Going to the city…

(Two posts in one day only because I’ve had these on my mind but been too lazy to write.)

Kari and I are selling our house: http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1060991201?lnksrc=00045.

The reason for selling after only living in this house for two years is that we want to move into Chicago. There are plenty of reasons to move to the city, but here are my main ones:

– There’s plenty to do. Nothing against Bolingbrook in particular, but suburbs in general are boring. Why should we want to live out here, but drive or ride on the train for an hour to get to anything?

– I don’t believe in suburbs. If people need to live in the country so they can work in the country (farming and the necessary support system for farming) that’s fine. But why do most people in and around our socioeconomic status feel the need to live in large suburbs, each tending to a tiny lot of green grass that exists almost solely to give the homeowner something to mow? Besides the resultant pollution from lawn mowers and 2-cycle mowing equipment, these patches of grass cuz down on population density, meaning that nothing is accessible by walking.

There should be two places to live in this country: cities and the country. And by “the country,” I don’t mean we should build more 5-acre play-toy lots in old farm fields. I mean farms, surrounding and operating in symbotic relationships with small towns and large cities. Farmland should flow, without threat of low-density development, right up next to high-density city. Think of how close the center of Chicago would be to wide open farmland and prairie if everyone that lives in the suburbs were compressed into city-density housing instead of being spread out over a huge band of suburbs.

– There is public transportation. Pace Suburban Bus makes a valiant effort to provide some measure of inter-suburb transportation around here, but the odds are stacked against them. By definition, suburbs (especially poorly designed ones) are spread out. The density required to allow for efficient public transportation does not exist. The automobile is fine for out-of-town trips, vacations, hauling things, etc., but it’s unncessary and inefficient as a method of daily commuting. Plus, everyone except the bus driver or train operator can read a book or newspaper — I would get so much more reading done.

3 thoughts on “Going to the city…

  1. Don’t be so mean to those of us who live in the suburbs! After living in the city for 12 years and finally moving to the suburbs I have realized that it isn’t THAT bad. Living in the city was expensive. We couldn’t afford a house in the city to accomodate the newest member of our family. Granted, the house in the suburbs is poorly built compared to our city house BUT it is bigger and Izabel can have more freedoms than she could have had in the city. I have to admit that I miss the city sooooo much but the suburbs will have to do for now. I think it will be a great experience for you two and when you are ready to move back to MN there will be a house in Woodbury waiting for you to move into! Love ya- Lezlie

  2. Yes, SHIF has been our great leader in moving to the city. And she’s even moving closer to our new place. All hail Shif.Lez, I think the country is a great place to raise kids — plenty of room to run around and all that — when the family has reason to live out there (farming, etc.). But between the city and the suburbs, I think the city would be a great place. You showed me that as much as anyone, living in an area that seemed very community-oriented and friendly. The fewer upstanding citizens that move out of the city to have kids, the more upstanding families grow up together in our cities.I know the most apparent feature of suburbs is their monotonous, impersonal homogeneity (race, class, weekend activities, everything). It’s all very Pleasant-Valley and depressing to me. But beyond the asthetic concerns and lack of life, I’m more concerned that suburbs are an incredible waste of resources.It’s very easy to write all this when we’ve just made our decision to move into the city, but I think these are things I’ve talked about and read about for too long without doing anything about it. Who knows how long we will stay there? But I’m glad you lived in the city as long as you did.

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