City vs Suburb Living - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 01-07-2004, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that this issue will work itself out with time, but I'd like perspective nonetheless.

DH was raised in the city and I was raised in the country. I always resented being away from "everything" and having "nothing" around me while I was growing up, and he loved having things to do, places to go, people to play with, etc.

We have come to a point where we are realizing that our dream for ourselves is to purchase a large plot of land, build a house eventually, and live sustainably once DS is out of the house. In the meantime (while building our house) we want to live somewhere to give DS exposure to different races, cultures, and experiences. We are torn between the town we live in and love, and moving to the state capitol.

We love the town we live in immensely. It is very family friendly, AP friendly, and it is the place we both consider our hometown. (we moved a lot as kids). We are close to the mountains, have a beautiful historical downtown, and the natives are the best people I've ever met. Because of all this, it is also a town that is advertised as "the best place to live" and people move here like flies on sh-t. Because of this, the economy and politics of our town are changing radically. Old business and houses are being bought and turned into new houses and WalMarts, and we are even having politicians running on platforms of segregation to "keep" our mostly white demographic.

I don't want to raise our boy in the middle of nowhere. Of course I can instill a love of the earth into him, but I also don't want him to not experience what the rest of the world is like. Likewise, we could move to the city, be able to afford private school and be in the midst of museums, parks, etc. But I feel like city living is the opposite of our desire to live from and respect the earth. So that leaves the suburbs. At least in the 'burbs I could have a garden and access to public transportation. But I have to admit that I have a bias against suburban america and feel like everyone moves to the 'burbs. Is there any diversity in the suburbs? Honestly, I don't know! I picture the south end of my town, with a mostly white, upper-middle class population of SUV driving, minority-fearing, sheltered, corporate loving america. Am I unrealistic?

Sorry for the ramble but I need perspective. A good knock in the head.
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#2 of 24 Old 01-07-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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Well.....my two cents...

I was also raised in a rural area and I felt the way you did...till I really really thought about it. I didn't ever feel that resentment of being "too far out" until I was a teenager.....I was about 13 or 14 before I realized that being far from the mall sucked. :LOL

Before that, I have to admit...I had a really great childhood in terms of where I grew up. Being a little kid in the rural areas ROCKED!!!!!! I had creeks and pastures to play in, animals galore all around, and it was safe. It was a great place to be a kid...it was so easy to be OUT SIDE and not inside watching the boob tube.

My experience with the burbs is what you describe.....I currently live in the capital city of my state.....and the things you mention are good....we have a very historic downtown, there is culture everywhere, and tons of night life. But this is where the poor people live, this is where the ethnic people live, this is where the gays and lesbians live......everyone is HERE...they AREN'T in the burbs. The burbs here are just what you say...all white, all middle class (or "trying to keep up with the jones" lower class), and lots and lots and lots of very conservative ideals. I *personally* hate the burbs. I don't see any advantages to living there at all unless you are a conservative SUV drivin' mama, because then all your friends would live there too. It would be hard for me to live in the burbs. It would be hard for me to send my child to a public school there and keep my mouth shut about things like Pop machines in the schools or whatnot.

I felt like I was making the same choice as you ...my daughter will start school in August. And for me personally, I felt like I could be more respectful staying in the city, where there are established communities, rather that contributing to the sprawl that is the burbs. I also felt like if I felt like I didn't want to be in the city anymore, the rural areas are my next option. Right now, we've opted to stay in the city and so we've downsized and tightened our living so that we can still have a decent place, be safe, and live comfortably. It can be done (with about twenty loads of stuff to the Salvation Army....: ).

Thats just my two cents....
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#3 of 24 Old 01-07-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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I would try to find pre-existing housing. Why add if there are already enough safe homes built?

I live in a 55 yr old home. Technically we are in the “burbs” but we do have much diversity.

I think maybe step back and re-look at the communities you are interested in. There is a mid-line houses. We have areas to run, small garden, et.

Being exposed to all these “things” does not mean he is going to be more enriched. Your attitude will make him accepting of the unknown and interested in others.

Also, IMO, It will not matter one bit were you live!! He will love it because he has a wonderful caring mother and father. There will always be advantages and disadvantages of any environment.

