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Old 11-17-2008, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,088 posts, read 4,543,187 times
Reputation: 1598

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Call me greedy, if you like, but ideally, I would have the "best of both worlds". I grew up in a Chicago Neighborhood that felt and functioned like a medium sized town. Had easy access to all of the "conveniences" of a large city, close to parks, lakes, forest preserves, and of course, Lake Michigan. Loved spending summers on the family farm in Nebraska, but mostly because that was when I got to "hang out" with my country cousins, tend the chickens, cows, hogs, etc., not a "city experience", and yes, sometimes the "country thing" was a bit boring, even though I fully appreciated the pleasures of it, as well. Went to college in a medium sized town in central Illinois, and loved that, too. . . but had all of the "stimulation" of a college town. . . not unsimilar to a city. Now live in Phoenix, AZ, a very "suburban" town, have to travel many miles to get to the growing arts and cultural community, and the inconvenience of that (at my age) is difficult. So. . . . I want both. . . a city home with a big garden and small town neighborhood feeling, close to wild areas and open spaces, but also close to the cultural opportunities that cities provide. In part, this is an "age thing" with me, 15 years ago I would have been happy to move to a much smaller community.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:51 AM
 
Location: arizona on the border
687 posts, read 2,495,729 times
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Spent the majority of my life in cities of 800,000-1 million plus and have also lived in towns of less than 10,000. From the Rocky Mountains to the Northwest , the Sonora Desert , within eyesight of Mexico. elevations of over 7,000 to less than 1,000, acreage to inner city apartments.
If I could live in one place it would be the midwest, a older, inner city neighborhood. Some place with history, trees, sidewalks and ethnic neighborhoods. I guess I've not frozen enough and have sweat too much. 70-80' is nice, but after the first Holidays in that temp range the novelty is lost. No change of colors in the fall, going for 100 days without rain, it gets tiring.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
1,740 posts, read 2,931,234 times
Reputation: 563
There's a scene in the movie, Jeremiah Johnson, in which the Jeremiah (played by Robert Redford) has had his home in the wilderness destroyed and his wife murdered by Indians. He is telling his tale of woes to the character played by Will Geer (GrandPa in The Waltons). Geer suggests to him that maybe the mountains are to rough for him and he should move to a town. Redford's profound response is, "I've been to a town."

Why would anyone want to live in a town where one's freedoms are trampled on by the imposition of others? where politicians tell you that you must adhere to a certain behavior? where neighbors gossip about you? where you have to keep your doors locked to protect your property and your life?
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosinante View Post
Why would anyone want to live in a town where one's freedoms are trampled on by the imposition of others? where politicians tell you that you must adhere to a certain behavior? where neighbors gossip about you? where you have to keep your doors locked to protect your property and your life?
Because I like the idea of living in a community, even if that community is not without problems. Because I would like to live in a place that has great culture and services, and that offers opportunities for artistic and scientific achievement. Because I prefer to live in a place that has modern facilities and good doctors (or at least some doctors). In short, because I like civilization.

More to the OP's question: Urban and country living each have their strengths and weaknesses. I don't think one is inherently better than the other, and preferences are a profoundly personal question. I could imagine living in either place. It's the purgatory that truly scares me, the urban sprawl -- places that are neither city, nor country, but the worst of both worlds.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
Reputation: 58603
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosinante View Post
There's a scene in the movie, Jeremiah Johnson, in which the Jeremiah (played by Robert Redford) has had his home in the wilderness destroyed and his wife murdered by Indians. He is telling his tale of woes to the character played by Will Geer (GrandPa in The Waltons). Geer suggests to him that maybe the mountains are to rough for him and he should move to a town. Redford's profound response is, "I've been to a town."

Why would anyone want to live in a town where one's freedoms are trampled on by the imposition of others? where politicians tell you that you must adhere to a certain behavior? where neighbors gossip about you? where you have to keep your doors locked to protect your property and your life?
I loved the quote! I would rather live in a tent on 5 acres than a condo in a city. The problem is, if you have to work and route your teens around, living in town makes life easier to navigate. I am waiting until I retire and I never have to live in a city/town again.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:53 PM
 
3,277 posts, read 4,493,145 times
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I grew up and live in a fairly large city(Detroit, 800,000 or so) but never felt like it offers the culture I'm looking for. I would love to live in an Artsy-er more off-beat city like Seattle, or maybe SanFran, Boston has always looked really impressive to me and I would be fine surrounded by so many educated people. The ignorance in this city drives me to rage sometimes. But, having friends from Seattle, I'm always astounded by how so many people my age pursue artistic passions. It just makes me feel so deprived living here.
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:47 PM
 
268 posts, read 942,414 times
Reputation: 196
...The chores.
...The stores.
...Fresh air.
...Times Square



Sorry.

