Monday, March 28, 2005

The NYT Magazine profiles Republican Exurbia -- through a megachurch

The New York Times > Magazine > The Soul of the New Exurb
One of the more striking facts to emerge from the 2004 presidential election was that 97 of America's 100 fastest-growing counties voted Republican. Most of these counties are made up of heretofore unknown towns too far from major metropolitan areas to be considered suburbs, but too bustling to be considered rural, places like Lebanon, Ohio; Fridley, Minn.; Crabapple, Ga.; and Surprise, Ariz. America has a new frontier: the exurbs. In a matter of years, sleepy counties stretching across 30 states have been transformed into dense communities of subdivisions filled with middle-class families likely to move again and again, settling in yet another exurb but putting down no real roots. These exurban cities tend not to have immediately recognizable town squares, but many have some kind of big, new structure where newcomers go to discuss their lives and problems and hopes: the megachurch.
I'm going to have to visit Fridley! I never thought of it as an Exurb. I'd love to know why these are such Republican bastions.

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