Wed, 4 Mar 98 19:12:03 EST
To answer the questions posed in the letter "banlieue-suburbs"
I haven't seen very many large cities, but the ones I know
have commercial zones, where there are many office buildings,
stores, and other businesses, residential zones which are
sometimes nice places to live and sometimes not, and a downtown
area where people meet and there is a lot of activity.
Many people live in the suburbs and commute to work in
businesses in the city, so the suburbs are often made up of
middle-class neighboorhoods. Several decades ago, real-estate
developers started buying land around cities and creating
"communities" with aesthetically-pleasing names and streets
full of nearly identical houses. Living in these suburbs
became a part of the American Dream for many people, but there
was (and is) a negative side. One of the American responses
to this survey was "cookie-cutter," meaning the conformity
that the American middle-class and the suburbs came to
The American equivalent of the French "banlieue"
most likely be the "inner city." In big cities, there is
often a part of the city where the houses and apartments are
low-quality and the people who live there are usually not
well-off; crime and drug use in these areas is often named
as a national problem.