Are we afraid of people like you, on the contrary, we embrace the immaturity of young people like you, knowing that as you age and become a man, you will one day slip into the same suburban attitude that drove us to seek solace from the city. A peaceful existence within one's heart and soul to provide a safe and secure place to raise our children and enjoy friends without the fear of the crime and lonely existence of a fast paced, never ending struggle to be different from the surroundings, where the only reason for having a daily routine is to be different to be noticed. As we, the suburbanites, age and enter an educated life's maturity, we realize being different and needing a self righteous difference becomes less important to who we are, as to what we seek in tranquility.
You can live in any city without fear of crime or a lonely lifestyle. Â I sure do. Â I don't have any problems with crime, and I'm not by any means some big tough guy. Â And I am definitely not lonely. I honestly do not wish to criticize you if you enjoy your "routine" or your "eden"; to each his own, and no hard feelings. Â But obviously we have vastly differing ideas of Eden. Â And ya know what? Â Great. Â It's just a matter of personal taste, I guess. I choose my urban lifestyle not to be different, but for a variety of reasons much more complex than simply finding some idyllic utopia in which to raise children (which is impossible for me anyway, since I am sterile due to previous chemotherapy). Â Allow me to list a few, and you might find that I am not nearly as immature as you assume. I strongly believe in a thing called conservation, and don't like to pollute the air unnecessarily. Â Hopefully, by eliminating 75% of the driving I would normally do (I still own a car, but put about 3,000 miles a year on it), my actions will have a positive impact on the quality of air that your children will be breathing when they are your age (this is part of developing what I like to call a "sustainable" Eden). Â I also greatly enjoy walking and taking care of my physical fitness. Â Living in the city allows me to do a great deal of natural walking every day, which is a very enjoyable and relaxing form of exercise that one can benefit from greatly. Â On average, I walk about 3-4 miles a day. Â Also, I am able to obtain very healthy foods from a variety of vendors who sell mostly organic and local produce and meats (thank God for Pike Place), and this also has great health benefits. Â On top of that, I am able to sleep in approx. 1 hour later than I could were I to commute, because my place of work is about 15 blocks from my home, give or take about 5 blocks, I haven't counted. Â I can walk there in less than 15 minutes. That means I am reducing stress, another fine health benefit. Â Because the city offers a very vibrant, entrepreneurial environment, I am able to make many good "contacts" during my interactions, and to establish businesses of my own (I have three active projects now: live music production, a cleaning service, and a small ISP), all of which generate additional revenue on top of my salary. Â My rent, shared with a girlfriend, is currently $850 a month (I pay $425), with no utilities or property tax. Â I will spend more on shoes this month than I will on my living expenses (with obvious benefit there also). Â With such low living costs, I am able to invest agressively (currently 50% of my gross income). Â My girlfriend is actually a professional artist and would not have much of a job if we were to live in the suburbs, where people are very unwilling to pay for art, and galleries are nonexistant. Â We both lead very active social lives, and greatly enjoy the cultural advantages of the city - i.e., live theater, music, ballet (her thing), dining out, cafes, and so forth. We have no need for a television, and do not own one, which also adds to the general quality of life. Â And since our friends all live in the city also, we meet often and greatly enjoy their company. Â I could go on, there are numerous other reasons, but I think this partial list shows how completely I structure my life according to the city. Â And I have found that to greatly enhance my enjoyment of life, which is my reason for living, to enjoy it. Â Oh, and I can not remember being lonely recently, simply due to sheer volume of people I interact with on a daily basis. Â Anyway... I'm tired and I need to sleep. Â Good night.
LP, there is a very difficult issue to escape in any human discussion, and that is that time moves in one direction. I smiled when I read Chris's last post, because he was articulating what I had thought. it is difficult for an adult to read your postings and not smile, much in the same way that I smile when my 3 year old does something endearing. you are presently in a stage that many of us have lived through, and, very possibly, you will mature into stages that we will all hit, if we live long enough. "You can live in any city without fear of crime or a lonely lifestyle." - possibly. I think these are related, however, as you aquire more people to love, your fears grow greater, you have more to lose. I have lived in a number of exciting cities, I have never really felt fear, certainly not for myself. but I have found a place where I don't have to lock my door, where I have floor to ceiling windows across the ground floor, and where 911 reponse averages in the 90 second range. I have no fear what so ever. I would remind you that in another thread, you also talk about your need to keep a veritable armory in your house, and that you have had to point a loaded shotgun at somebody. "I strongly believe in a thing called conservation" - very noble point. excellent argument. "I also greatly enjoy walking and taking care of my physical fitness. Â Living in the city allows me to do a great deal of natural walking every day, which is a very enjoyable and relaxing form of exercise that one can benefit from greatly" again excellent point "because my place of work is about 15 blocks from my home..." another excellent point "My girlfriend is actually a professional artist and would not have much of a job if we were to live in the suburbs, where people are very unwilling to pay for art, and galleries are nonexistant." here we are gettign into the myths and prejidices part again, but I understand your point "We both lead very active social lives, and greatly enjoy the cultural advantages of the city - i.e., live theater, music, ballet (her thing), dining out, cafes, and so forth. We have no need for a television, and do not own one, which also adds to the general quality of life. Â And since our friends all live in the city also, we meet often and greatly enjoy their company" good point, but I think that you would be suprised if you ever actually talked to a suberbanite. in the village where I live (and admitedly I wasn't ready to jump full fledge into a suburb yet, either, but that will be next step) Â most of the people I know have moved in from cities, mostly NYC, as the distance isn't that great, most of us still go into the city on a relativly regular basis to eat, enjoy shows, art etc. Many of my wife's friends, and my wife herself, were very active in the art world, when they were Â little younger and lived in the city. I used to spend at least 8 hours a week in cafes, back when they would allowme to smoke a cigar along with my coffee. What might hugely suprise you, as well, is the diversity of my area - large numbers of jews, south asians, east asian, african americans anda very high percentage of gays. what might suprise you, also, is that I didn't own atv until I was older than you, too. frankly, I think that the main trigger for people to move to the suburbs is a desire to enjoy a slighly more comfortable life style, slightly slower, slightly safer. the trigger often has to do with a growing family, but not in every case. and it is often a sign of growth. in the same way that you grew out of your renasaince fairs, you may grow out of your hatred of the burbs. maybe not. this "hatred" might also be a reaction to fear of becoming what you have tried to fight off. that is also natural. anyway, peace and good luck. by the way, in my suburban lifestyle, I take the bus to work, and walk to shop - I chose my residence to fit that, because the very values that you list were very important to me as a youth. likewise, my office is less than 15 minutes away from where I live, for the same reasons you list. it is possible to find what you want in a variety of situations.