9
   

Choosing Place

 
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 10:55 am
Every couple of years or so, the great debate stirs in me. City or country? Intown or suburb?

Right now we live in town but not downtown. We have a yard and we can walk to things, but the street is busy and the kids don't like to go outside. We have a dog. Maybe this is one of those things that comes with the season, but I have a strong desire to live near woods or water right now: on the ocean, or by a creek or lake, preferably one you have to walk through woods to get to. The downside to living in those places, of course, is that you have to drive to go anywhere.

I always envied people who knew where they belonged and could choose a spot and stay put. Anyone else have trouble feeling like they're in the right place?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 1,659 • Replies: 17
No top replies

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:01 am
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:

Every couple of years or so, the great debate stirs in me. City or country? Intown or suburb?

Right now we live in town but not downtown. We have a yard and we can walk to things, but the street is busy and the kids don't like to go outside. We have a dog. Maybe this is one of those things that comes with the season, but I have a strong desire to live near woods or water right now: on the ocean, or by a creek or lake, preferably one you have to walk through woods to get to. The downside to living in those places, of course, is that you have to drive to go anywhere.

I always envied people who knew where they belonged and could choose a spot and stay put. Anyone else have trouble feeling like they're in the right place?


Walk-ability is the the key to a happy living location; being wedded to driving everywhere is rapidly becoming an undesirable long-term solution.

The ability to walk to services, stores, friends' houses, work and other destinations is a huge quality of life issue and will not only keep one fit, it insulates people from rising gas prices and transportation costs to a certain degree.

Here -

http://www.triplepundit.com/2009/08/costbenefit-analysis-of-walking/

Housing in walkable locations has weathered the financial storm much, much better than those in drive-only locations.

You are correct, that finding the right situation for you is important; I am damned lucky I found the right one for me, and I am thankful every morning on my 5-minute walk to work.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:04 am
@FreeDuck,
I feel really lucky. I was just re-reading my "Columbus, OH" thread and so have been thinking about this. I think I always had a "place" in mind and where I wound up is so close to it I'm amazed. Closer to water/ nature would be good, so I get that. But there's the big yard, and the trees, and the cool old houses, and the walking everywhere, and the COMMUNITY.

I get capital-y with that last part because I really think that's key. Some more rural places can do the community and do it well, but that's my main concern when I have those daydreams (and I do! Drove out to the country a bit ago, it was gorgeous...) The happiness research that I tend to natter on about shows that community, friendships, even just incidental contact with friendly strangers is really important to happiness.

I definitely felt in the wrong place in L.A. and Naperville. L.A. was urban but there wasn't any community -- neighbors were private and guarded, we never really met anyone. Naperville was suburban and private and guarded. The only people we really connected with didn't like Naperville either.

Do you have a back yard?
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:10 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Do you have a back yard?

We do. It's not huge but it's enough for backyard camping. I've been wanting to have it fenced so the dog and kids can run free back there.

I think if I lived closer to a big park or something, it would be better. We do live next to two lakes but they are drinking water reservoirs so Homeland Security has them fenced off and nobody can come anywhere near them.

Both you and Cyclop bring up reasons why we chose to live here -- community (the people here are "like us" in terms of priorities and wackiness) and walkability. But sometimes the dirt and the buses and the trash make it feel not so nice -- even though I use those buses. I've started thinking maybe it's a little selfish living where I can have a short commute and walk to stuff, but where my kids are kind of trapped until they are old enough to enjoy the same freedom.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:11 am
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
I always envied people who knew where they belonged and could choose a spot and stay put. Anyone else have trouble feeling like they're in the right place?


Hell yeah. I was almost an adult by the time I ever spent 3 years in a city, and I almost always want to leave anywhere I am living within 2 years at most. It's just not normal for me to be anywhere for very long.

It sucks, I bought a condo here thinking I'd be here a while, and then decided to leave the country less than 6 months later. Now I'm stuck with a condo in a bad economy in a country I don't want to be in anymore.

I want roots, I want to not leave friends behind and start over every few years, but I also can't seem to stand anyplace for very long.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:13 am
@FreeDuck,
I have a tendency to prefer extremes. I like the excitement of living right near the heart of a big city. Hate the suburbs. Hate them. If I worked in a city, I'd want to live there. On the other hand, I love to live in seclusion near nature. For a number of years I lived in the woods of New Hampshire. Nearest neighbor was about a half mile away. The mailbox was situated at the nearest paved road, nearly a mile from my front door. About 30 acres of woodland, a fish pond in back, what could be better? But I was self-employed. All I needed was a telephone and a modem. Working in the city, I always tried to find a place where I could choose not to drive to work, someplace near a subway stop or right on a bus route.

I'm sort of retired now and I can't really say I live in either of my preferred venues. It's sort of like living in the woods, since the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park is within a 20-minute walking distance. But the houses are so well-kept and surbuban looking and relatively close together (although there's a big backyard). The upside is that these are all second homes mostly and there are hardly ever any neighbors present. They show up for two weeks and then go back to the mainland. Great. Backyard full of birds feeding at the feeders I fill every morning. The cat can roam free. And does.

Since you have growing kids, Duck, that's another thing you have to consider when choosing a place to live -- the quality of available schools in the new neighborhood. Something I haven't had to think about in many years. I am basically a tumbleweed. I can pick up and just roll along to the next place and hardly ever miss the place I lived before.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:14 am
@FreeDuck,
Fencing the yard seems like a good starting point as you ponder... if you do move, that will still help the property value.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:18 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I want roots, I want to not leave friends behind and start over every few years, but I also can't seem to stand anyplace for very long.


