Last Barn Standing

Photo: Panasonic DMC-GF1, Lumix G-Vario 7-14/4 ASPH, 7mm f/7.1, 1/1000 sec. ISO 100.

Last Barn Standing

We pass this barn every day (sometimes four times a day!), because it’s on the way to school, and looking at it makes me a little sad, reminding me of the song by Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson, Paradise Lost. In fact, that song was inspired by Bozeman’s rampant development.

The Paradox

I’ve lived in Bozeman since way before the condos here were built, or even the streets around this barn were put in! I’m sure I live in a neighborhood that once looked like this, and heck, maybe my house sits on the site of an old barn, too, so I’m pretty cautious about being judgmental on issues such as development.

Quality over Quantity

But that doesn’t mean that (a) it still makes us sad, and (b) realtors (and developers, and bankers, and…) played pretty important roles in promoting the mortgage crisis, and thus, the recession. Of course, it still remains the buyer’s fault, I reckon, but it still makes me feel a little funny when realtors market their financial success in terms of how many millions (or in the case of one very famous Bozeman realtor, billions) of dollars in deals they have closed. I think when I shop for my next realtor, I may wanna know how many families they pushed into mortgages they couldn’t afford. Or, maybe I really don’t.

It’s funny how a single image, captured on film, evokes so much emotion, and internal conflict. Unfortunately, I’m only smart enough to ask questions rather than propose a dogmatic fix. Ultimately, the issues captured by this single image are both problems, and solutions, for real people.