Suburban Life(r)?

Weekend edition.

I was fortunate to grow up in Midwestern and a Southern Californian suburb. Nice, comfortable homes in safe, well maintained “subdivisions”. Roomy yards with minimal fencing in the Midwest and a small fenced-in pool in SoCal.

As an adult, I’ve chosen a similar path, living in nice, comfortable suburban homes that are logical extensions of the ones I grew up in. Apart from short stints in flats abroad, I’ve spent my whole life in the suburbs.

Makes sense then that I’m growing increasingly ambivalent about life in the burbs. A part of me longs for a radical break and a distinctly different living experience, one either much more urban or one more natural, on water. At times life in the burbs feels like a dissatisfying compromise, monocultural porridge that’s too hot (too far from urban civilization) or too cold (cut off from nature).

I’m really tired of having to drive everywhere all the time. I want to walk and ride my bike to the store, to restaurants, to friends’ places, to theaters.

I want to simplify my life a lot more and I want a smaller home, but save the downsizing medal because ideally, I also want to be able to disappear into a small carriage house or separate apartment. Also, I want a home that takes advantage of as many of the environmental advances builders have made in the last decade as makes sense.

There’s a nice, new condominium building being built downtown, but the GalPal is loathe to give up gardening.

Don’t mistake my longing for a radical break and all of my “I wants” with a lack of appreciation for our home, neighborhood, and neighbors. I’m keenly aware of my privilege and this is not a problem. We’ve grown to like our home and neighbors a lot even if we’re not all that enamored with our hood.

I’m just wondering if the grass might be greener in town or on the water’s edge.

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Suburban Life(r)?

  1. I think either would be a good choice. The human traffic in downtown is more enticing for me now than it used to be along with walking distances to entertainment and dining venues. The only drawback is the cost of living space downtown. It’s beyond my budget unless I win the Lottery

    As for gardening for your GalPal there, tell her about green roofs. It’s the coming eco-friendly thing for urban dwellers.

  2. I think the the city of Oly is developing some pea patch garden space on the Westside. That’s how the many apartment inhabitants in Germany satisfy their gardening needs.

  3. Two interesting ideas guys, thanks. The builder didn’t have the foresight to “green roof” it. Or maybe didn’t want to add in the up front cost. I saw those types of gardens in Berlin, but garden commuting seems like it defeats the purpose of reducing commuting. One other thought, I’ve gotten spoiled with how quiet our burb is. Increased noise would take some getting used to.

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