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Old 12-12-2013, 09:41 PM
 
139 posts, read 178,674 times
Reputation: 70

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At different phases of our life, we have different priorities. Being a 20-something versus a 30-something is quite a change for me personally. In my 20s, I was much more fond of urban amenities, big city atmosphere, nightlife, walkability to work/food/entertainment, public transit, college town atmosphere, arts, and community fairs.

Now in my 30s, I found myself much less interested in some of these. College areas are crowded, hard to drive in, no parking, and crappy houses. I'm no longer interested in nightlife. I find it convenient to drive to a store with a big parking lot and being able to navigate easily among entertainment venues. Don't take public transit that often. Not so interested in the arts and hipster culture. Not that interested in community concerts and fairs anymore.

I am a bit surprised by these changes and I wonder if others experience similar feelings. To sum it up, when you are young and simple and cheap, you like one thing. When you are older, more complex, have other priorities and some money, your preference changes.

Am I becoming a suburbanite? I thought I was into transit, art, causes, and gritty hipster city fun. What happened?

An extended question is does this change a person's preference on which city to live in and where in a city to center one's life around?

I'm West Coast city and vistas at heart. But I am much more tolerant of suburbs now. I begin to see a place in terms of its cost of living than art galleries. Property tax and income tax matter to me now. Budgeting has made me realize how much I threw away on the West Coast living the 20-something glorious life. I still love the outdoors, but the frequency of attending cultural events has greatly reduced. I began to like home and simple walks. I still love West Coast urbanity, but I'd like to be a visitor. I still love culture, arts, and a liberal atmosphere, but I feel these places are repetitive to me. It's the same message again and again and it's not novel anymore. It's even repulsive at times. They no longer offer me that excitement. Been there, done that. I think having a pool in the back yard would be a nice idea.

Does anyone go through these phases?
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:59 AM
 
981 posts, read 2,360,939 times
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I think most people in their twenties mainly early twenties-mid twenties prefer to live in urban areas in the city that are walkable and have a vibrant atmosphere. Not that people of all ages can't prefer the suburbs but burbs more often than not are family communities and slow paced and are for people who are generally in the "settling down" phase. I'm 22 and personally I like inner suburbs that aren't too far from all the action. Living right in the heart of the city can and does get old for some people with all of the noise and traffic and sometimes higher cost of living and if you take advantage of public transportation in the city that can get old too. It just comes down to personal preference really.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
47 posts, read 52,604 times
Reputation: 37
Im 31 and to be honest I still prefer urban, walkable neighborhoods. The only thing that has changed for me is that i do not spend a single minute in nightclubs anymore. Im married with two children both of which attend public school in the city and we all would never consider moving out to the burbs.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,320 posts, read 6,989,633 times
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OP, you are very normal. You fit the most common demographic in America…but the shift to urban living has slowly eroded your numbers. What everyone is curious to see is whether your story continues to be the most common one or if we see the tide turn towards a continued focus on city life as the younger generation settles down, myself included.

The biggest difference from today vs a couple decades ago is that now there is a viable "city life" available in many cities across the country. It wasn't so abundant back when downtowns across the country were decaying, but today you can find those urban amenities all over the place.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:52 PM
 
139 posts, read 178,674 times
Reputation: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
OP, you are very normal. You fit the most common demographic in America…but the shift to urban living has slowly eroded your numbers. What everyone is curious to see is whether your story continues to be the most common one or if we see the tide turn towards a continued focus on city life as the younger generation settles down, myself included.

The biggest difference from today vs a couple decades ago is that now there is a viable "city life" available in many cities across the country. It wasn't so abundant back when downtowns across the country were decaying, but today you can find those urban amenities all over the place.
It is true that the city life is much more abundant. But that was not the main reasons that the middle-class moved to suburbs. The middle-class wanted good schools, safe neighborhoods, open space, backyard for children, lower property tax, stable neighborhoods, and easiness of running errands. Urban amenities today cater primarily to young professionals, singles, childless by choice, LGBTQs, retirees, and others who specifically love cities.

Expensive cities like SF and NY are pushing their middle-class away. But this type of urban renewal is a very different type than what you are talking about. Many of these middle-class people are settling in medium-cost cities that are still quite nice. In these places, urban areas are still affordable for the middle class, but gentrification is also pricing out a lot of people in the middle.

I think what's more likely to happen is that:
  • Popular cities (SF, NY, etc.) will be primarily the affluent's playground, gradually losing the hip and artsy vibe they once had.
  • Desirable cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, etc.) will see their best areas gentrified by the affluent.
In both cases, your tide turning isn't necessarily the trend with the majority of the young generation. Urban renewal is fueled by upper-middle-class affluent, retirees, successful young professionals, and vacationers. Most importantly, successful young professionals are going to be a less-than-50-percent minority of the entire young generation. Is urban lifestyle really their choice? Can they afford it? Will it be their choice when some of them start a family?



Furthermore, urban prosperity today isn't exactly the same thing as it was in the past. It used to be middle-class' city. But these days, urban prosperity does not reflect necessarily middle-class wealth. When cities were bad, they moved away; when cities are finally too good, they can't move back.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 894,274 times
Reputation: 306
I hope not. As someone in the later part of my 20s, I hope I still have the same ideals and preferences in just a few years from now. Otherwise I won't trust myself over 30!
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,518,448 times
Reputation: 2935
My taste in recreation has changed, but my taste in cities has not.

As a gay man, who will never have kids, gets bored easily, needs a lot of exercise, does not need a lot of space, and is not a careful driver, inner cities are pretty much my only option.

But now instead spending all of my money play pool and drinking beer, I spend it all at farmer's markets.

I wish I were still in to the arts to the same extent that I was in my early 20s, but as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate good art, which was accompanied by the realization that there's not much of it.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Rome, Georgia
2,706 posts, read 3,341,545 times
Reputation: 1915
I am an Atlanta native who has moved to the sticks. In my twenties, I played in a band, lived in an urban setting, and was pretty much all over the place. Being married now, and having kids, I chose to abandon that lifestyle, and am now living in a small city where I can be more of an influence on how we will progress. No regrets, and love where I am. Just turned 35.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,490 posts, read 16,178,435 times
Reputation: 5646
Absolutely. In my mid 20s, fresh out of grad school, I moved to Jersey City because I wanted to live in Manhattan but couldn't really afford it. Now in my early 30s, no way in hell I'd want to move to Manhattan, deal with a 5-story walk-up with no laundry, and constant sleep-ruining street noise. Right now, Jersey City is just where I want to be. Walkable and vibrant, but not the headache that comes with living in the "center of the universe" in Manhattan. In my 40s, who knows, maybe I'll want to live in a house with a garage.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:20 AM
 
278 posts, read 243,052 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportsMHNut View Post
Im 31 and ...The only thing that has changed for me is that i do not spend a single minute in nightclubs anymore.
Me too, that was the biggest change!
17-27 were my clubbing and pub crawl days.
Got quite tired of it after that.
I prefer talking to sober people, to be honest,
and I just can't drink without feeling exhausted
For the next two days, be it wine, liquor or beer.
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