I sometimes joke that we live in the urban suburb. i love our neighborhood. we can walk to groceries, the bus, restaurants, our local bookstore, coffee shop and movie theatre.
However, it is not dense. Not dense in a chicago or new york way. but it’s city living as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve also been joking about writing a manifesto lately. things to guide us as “feature-creep” takes hold. things like, we will never buy a minivan. ride your bike as much as possible. the location of any future residence must be no more than:
- 2 blocks from a bus/train line (currently, 2)
- 4 blocks from the grocery store (currently, 6)
- 8 blocks from a library (16)
- 4 blocks from a couple different restaurants (5)
- 2 blocks from a coffee shop (5)
Just as it seems that it is becoming easier and easier to live “in the city”, with a family, and have these things that I consider important, it also seems that most of our friends have moved out to the suburbs.
In a future job, I would like to utilize my considerable SimCity skills. So I read a lot of articles on urban planning, transit, etc.
This one recently caught my attention, Trading Places:
This is the generation that grew up watching “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “Sex and the City,” mostly from the comfort of suburban sofas. We have gone from a sitcom world defined by “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” to one that offers a whole range of urban experiences and enticements. I do not claim that a handful of TV shows has somehow produced a new urbanist generation, but it is striking how pervasive the pro-city sensibility is within this generation, particularly among its elite. In recent years, teaching undergraduates at the University of Richmond, the majority of them from affluent suburban backgrounds, I made a point of asking where they would prefer to live in 15 years–in a suburb or in a neighborhood close to the center of the city. Few ever voted for suburban life.
So, I don’t know. How about it, friends? Those of you who grew up in the suburbs, flirted with the city and headed back? How about those who’ve made the jump one way or the other and are not going back?
Sonja and I often discuss where we might live next, and the discussion generally comes down to:
“You can’t have a family in that place…”
“They do it in Chicago and New York.”
So, hence the manifesto. How do you want to live? How do you match your lifestyle with your living space.
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