhere, I guess. My niece lived in a small, beautiful town in Georgia like your Stanford. When the yuppies found it, new houses were being built all over the place as vacation homes. It is very touristy now.

    Several years ago, my husband and I found a quaint little town on one of the backroads of Tennessee...one of our days of just driving around to see what we could find. It has a run down antique store and a train museum, and we love it. The old timers will be sitting in their chairs on the sidewalk and talking. We got carried away with the conversations going on in the antique store. Loved it. So far no one is building around that adorable place.

    I love the way you write. It's like I am in your head experiencing all your feelings.

  2. I think they call that "development" except they only develop more traffic and noise.

  3. I agree - they should all be hanged.

  4. Sadly, that's the way of the modern world. There's a kind of inevitability about it, disturbing as it is, as more and more people get to recognize the benefits of peaceful idylls, like villages, beaches, and mountains. Thousands trundle through, within, and over, but in doing so, spoil them in one way or another. I don't think we can blame them though, well, maybe there are a few exceptions (I read once of city-professionals who'd complained about the early morning crowing of a cockerel. I suggest rural folk take up the sport of yuppie-hunting, with real guns and all.

    You're photographic 'eye' gets better and better. I love the mountainscape especially. It's one I wished I'd taken.

  5. Ha! Your title got me. Love the photos.
    Wonder how I can turn my quaint little neighborhood into a tourist attraction?
    Oh- guess that's only funny if you knew where I live. Trust me, it's funny.

  6. I live in the big city - Miami. When I visited a small quaint town in North Carolina, I "wanted" to move there until I found out that half the city were transplanted Miamians! Happens everywhere. I also left a note at your last post - glad you are back.

  7. Doesn't matter where it's at, as soon as people discover something beautiful they have to pave it and destroy it. It really is sad to watch it happen. Nice pics by the way.

  8. CW: Glad your little piece of paradise hasn't been 'discovered' yet!

    Israel and Grant: Amen to that! Perhaps not hanging though, something a little slower...

    Ronald: Yes, we have yuppies moving into houses built in the middle of vineyards who then try to sue the farmer for spraying. Ditto problems with hores manure, dogs, poultry etc.

    PAMO: get the tourists in, it won't be a problem! They can view your menagerie perhaps?

    Dan: thanks also for your previous comment. The funny thing is that the background in my dream seemed to continually flicker and change. Perhaps there's more to it than I give it credit for.. I'd like to believe I was flying with Mom.

    T.Knowley: Glad you like the pics, it was a pleasant relief from stress to go for a little walk and take some pics for my blog.

  9. it;s like when all the people moved to Pahrump because it was a small town then the complained about a lot of the small town stuff... go figure!