Basketball “from suburbia to Serbia”

An NBA Playoffs commercial touting “playoff mode” includes the line “from suburbia to Serbia, it’s unbelievable” alongside this image of suburban basketball:

What stands out in this depiction of suburbia? A few things:

  1. Outdoor basketball with palm trees on a beautiful day of sunshine. Is this southern California? I assume this is a good spot to play basketball outdoors for most of the year. Not all places in the United States can claim this.
  2. This is a hoop in the driveway of a single-family home. The two players are not at the park playing basketball; they are playing in a private setting (though the street is presumably just out of view).
  3. How many players can dunk on the hoop set up in their driveway? It is hard to tell from the angle of the shot – the camera is just a foot or two off the ground – whether the hoop is at ten feet.

It does look like fun is being had with two guys playing hoops in the American suburbs…or a studio backlot made to look like one. While the line in the commercial tries to drive home the appeal of playoff basketball in two places with alliterative names, are the driveways of the American suburbs one of the key sites for basketball?

Chevy Chase woman files lawsuit after lawsuit against her neighbor’s teardown

Chevy Chase, Maryland has experienced a number of discussions over redevelopment including this one-woman “all-out war” against her neighbor’s teardown:

First, in 2009, she sued the town of Chevy Chase in an attempt to block its approval of the Schwartzes’ building permit — but that failed. Then she appealed — and was denied. “I would say Chevy Chase has spent upwards of $50,000 because of Deborah,” Hoffman said. “Not just in legal bills, but in all the staff costs in answering her letters and telephone calls.”Vollmer next filed a similar lawsuit against Montgomery County and lost again. Soon afterward, she watched in horror as the Schwartzes erected a handsome, stone-encrusted house at 7200 44th St. The house, which she excoriated for its size, offers evidence of the neighbors’ clashing lifestyles.

Vollmer drives a Prius. The Schwartzes have a Mercedes. Vollmer prizes rough-hewn back yards with lots of vegetation. The Schwartzes appreciate a more manicured aesthetic. “Some people may question my motives,” Vollmer said. “But what’s happening in this town, these developers, tearing down old homes. I’m standing up for my rights. .?.?. And then this whole thing just kind of evolved” from that.

The dispute’s next evolution occurred in court. Vollmer sued the Schwartzes in Montgomery County Circuit Court — not once, but twice — over arguments involving the shared driveway. She lost both…

“We have had to go to court more than 16 times because of her multiple lawsuits and her behavior,” Schwartz said. “We love our home and our neighborhood, and we can only hope that reason will prevail in the future.”

And there is more here including an arrest for destruction of property, another lawsuit over paving the shared driveway, and a second arrest. In the end, is Vollmer simply standing up for her property rights (and she apparently has the resources and legal training to do so) amidst the bullying of mansionizing new residents or is she a public nuisance against inevitable change and wasting taxpayer money?

One thing this article does not explain: how in the world was the new house approved with a shared driveway? The picture with the story suggests the teardown was built close to the lot line:

Given Vollmer’s behavior, it is not clear this would have solved the issue. But, having a shared driveway could lead to issues even if the new neighbors didn’t build a new large home. Perhaps this is why suburbanites need passive aggressive signs to fight each other rather than lawsuits…