Essay: Welcome to Ruburbia

The backseat of a Mercedes is piled with bags of chicken feed. A jogger is startled when Canada geese suddenly lift off from a soybean field. A sculptor thumbs through Hoard's Dairyman near the life-size statue of a Holstein, while down at Rose & Chubby's Luncheonette, commuters discuss optional features available on new eight-row corn pickers.

Where is this curious landscape of clashing images, this zone of hay and Harvard graduates, of pigs and Porsches, of pancake breakfasts and imported cheeses? This is ruburbia, a geographical mezzanine between the rural and the suburban. Ruburbs...

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