IMO, again, it is easier to go to the city for its perks than get to the farm for his. I would love a farm not the “burbs”.
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#4 of 24 Old 01-07-2004, 11:03 PM
 
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We live in a big city, currently, and dh and I are always torn over where to move next. Stay in the city, or move to the suburbs. We were both raises in the burbs. Well, for my first 8 years I lived in a more country/rural setting, but from 8 on I was in the suburbs. What bothers us about the suburbs is what you have mentioned: lack of culture, lack of racial diversity, all rich people (in the suburban area we were raised in and would be considering), lack of anything to do! In highschool our big hangout was Denny's. But then, that's a positive on the flip side too. The suburbs feels safer for kids - safer streets, safer population, no big clubs and bars and places for kids to get into trouble. But the city we live in is so fantastic - such great cultural and racial diversity, beautiful geography, great transportaion (you wouldn't need a car as a teenager), etc. I just really feel that being raised in this city would just make ds so much more aware of the real world around him, really open him up to so many more unique and rich experiences, and allow him to meet and befriend such a greater variety of people.

Anyway, I guess I don't have an answer to your question, just wanted to let you know we're in the same dilemma.
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#5 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 12:40 AM
 
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We faced the same dilemma and we're moving in to the city. We found a lot in a great neighbourhood and we're looking forward to the move. DH and I are going to miss living in the country, but for a whole lot of reasons, the city is a better place for our girls to grow up. Dh and I can move back to the country when the girls go to college (and then we'll move back to the city when we get too old to drive, no doubt!)

Nature is not completely out of reach in the city. The house we're moving to is a few blocks from a huge, beautiful park along a river, a few blocks in the other direction from a playground, and we'll have a garden and a back yard. It won't be 4 acres like we have here, but kids look at small things anyway: dandelions and spiders and ants and flowers - all things that you can have in a 35x50-foot yard as easily as you can on a few acres.
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#6 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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We live in a city. DH was born in another city, I grew up in suburbia. We're staying here because ... well, we're kind of stuck. DH lived in this apartment a long time, my parents helped us buy it (read: they bought it), and financially we can't get out of it at the moment.

We do live a block from an enormous park, really lovely. There is even a section of the park where if you are laying down on the grass, you can't see *any* tall buildings on the skyline.

We would love to be somewhere with backyards, where our children could actually go barefoot. Where they could play in snow without having to look out for yellow spots (IYKWIM). Where you could actually grow your own food ...

:sigh

At the same time, I grew up due east, a half-hour's drive from this same city ... and north of here, there are rural communities that are probably what suburbs want to be if only they could figure out how. Small towns with lots of space & babbling brooks running through people's plots & still a reasonable drive/commute to the city ...

Which to me would be the best of both worlds.

Just one point: In the OP you mention wanting to live with respect for the earth. Fact is, city living is often more earth-friendly, in that the housing stock is already built, you could use public transportation (in our case it's exclusively pt), and just take up less resources in that way ... but agreed, you're not able to see that so clearly through the smog and concrete ...
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#7 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 04:16 AM
 
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I'll start by saying I am a city person...for all the reasons you've stated and more. In the suburbs and in towns, I really fight the feeling that my soul is going to die. No exageration.

Having said that, I noticed you live in Colorado, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend living in Denver. Out of the urban locations in the U.S., Denver is the next to the one I love least. *Tons* of smog for one thing! I used to live in Colorado, and I have a sister in Denver, and she is truly much happier there than the burbs. On the other hand, come move to Seattle and be close to me and you'll get a better city for the money . There are parks, actual preserved forests in the city. Not so much smog. Museums and "culture" and all that. The neighborhoods here are generally built like small towns...they have their own downtown areas, community centers, etc...and at least where I've lived...they are safe and very family-friendly. You might even have times you forget you live in the city, until a bus runs by or you decide to take a trip to a big event. I totally disagree with you that "city living is the opposite of our desire to live from and respect the earth." Like someone else said, the way housing works in the city and the accessibility of quality public transportation is truly one of the best things you can do for the earth. Public transportation is totally accessible from everywhere in Seattle, and so you can live car-free. The only problem: cities are not affordable for many of us, and Seattle is a big offender in this area.

