Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Mommybots make miniature in Stapleton

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments....

Figure 32. Stapleton: Daring display of personality dangles on TV dish

Stapleton is Denver's newest neighborhood, and every detail, from family pharmaceutical profiles to pocket-park playground-equipment color, has been painstakingly planned to maximize the financial investments of all involved. This is less a place to stand out than it is to fit in. To stroll the "Stepford" streets is a new-urbanist nightmare of huge lookalike homes with little yards separated by plastic picket fences. This is the land of lifestylers, where daddies work, mommies blog about their perfect lives and kids spend their days not messing up their playrooms. All "down" time is spent reducing the family carbon footprint on neighborhood bike paths with safety helmets strapped firmly in place. And it's the yard art that suffers the most.

The purple plastic whirligig dangling from the Direct TV dish pictured in figure 32 neatly sums up the diminutive disposition of all Stapleton yard artists. The choice of a tiny spinning toy hints at a life that is hectic and constantly changing. That it hangs on a satellite dish indicates a futile desire to dress up the source of all the ugliness that comes into the home. The backyard placement, a mere four feet off the ground and well below the sight lines of the six-foot security fence, suggests that the residents are engaged in a suppression of their true thoughts from friends and neighbors, perhaps for fear of being seen as frivolous.

Minute personal expressions can be seen all over Stapleton. Look below to see more of them.