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From Left to Right: Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams), Bree Van Der Kamp (Marcia Cross), Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria), Susan Mayer (Terry Hatcher) and Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman)

Tucked away in the picturesque town of Fairview lies Wisteria Lane. With gabled houses complemented by well-landscaped lawns, it is the quintessential, upscale American suburb. Yet life on Wisteria Lane is anything but conventional; several mysterious – and sometimes violent – incidents have taken place there.

The first of these was the suicide of long-time resident Mary Alice Young. Thankfully, she speaks to us from beyond the veil, keeping us abreast of what her friends (and Wisteria Lane residents) Bree Van De Kamp, Susan Mayer, Lynette Scavo and Gabrielle Solis, are up to.

There are several restaurants in Fairview, including Chez Naomi, Leonardo’s Bar & Grill and The Saddle Ranch Chop House. The latter being the place where Bree ‘accidentally’ poisoned her first husband Rex (by adding onions he was allergic to his salad), after he announced he wanted a divorce; thankfully he was taken to the hospital in time and survived – for the time being. Sadly, the popular Scavo’s Pizzeria, which was owned by Lynette and her husband Tom, has since closed down.

Fairview’s primary supermarket, Field’s Market witnessed violence a couple of years ago. It all happened after an enraged resident, Caroline Bigsby, discovered that her husband, the owner of the supermarket, was having an affair. She went to Field’s with the intent of shooting him. After holding a number of shoppers hostage (including Lynette) Caroline ended up killing Nora Huntington, the mother of Tom’s illegitimate child; she then killed herself.

For high-end shopping there is McCays, a departmental store on the lines of Macy’s; incidentally, this where Bree woke up to find herself well after closing time thanks to too many glasses of chardonnay; she ended up calling her AA sponsor to rescue her.

Sometime ago, a waitress was strangled outside The Coffee Cup, a café popular amongst Fairview’s teenagers, most of whom go to Fairview High School (Briarcliff Academy is an exclusive private school for the chosen few). The strangler turned out to be a troubled teenager who had killed several women; thanks to Lynette’s persuasive skills, he turned himself in to the police.

A tornado then struck Wisteria Lane and many of the houses were destroyed, and also resulted in the death of a resident and the town’s mayor, who was then married to Gabrielle Solis.

The houses were rebuilt; life was back to normal, until a plane crash resulted in the death of several people, including Karl Mayer, Susan’s ex-husband, who was going to propose to Bree.

Given these violent incidents and natural disasters, it is no wonder that residents of Wisteria Lane are admitted into the nearby Fairview Memorial Hospital frequently.

However, despite everything, Wisteria Lane remains an upscale neighbourhood and continues to attract the well-heeled. A case in point is the wealthy Renee Perry, who moved there last year.

And while real estate prices increase, women gossip over the proverbial white picket fences; children play in the parks. And the men? Well, for the most part, they go to work to support to their families. After all, life in suburbia is not cheap.

– Mamun M Adil
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First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 4, 2012.