Unfortunately, we recently had to move to away from our city ("our home") largely because it became a choice between living in Seattle and working 60 hours a week to support our family and still be renting these small places where we can barely turn around let alone expand our family (I can't even begin to imagine being able to afford to buy a home in Seattle-- not even a small run down location...we looked) -OR- live in a smaller city and be able to work a regular work week and still have food on the table, even though we still live in a pretty small place. I was unemployed in Seattle for ten months, so that colors a lot of my experience, though. There are people who have found ways to make it work. Maybe someday we will too. I can't imagine any place in the world I'd rather be. For now, though, I am in the job of my dreams following my calling and content to find a way to keep my soul alive in a town. Plus, right after moving here, we were able to become licensed as foster parents (because we have a little more room where we are living), which allowed us to immediately expand our family. That wasn't happening in Seattle. We tried.

If you have the option, I say...live in the city! But maybe reconsider Denver.

By the way, what burb are you living in? I feel like I recognize the description.

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#8 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 04:50 AM
 
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Originally posted by anothermama
Being a little kid in the rural areas ROCKED!!!!!! I had creeks and pastures to play in, animals galore all around, and it was safe. It was a great place to be a kid...it was so easy to be OUT SIDE and not inside watching the boob tube.

I understand what you are saying, anothermama...but things have changed, unfortunately. I grew up in a small town (Davis, California)--it was not necessarily rural at all...because we lived in a regular neighborhood with houses on normal lots and neighbors and a little downtown. But lots of fields to play in, some cows and other animals around...

I use to go out and play outside all the live long day--I would meet my 2 best friends in 4th grade at the wheat field at the end of the street and we would collect wheat all day in coffee tins (picking it and then shucking it to get out the little wheat kernels). We did this for entire summers--for no reason at all, except that the wheat was there waiting to be plucked! And then in the fall we would climb into Old man Richie's orchard and pick his gigantic pomegranets and eat them till we could eat no more.

My mom and dad did not have a clue as to where I was all day...and that was fine. All of the kids did it. But these days, it does not matter if you live in the countriest country--the safest country area anywhere....you don't let your kids run around like that outside unless you are there to watch. That is just how it is. So the life you are describing does not exist anymore...whether she lives in the suburbs or the country. See what I am saying?

Cera, I personally think if you are happy where you are then you should stay there. There is no utopia. I have lived in the city (San Francisco) and now we live in a small town near there (11,000 people) that is very country like but also very white and affluent. There are good and bad points to each scenario. We go into the city all the time with the kids and of course pass on our own philosophies to our kids...and I feel satisfied with what we have. There are so many people who hate where they live and are trying to find someplace new...but may never leave their town. You already have that love of home--so I think you should cherish that and make the best of it that it can be. Don't worry about being in a place where people want to move and all that nonsense--that is just marketing and it will all pass eventually as they pick new towns for those books and lists.

Take care,
Lisa
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#9 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 11:15 AM
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I live pretty close to where I grew up. I grew up in the far suburbs of Philly. DH grew up close by but his environment was more rural than suburban (I grew up in a typical development and he grew up on a rural road)

The area has changed quite a bit over the years and I have found that we have more diversity now than we did in the past. More African Americans (but still not as many as the percentage of the population. Many more Asians. We have both Jewish and Muslim people (some Muslims with Hajibs(sp) and some people I know are Muslim but dress more western.) We also have Hispanic people here.

Now, these people are generally *middle class* "successful" people.

There are precious few gay people and they are generally, ahem, quiet about who they are (so, likely, there are more gays but you would never guess who they are and the HS has (I believe) a gay social group)

So, that could count as a negative but not nearly as bad as it was a generation ago.

The schools are good.

We are a train ride from the city (less than an hour away)

It isn't difficult to *drive* to the city.

The trains aren't that bad because middle class yuppies use them so they are maintained (sort of a backwards good)

We're 15 minutes away from a college town so we get a bit of funkey culture if we want it (good)

We have quite a few colleges along the "main line" (helps keep otherwise bland white suburbia a bit interesting) good.

We are 20 minutes away from a ruralish Waldorf school and the culture that tends to surround itself around the Waldorf school (notibly a really good whole foods store.)

Good.

I did mention the schools are good.

So it isn't black and white but things are rarely B%W

DB
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#10 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 02:41 PM
 
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#11 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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Lisa in California wrote:
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But these days, it does not matter if you live in the countriest country--the safest country area anywhere....you don't let your kids run around like that outside unless you are there to watch. That is just how it is. So the life you are describing does not exist anymore...
Letting children leave the house unsupervised is less prevalent now because many parents choose to believe "That is just how it is." That doesn't mean children really are in any more danger now than 20 years ago. (In fact, abductions of children by strangers have decreased enormously over the past 20 years!)

