Friday, August 21, 2009

Pave Paradise

I have mentioned my dislike of the suburbs before. I have resigned myself to a suburban existence, at least until the girls are done with school. Tom and I both fancy ourselves much more urban. We like the idea of having one car and a couple bicycles. We like the idea of walking to the grocery store, or any other store we need to visit. We like the idea of easy access to various cultural outlets. We like the idea of accessible public transportation.

We like sidewalks that lead places outside of the immediate neighborhood.

I like the idea of shopping in stores owned and operated by my neighbors rather than Target and Kohl's and the "W" word. I want to go to a bar where everybody knows my name. A bar I couldn't find an exact replica of in every shopping center.

I want to live in a condo that has enough room for everything we need, but not enough room to accumulate clutter. I do not have any desire to live in a McMansion. I do not want my kids to feel like they need to keep up with the kids in the McMansions. We don't want a yard to mow, maintain or landscape. We hate it and we're not good at it. Or vice versa. It works either way. I'll admit it. I think some weeds are pretty. Not a popular attitude in the 'burbs.

I don't want to wear the suburban mom uniform. I hate the suburban mom haircut. I don't do Tupperware parties or any of their modern equivalents (Ok, sometimes I do. Sue me and my damned hypocrisy.)

Yep, I hate almost everything about the suburbs.

I love almost everything about the city.

With one notable exception.

I love convenient, accessible, and usually free parking. I love having a two car garage and a driveway. I love parking within a reasonable proximity of my destination. I hate paying for parking. I hate driving in ever increasing concentric circles looking for a meter. I hate parallel parking. I hate trying to remember where I parked after visiting multiple bars running multiple errands.

I realize I said at the beginning of this rant that I wanted to walk. This may seem counter indicative. But it's one thing to walk back to one's home and quite another to walk back to one's car. I want to walk when I can, but drive when I need to. And when I need to, I want to be able to park in a convenient, free, well lit lot. Is that really asking so much?


Housewife Savant said...

I would hate to pay for parking too.
I hate buying potting soil/buying dirt.
And water.
And I hate paying a lot of money for a rug that will be used to wipe dirty shoes.
But that is neither here nor there.

I hate Lia Sophia jewelry. (I just had to put that here.)

You hate schluburbia. You're urban. You're hip. You're brave.

I will come and visit you. I'll bring you gifts of ::clutter::. I'll insist we go to Target and find an Applebees for supper.

blueviolet said...

What do people do? Store their cars in garages and just take them out on weekends? That might work.

I love the suburbs but I love the city too.

I'm curious what a suburban haircut is now.

Pam said...

I have always lived in the suburbs or in a small town, but I love cities. I am intrigued by city life. One of the items on my bucket list is to live in a city at some point. Not completely sure my husband is on board with that,though. I am working on him, however. And I totally agree with your hating yardwork, sidewalks that go nowhere and wanting to live in a space that's big enough for all the essentials, but not so big as to allow accumulation. I will NEVER convince my pack rat husband of the wisdom of this, however. :(

Hit 40 said...

Were you thinking German Village? The yards are very small :-) However, they really pimp up their little yards. Very competitive.

Minerva? is kinda neat with a great view of the fireworks.

Overall, we probably outta move to Chicago's Gold Coast. NICE!! My sister lived there a few years in an apartment. Close to everything. Kinda pricey... so she moved to Richmond, VA.

I don't mind the yard. Just too much to do in the spring. I am hoping to pay some things off to pay some one else to mulch next spring.

Carolyn said...

Oh I so agree with you! I love the idea of city living. I never did it. I met my husband while in College and we settled right here. But if I had never met him, my dream was to live in a little shabby apartment downtown, not even own a car and be just like Carrie in Sex and the City! Oh well, maybe like you, when the kiddies are gone.

Over from SITS! Happy Friday!

Noah's Mommy said...

I know what you mean....paying for parking is the pits...and i don't think I've parallel parked in years....

Anita said...

I like you're plan. I've never been a city dweller, and I'm not sure I could convince my husband, but we do see ourselves in a different life than the one right now. We will never have a McMansion, we had too many kids!!!!

Louise said...

Here here. i feel just like you.

I'm halfway between the burbs and the city so kind of have a balance. Would love to live in the city but it's too expensive.

Badass Geek said...

I much prefer to be on the outskirts of town. I like the quiet, and don't mind having to drive a ways to get somewhere. Cities make me feel claustrophobic.

JennyMac said...

I too dig massive and free parking. I too like to run many "errands" like you. LOL.

Melissa B. said...

