Interview: Cul-de-sac communes

Published March 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 3

by Tim Covi

Since the beginning of 2009 a new term, the cul-de-sac commune, has created an almost monthly buzz in Internet chat rooms, newsrooms and forums. Even without investigating much further, it’s easy to see why. It’s a combination of dipolar things. The cul-de-sac is the quiet compound of the suburban soccer mom. You think of easy Sunday mornings where the only sounds are a few finches and the gurgled zip of a freshly oiled bike chain as a neighborhood kid peddles by.

The commune, by contrast, is the cluster of stilted structures slapped up like a Tim Burton daydream on a remote desert horizon. It’s full of poorly washed hippies with radical ideas about free love, or at the very least, visions of utopia.

But for Stephanie Smith, the ideas of a commune and a suburban cul-de-sac don’t have to be at odds. They can even be right at home together in a Denver suburb.

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