I live in the city. We don't have a child yet, but on my block, kids as young as 3 play in their front yards w/parents looking out the window every 15 minutes or so; the kids understand about staying out of the street. I often see small groups of kids as young as 8 walking around the neighborhood without adults. One of my cousins lives in a suburb where most of the parents allow their kids to roam around with their friends, playing in various kids' houses and yards, as long as they don't leave the development. My parents live in a small town and always have kids dropping by to help my mom in her garden or get my dad to fix their bikes, and they often stay for an hour or so before checking in w/their parents. These places are in 3 different states. So it's not at all true that that kind of life doesn't exist anymore.

You are welcome to make whatever decisions feel right to you about what is "safe enough" for your kids. But please don't tell CeraMae that she won't be able to let her child enjoy unsupervised outdoor play no matter where she lives. That is up to her.

Re: the original topic, I think it's less a matter of whether urban, suburban, small-town, or rural is best, than of whether a particular place suits your needs. Sierra made a good point about different cities. Maybe you could make a list of what you need to be able to live according to your values, and then visit different places you could live and see how they measure up.

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#12 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 06:09 PM
 
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Ceramae, I think that Lisa and Riotkrrn have both made some important points. If you are happy with where you are now, perhaps you should stay there. Everyplace in the country is in constant change and the things you like about your "grass is greener" place may not be that way in 5 years. The way you described your hometown now makes me want to move there! Having a supportive community with family and friends is very important (perhaps the most important thing about life imho) and moving away means you will lose some of that depending upon how far you go. Any move is hard on a family, especially the kids. Can you get involved in the local community politics to help improve things?

I really am a city girl myself, the social support is much more important to me than the open fields of the country and the cookie cutter Mcmansions of the burbs. I feel very fortunate in that I live in a urban/suburban neighborhood within a 15-20 minute drive to the city, have an ocean and mountain view, two nice parks, hiking trails in the mountains, and a family-oriented walking neighborhood. I am close to the beach and mall, can hike up a mountain, or stroll in a botanical gardens, even go to a stable and ride horses. We have a lot of cultural diversity and great restaurants too! Otoh, the public schools are not very good but I think I am a private school person anyway...
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#13 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Siddie~ha ha. You live in Hawaii and want to come live here. That is so cute to me I would love with all my heart to stay in this town, but like I mentioned in the OP, it is expensive! We have a university so most of the jobs are very low paying because students will always take them. Starter homes here (the crappy ones) are around $200K and the ones on our end of town START at $350K. There is absolutely no way we could ever afford one.

Sierra~ DH used to live in Seattle and we wanted to move there in the worst way until having DS. The $ thing is what sealed the deal for us. I hate the smog over Denver, but it does have a small town feel, and lots of parks. It is an hour from where we live now and a couple of hours from the valley where we want to build our home. All of our family will be in-state within the next year and living within an hour of Denver, which is a lot to consider.

There have been so many good points posted that I can't keep track I'll try to address them with more on "our plan."

-We can't afford to stay in our town forever. Maybe 5 years tops. In that time we want to find the place to live while DS goes to school so that he doesn't have to change schools while growing up. We will rent during this time. We intend to buy land cheap now. It has not been marketed to us, we found an area in Co that we love and want to spend our lives because it is away from big cities, nestled in a valley that hasn't been effected by sprawl and by our research won't be within our lifetimes. We only want to build a house because we want to live off the grid and build with sustainable materials. We'll have 20+ acres to farm, etc. We will gradually (as money permits) build this house over the next 20 years. Not just the house itself, but also preparing the land and planting fruit/seed bearing trees, etc. We can vacation to our plot of land and it is in very close proximity to national parks, ancient ruins, canyons, rivers, hiking, etc. It will be our little "home away from home." Our desire to live simply will always be instilled in DS because it is how we live already. Instead of putting $ into all of the gadgets and crap out there, we want to put it toward his schooling and our home.

merpk ~I agree that city living is probably the route we'll go for reasons mentioned above. Public transportation equals less driving. There is preexisting housing as opposed to sprawl. We will have access to nature, and teach DS our beliefs through example. I'm working on ways to continue composting and gardening (community garden?).

Of course, I worry about safety. Who doesn't?