I can't seem to reconcile those things either. The only reason we've stayed put (same city, anyway) the last 4 years is because the kids are in school now. If not for them we probably would have left two years ago. I've been fighting the urge to just pick up and go, mostly for the kids, but partly just as a challenge to myself.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:19 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

Since you have growing kids, Duck, that's another thing you have to consider when choosing a place to live -- the quality of available schools in the new neighborhood. Something I haven't had to think about in many years. I am basically a tumbleweed. I can pick up and just roll along to the next place and hardly ever miss the place I lived before.

The school thing is a nightmare. Right now they are comfortable -- Duckie has only one year left of elementary school (I can't believe I just typed that). I would prefer to leave them where they are, but I can't have my cake and eat it too.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:50 am
@FreeDuck,
They're gonna have to carry me out of this house.

We live in what was probably once considered a suburb of our city -- in the 1920s. We are only a few minutes driving from the middle of downtown and a few minutes walking from a wooded creek with 26 miles of trail to enjoy. You can walk to just about any kind of shopping/entertainment/services you could ever need. I've driven less than 3,000 miles in the last year. We know all of our neighbors, all of their kids, all of their pets, everyone watches out for each other.

If you plunked Mayberry down in the middle of a city you would have my neighborhood.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:55 am
@boomerang,
Mayberry! That's what they call my area too. Also circa 20's, mostly. And also right near a Real City.

We don't have the 26 miles of wooded creek and trails tho... nice...
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:03 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
It's just not normal for me to be anywhere for very long.

I'm the same way - but I don't think it necessarily has so much to do with any shortcoming as it has to do with the circumstances of my life changing so that where I'd be most happy living during that time of my life also changes.

I grew up in the suburbs - always wishing I lived on a farm - so I went to college on a working farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains - loved it!

When I was out of college - and before I got married or had kids, I wanted to live in a medium sized city where I could see live music and feel that I was a part of a cultural community. I liked North Carolina - so I stayed in state moving from Asheville to Chapel Hill- loved it!

Lived in Philly for three years - loved it - because I was in my twenties with no kids and there was never any shortage of places to go, things to see - etc.

But when I had my son - the city living felt all wrong. I wanted grass and space and all the reasons I'd loved it before were still there, but I no longer felt the need or had the opportunity to take advantage of them.

Maine was great when the kids were growing up- small town- friendly, close community- lots of friends for them and me and it was safe, houses and land were affordable and there again, it was a place where there was always something to do outside - every season offered its activities - so we stayed there for eleven years and though I'd been really nervous about living in a small town - I loved it.

We moved back to Chapel Hill for a job - but this time- it was different. What I'd loved about it before had changed - it was much busier and more developed - much more like the suburb I grew up in - and that's really the only place I was disappointed in and knew immediately I didn't like it anymore.

Now I live in a small village within close proximity to stunning nature with a large city within twenty minutes of me- and I love that too.

Freeduck said:
Quote:
I always envied people who knew where they belonged and could choose a spot and stay put.

Sometimes I look at my sister who still lives in the same town we grew up in, and has never lived anywhere else, with a little envy, in that she's so settled and that looks very comfortable - but I also feel that that would never have worked for me. It's never that I'm particularly unhappy in a place - I'm just always looking forward to what else might be out there that I haven't experienced yet. There are so many sort of 'lives' to choose from - I can't picture only experiencing one.

The only space I think I can't adjust to is the suburbs-that's just not my scene- and I'll never choose to live in another suburb again. That, to me, feels more like just putting in time than any other type of living situation I've experienced. I feel like a real fish out of water in the suburbs.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
we live where we do mainly because of the availability of medical facilities but if I could live anywhere it would probably be something like Patagonia Az;
http://www.bellowsfoundation.org/wp-content/DSCN2454.JPG
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:51 pm
@boomerang,
Ok, that's it. I'm moving in with you right after I wear out my welcome at sozobe's house.

Seriously, that's similar to my neighborhood (built around the same time, used to be a suburb, backyard chickens are grandfathered in) but without the nature. We live on the more industrial side of town and that could be what's getting me down.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 02:16 pm
I've moved so many times I was tempted to leave everything in boxes, but where we've living now for the past 10 years feels just right. It's part of the city but not downtown. We're up on a canyon and have lots of open space, a little
forest and a big park - ideal for kids to roam around and they do. Lots of kids
in the neighborhood too. The ocean is close by as well and the only reason why
I'd consider another place is that I wish I had more space. The 1600 sqft. are
a bit smallish for us and two additional rooms would be perfect. I still would
want to be in the same neighborhood though.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 02:28 pm
@FreeDuck,
C'mon over!!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 05:57 am
@FreeDuck,
I'm a bit like you right now.

Having done the city apartment thing for the last 9 years, and liked it a lot, may I say, I am dreaming of the hills with a garden and such again. You know...entertaining under the pergola.....

Thing is, when both options have such attractions, you'd likely be happy in both.

The car thing is a worry though.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 10:13 am
@FreeDuck,
Yes!

And I change too. Right now - we feel we belong in this small seaside community. Love the town and the feel of it, just it will increase my commute by quite a bit and I would likely have to go back to using public transportation.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

What made you smile today? - Discussion by nimh
Why is my life so hard? - Question by awkward25snowflake
How do i figure out what I want? - Question by ylyam1
Why Does Life Exist - Question by Poseidon384
Happiness within - Question by luismtzzz
Is "God" just our conscience? - Question by Groomers123
Why are we here? - Discussion by Herald
Your philosophy in life - Question by Procrustes
Advice for a graduate? - Discussion by The Pentacle Queen
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Choosing Place
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/01/2022 at 02:34:32