Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new neighborhood

New Neighborhood

Downey started out as part of a larger ranch that was divided up and sold. Smaller land parcels were then sold and were usually multiple acres of dairy farms or orchards. And over time, these parcels were subdivided into smaller and smaller parcels until, when my family moved here 26 years ago, most of Downey was single family homes of around 5,000 to 10,000 square foot lots. But some land owners held out and when they passed away, their heirs sold the property to developers.

This cul-de-sac is made up of ten houses set on a piece of land that just several years ago had one house. This is my turn around point for my morning bike rides. I love to imagine how the land once looked.

Have you always lived in a neighborhood full of houses or did you get to grow up with open land around you?


  1. Thanks for the picture! I spent much of my youth on the outskirts of a New England town whose farms were just being broken up for housing. We roamed through woods and fields, many of which were still cleared from the farming.

    Now, interestingly, the fields have grown in, and there are more woods than ever. But roads snake into the woods, houses line the roads, and another wave of young people are making their memories riding their bikes on the cul-de-sacs.

  2. We humans do adapt to our environments. My whole life has been in neighborhoods so I've never known any other life except where my closest neighbor was no more than 6 feet away. I take that back. When I was 5 years old my dad moved the family back to Kansas to a rural town where I went to a school that had 1st through 3rd grades in the same class. We stayed there for 9 months until my mom got bored and we moved back to Compton. I wonder sometimes how my life would have been different if I had grown up like Calvin (as in Calvin and Hobbs).


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