We lived in the city for 12 years. Miss parts of it every day. Don't miss other parts of it. But I was reminded just a couple of days ago of the best lesson I learned there...I'm a BEAST at parallel parking!

MiMi said...

You mean you wouldn't come with me to Walmart??
You should move to Oregon, we have lots of places like you described. :)

carma said...

Your first paragraph is my dream as well. Talking the husband into fulfilling that dream will take a lot of work. Believe me!! Where would his shop go? and his trainset? and other necessities.

I am stuck in suburban hell for at least 5 more years. Will that be enough time to convince him??

Lizzie said...

i know! park on the roof of a building!

hum, but how would you get the car up there????

i'll have to get back to ya :)

Gibby said...

Dude, why do you think I put the words LOST and suburban bliss in the same sentence? LOL! Hubs and I are counting down the days til the last one turns 18 and heads to college, and then we are putting the For Sale sign up and heading to the city. I admit, there are things I love about both, though. I am glad that I got to experience both city and suburban living.

BONNIE K said...

I don't know what I prefer. I can see the benefits of city living, but I think I would not like the noise. And I would miss having a garden. But there is definitely appeal to walking everywhere. I lived in Toronto for a while and just got used to walking everywhere. After living in suburbia for years, I went to visit one of my Canadian friends, and we were walking and I was exhausted and realized I was totally out of shape from driving everywhere.

SparkleFarkle said...

Go ahead, Tammy, it's okay by me. It's yours, have it and eat it too! LOL!

Sandy said...

I understand exactly what you are saying. I've always lived in either a small city or town. Whenever we travel to a big city I always look around and wonder what it would be like to live there. And on vacation I LOVE public transportation....probably because I'm not on a time schedule. Like you said, I want to walk when I can and drive when I need to. Makes sense to me.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm a city girl. I love not using the car for days and walking as a form of transportation.

I hate parallel parking, parking meters, honking cars.

Grand Pooba said...

I LOVE working every day in the city. I've always dreamed of moving to New York to be an accountant, but I've settled for being an accountant in Salt Lake City. I do however live in the burbs and hate commuting ugh! I would love to move downtown!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with you on "life in the burbs". Ugh. But the older I get the easier it sounds :-(

I gotta find a place with happy medium.


WhisperingWriter said...

I wouldn't mind the city but it would be too crowded for my husband. He freaks out when he's around a lot of people.

the girl with the pink teacup said...

You're one hip lady, Tammy dear. I can totally see you sexing it up in the city! I love the idea of living right in the centre of a bustling, exciting and fascinating city, but I'm a country girl at heart.

I love small towns where everyone knows my name, where trees are more plentiful than buildings, and where the night sky is clear and lit only with stars. I love living right in the heart of the hills, where the only 'noise' that floats through my open window is birdsong, cicadas and wind through the tress. I love the sense of peace and solitude that comes from living in a small coastal village. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Such a great post. I've missed you.

JennyMac said...

Hi again. I have something for Mommakin. Pop over, Misses.

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

The town my girls live in is my ideal town. Well, the location of their home.

They ride bikes to their college. They can literally walk the sidewalk 1/2 mile to the town square. All the shops and restaurants are within a mile of there home.

Now they do have to drive to to the grocery store but it's only a 4 mile drive.

S3XinthePantry said...

Oh, I so agree... I'd love to walk to mom-and-pop shops and take the bus a stop or three instead of driving half an hour to an over bright megastore!

Vivienne said...

I like living close enough to easily get to an urban area (L.A.) without having to actually live there.

I have an award for you. (It's the Green Thumb Award.)

MaryRC said...

im suburban maybe. cities in the west are so different. i like the little town im in and the fact that it takes 2 min to get anywhere, in a car, it too hot to walk anywhere here and too cold and windy in the winter. but kids can safely ride their bikes to soccer practice, piano and school. BC has a keeping up with the jones' neighborhood, but i love to drive through there in my beat u cracked windsheild chevy prism, with my led zepplin t shirt and rocker mom hair to visit my best friend whos caught up in the action. i am a breath of fresh air and boy do i love to be defiant, and say things like, "nice uniforms ladies!" when i lunch with them. yes i am the white trash in the crowd, but my house isnt in foreclosure so suck on that. i hang with celebrities so they tolerate me, even though i refuse to give details. keeps them coming back for more.

i like having the city 30 min away, love its conveniences and the fact that i can work is a bit of a plus.

in our consideration of moving to orange county, the thought of living in a condo again pangs me. and i REALLY dont fit in there.. and driving, holy hell.. the freakin DRIVING!!!