Like EnviroBecca pointed out, no where is really "safe." My mom moved us to the rural areas because my sister's HS had police officers in the hallways and it scared her. The school I ended up going to (with 300 students) had FAR more drug use than the city school. We could go on vacation without even locking our doors, and I frolicked around constantly without supervision. I was in dangerous situations before. People would try to pick me up and I would run into fields to avoid a fat horney man or two, and I also did a lot of things my mom (probably) didn't know about. But I developed a fierce love of nature, creative wisdom, and sense of serenity out of the ability to go somewhere peaceful when my home life wasn't at peace.

It seems to me that we're trying to combine the best of both worlds. Have him live most of the time in the city, so that he can have that experience and we can make enough money to support our dream. Meanwhile, we will always visit our land, build on it and work the earth. He'll be able to make his own mind up on which lifestyle suits him and *hopefully* have respects for both ways of life.
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#14 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 09:06 PM
 
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Another city girl here!!

It doesn't have to be less environmentally friendly to live in the city. In fact, I'd say the absolute WORST environmental footprint is a house in the burbs. Believe it or not, a family of 3 or 4 can live just fine in a 1500 square foot apartment. You don't need a six bedroom house. Also, what about that big lawn you have to mow and fertilize all the time?

And of course, my biggest peeve, the fact that you have to drive EVERYWHERE in the burbs or rural areas. No coffee shops, libraries, community centres, movie theatres, skating rinks..all within walking distance of a good downtown neighbourhood. Suburban sprawl has taken on a whole new meaning with the discovery that, on average, people living in the suburbs weigh about 3 pounds more than those in the city. Presumably because they have to drive everywhere. When I had a baby, driving was an even bigger pain in the neck - having to strap them into their carseats. Being able to walk everywhere (or take a decent transit system, like subways) with baby in a sling was fantastic for her and me (great way to shed those post-pregnancy pounds!)

A good urban neighbourhood is not found in all cities. Pity me and DH moving to Cleveland, with a downtown area that is as dead as a ghost town (at least we're only here temporarily). I don't know what Denver is like. But in Boston we lived in a vibrant urban neighbourhood, complete with plenty of parks and playgrounds. In Vancouver we've purchased an apartment in a wonderfully vibrant urban neighbourhood complete with a huge market less than a mile away, the centre of the arts community, a long seawall walk, several parks and playgrounds, a gorgeous soccer field, you name it!

Oh, and you don't need Mega Stores when you live downtown. You stop at the local market, or small family run store, on the way home from wherever, and pick up a day or two worth of groceries. Small enough to fit in a bag and comfortably carry home. You get lots of variety that way, and lots of fresh foods. And you don't spend a good quarter of your hard-earned weekend doing a week's worth of shopping at your local Mega Mart. And Mega Marts don't set up shop in the city either.

Oh, and many many places have community gardens. These are areas set aside for residents to plant a garden of their own and grow veggies, compost, etc. There's one just three blocks from our new place and we can't wait to get started!

In other words, you can live in a city and be very environmentally responsible, leaving a much smaller footprint than your suburban buds.

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#15 of 24 Old 01-08-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally posted by EnviroBecca
You are welcome to make whatever decisions feel right to you about what is "safe enough" for your kids. But please don't tell CeraMae that she won't be able to let her child enjoy unsupervised outdoor play no matter where she lives. That is up to her.
Of course--we all have to make our own decisions about how best take care of our kids. There are laws about letting 3 year old play out front without supervision (in my opinion just checking on a 3 year old every 15 minutes by looking out the window is dangerous for many reasons...and not just child abduction) so there is that to consider too. You may change your mind on this subject once you have kids, too.

I was not trying to "tell" CeraMae how to do anything--I was just remarking that the idea that in the country your child will be able to run around without supervision compared to the city is not necessarily true these days. I don't have the *power* to tell her to do anything, and am a bit baffled by your comment:

My kids (I have 3) do playdates with families that I know and trust, and play out in our cul-de-sac. I would not allow them to roam the neighborhood going into neighbor's houses without my knowledge--that is a frightening concept, but again--that is just me. We live in a very safe little town, and one of the reasons we moved here was because of the number of children and the low crime rate. I feel comfortable letting my older kids play outside if I am within earshot, but my 3 year old I would not feel comfortable letting her play alone in the front or back yard.
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#16 of 24 Old 01-09-2004, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lisa~ I just wanted you to know that I know what you meant by it

Piglet ~ ITA with everything you said! I live downtown right now and haven't driven in 2 years. I'm within 1/2 a mile of everything I need, and sling Davis everywhere. It is awesome and I wouldn't have it any other way.
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#17 of 24 Old 01-09-2004, 11:53 PM
 
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I agree with LisainCalifornia, in that there are no utopias. If you are happy where you are, you are probably going to be disappointed with a move. The kinds of changes that you describe as happening to your town are happening all over, so it's going to be hard to avoid.

