Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Community on Top the Hill

Day 11 – 02/09/09
I don’t know if any of you have been to chestnut hill but…whoa. For those of you who don’t know the area that I am talking about, Chestnut Hill is a beautiful hill that is near Boston College. It is populated by large amounts of New England trees along with the largest freakin mansions you have ever seen. And these mansions are not just big houses they have an elegance and image to them that gives off the feeling that there is no other word but mansion to describe.
I started my ride just thinking that I would go for a nice relaxing 40 min ride through some forested area. Little did I know that I would be climbing a 60 degree incline road leading to a community of luxury and history. Once I got to the top of the hill (which I did without stopping once, Hooray!) I took a picture to prove that I did it. In the picture the road just drops off in the background, that drop off is the vertical drop of a road. Looking at all these mansions amazed me. The beauty of the artwork in the layout of the building and then on top of that the landscaping and statues that were in the front yards were just breathtaking. I felt as though I had wondered into the early 1900’s and was expecting someone to appear dressed in “Gone with the Wind” garb. I turned around at Chestnut Hill Academy which had a beautiful campus that looked like a section of Hogwarts (Go Harry Potter reference). While I went back down the road I was thinking about what type of community the people that own these mansions must live in. They have created a secluded place where they would not need to leave except to go to work. They have an academy for the young kids and then they live right next to Boston College, then there are grocery stores and everything else they need within a short distance to their homes. With all this convenience and seclusion, do they talk to each other? Do these people have a community where their kids can run next door and play in the basement or go trick or treating without worry? Is there a social atmosphere in this community on a hilltop that is not achievable in the city or even in my apartment complex? I’ve started reading a book called Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, This book is the study of what makes successful people in our society so successful. It is very interesting so far and the one thing that has really intrigued me is, in the intro Gladwell talks about this town in Pennsylvania call Roseto. Southern Italians that migrated to the United States back in the 1800’s inhabit Roseto. There was a study done on these people and their health in relation to their social environment. In this town everybody knew everybody and they all talked to everybody everyday. Life was lived with each other instead of separated from each other. A doctor could not figure out why these perfectly average people who had the same exercise, and eating habits as everybody else would have a 80% higher life expectancy. The majority of the people in Roseto would die of old age instead of some desieas or heart attach. The only thing that this doctor could come up with was the fact that these people lived low stress highly social lives. This type of community is something that I am very interested in learning more about. I would like to think that the people up in Chestnut Hill live the same way that the people in Roseto do but I have a feeling that our society being the way it is those inhabitants of those mansions probably don’t even talk to each other. I hope some one proves me wrong.



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