We live in the burbs and like it. In my neighborhood, there is reasonably good ethnic diversity, but not much economic diversity. That makes sense when you think about how suburbs have been designed in the past 25 years. Our neighborhood is quiet and the neighbors are nice. We have a garden.

Our public schools are excellent, MUCH better than in our city and that for us drives our choice of where to live. I would not be able to send our kids to public school if we lived there, and I'm emphatically not going to homeschool.

Admittedly though we are people who hate cities--I feel like a participant in one of those experiments where they try to see how many lab rats you can fit in a cage before they start eating each other whenever I visit a big city. I hyperventilate and never relax. I like rural areas much better than the burbs, but that's not realistic for our current lives raising small kids right now.

But it has its drawbacks. We have no public transportation. I also hate the endless development, and the increased blandness with the spread of franchises and big box stores.
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#18 of 24 Old 01-10-2004, 12:28 AM
 
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When we moved 1 1/2 years ago, we moved away from a city to the suburbs. By necessity, not choice. The city we lived in before was big enough to have a strong arts culture, good restaurants, convenient shopping. We lived across the street from the Zoo and a large park with several play areas. And almost next door to a Nature Preserve. I loved the racial diversity that I encountered daily.

I feel much more isolated in our new suburbs. All of the houses are samey samey. The politics here are incredibly narrow minded and stifling. We have to drive to get anywhere, including the parks.

We had better nature exposure in our city! I miss that. I miss our old home.
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#19 of 24 Old 01-10-2004, 02:49 AM
 
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I'm actually trying to get out of Denver It's a great city, but it's not big enough for me. We are planning on moving to Philly this summer. The neighborhood that we live in right now is very pedestrian friendly. We have a handful of parks in walking distance, along with a library, shops and resturants. We have lived in this neighborhood for seven yrs and we are ready to try something new.
I want to be able to get rid of one of our cars and utilize public transportation. I hate getting into my car to run errands. When I went to Philly to check it out, I loved how big Fairmount Park is. It's like going to the country and never leaving the city. One of the neighborhoods we are looking at is very diverse.
I have to admit that when I was out there I was a bit overwhelmed by the amout of people living in the Philly area, but that is one of the reasons I want to live in the city. I don't want to have to deal with traffic.
If you want any info on Denver let me know. Plus IMO I don't care for the suburbs out here at all. Everything looks the same and there aren't any downtown areas, just a bunch of strip malls.
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#20 of 24 Old 01-10-2004, 03:48 AM
 
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We lived in Denver for 3 years before moving out to Seattle for DH's job. Denver is the kiddy pool of big city living . If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere. Sorry, Sinatra's ghost overcoming me. Our rule of big city living: live near the zoo and the "gay neighborhood", and all will be well.

L.
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#21 of 24 Old 01-11-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leatherette
Our rule of big city living: live near the zoo and the "gay neighborhood", and all will be well.
LOL! I remember reading an article that basically said that cities with the greatest economic growth and highest "creativity index" are those that have an over-representation of gays. Or, as my DH likes to say, they have the highest "hipness factor".

(here's the link to the article)

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#22 of 24 Old 01-11-2004, 01:04 AM
 
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there is no doubt about it, economic vitality and thriving gay population are amazingly well correlated.

http://diversity.monster.com/gale/articles/divboost/
http://www.creativeclass.org/map_cdi.htm
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#23 of 24 Old 01-11-2004, 03:07 PM
 
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I didn’t read all the posts but I have a suggestion. Have you considered a small-ish town? To me small towns (not one main street small, morel like small-city small) are a great alternative to suburbia, which I would not, not like to live in. We’re in Europe now and the alternative to suburbia here is small towns all over the place. What I like better about them is that they’re self-sufficient. Does that make sense?

I loved Santa Cruz, although we left because there are big issues there that made it a bad place for us to settle in.

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#24 of 24 Old 01-12-2004, 01:46 PM
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Both of those articles were extremely interesting.

Thanks for posting the links.

db
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