In all seriousness though, I do see the value of both. It's nice to be surrounded by green, growing things. And autumn is wonderful when you can tramp through a wood. Even a foot of snow is more fun on an open hill, then on top of your car at 7am. But then, if you stayed by forest streams, you'd miss out on theatre and high art. You'd miss many (although not all) opportunities for people who are unlike you to challenge you and make you grow. The sheer diversity of a city is it's main attraction.

I agree with most of the posters here saying that you have to try to get the best of both worlds.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,555 posts, read 3,637,381 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
I understand that MOST people base their decision on where they live on the availability of a job that matches their skills. My "WHAT IF" question is: What if you had the finances to live anywhere you wanted in either the USA or Canada, where would it be? If it is a city what is it about that city that makes you want to live there?
Well, I still have different answers for different factors. The other factors are family and how much free time do I have and is the idea that I can only pick one place?

To try to make this not too long, there are three areas of the US that I really like: One is the "western interior"--Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, etc., another is metro New York City, and the last is Florida.

If I could only pick one place and family wasn't a factor AND I had lots of free time, I would pick central Utah--somewhere around the junction of I-70 and I-15. The primary reason I'd pick that particular location is that it's kinda central to a lot of places that I want to spend time in. I love wilderness, I love deserts, I love mountains, I love hiking, I love canoeing, I love rural areas. I'd spend a lot of time in all the national and state natural areas--parks, wildlife refuges, forests, etc. From central Utah, it's a reasonable drive not only to locations in Utah but to all the bordering states, which all have tons of natural areas.

I also like cities, though, and New York City is hard to beat for a city atmosphere and the amount of things that you can do in it if you've got the money to do things (not that there aren't a lot of free or cheap things to do here, too--but it's been years since I've been to a Broadway show because they're so ridiculously overpriced with respect to our income). New York City would never win out as a sole location over the west for me in this scenario, but if I could live in more than one place, and I didn't have to stay in a single location for work, metro-NYC would be one place I'd have a dwelling. Re central Utah, it's also a reasonable drive to places like Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc.--even LA, so that's another benefit for someone who likes cities, too.

Florida, which is where I'm working on moving at the moment, is where my closest family is, including my aging parents, and it's where I grew up, so there's a nostalgic "home" feeling for me there that it will probably always have. Again, if I could have more than one house, I'd have one in Florida too, although if family and employment weren't factors, I'd probably go more towards central Florida.

In the future, our dream is to be able to have homes in the west, in the NYC area, and in Florida. We think it would be doable even if we still had to be in particular locations to work, although it would take a lot of logistical maneuvering. If we had to be in a particular location for work, our western location would more likely be outside of Las Vegas, for similar reasons that we'd pick central Utah. Unfortunately, there isn't much in central Utah for employment. You'd have to go closer to Salt Lake City for that, but that would make visiting places like Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and even Zion, the Grand Canyon, etc. much more difficult, not to mention LA, since we wouldn't regularly have 4 or 5 days to drive there, enjoy it for a couple days and drive back.

Another option that I'd seriously consider is just RV'ing it and traveling all the time.

I just need to find someone who'll pay me $1000 per week or so (more would be better, lol) for the rest of my life for doing something, anything, or even nothing without needing to be in a particular location. ;-)
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:15 AM
 
Location: West Texas
2,441 posts, read 5,245,515 times
Reputation: 3094
I was born in San Francisco, and raised in San Mateo. Both are big cities. But, at 44, I've retired from the Navy to a small town in west Texas (about 100,000 people). I've learned to like the small town living, I just don't like the climate.

If I was single, I could see living in the city. A studio over a busy street with a fire escape outside my window. Of course, crime at that location would concern me, but I just know what it's like to thrive off of the heartbeat of a city. But, that would include not worrying about security, schools, etc.

But, since I am married with kids, I do worry about those. Even after the kids graduate, I would like to stay here. I would prefer less population, but I like running into people I know at a store or event. Even though my town is small, we have a SuperWalmart, a Sam's (like Costco), Lowes, Best Buy. We even have a symphony! The cost of living is lower than a city, that's for sure. And traffic is not a problem. I just wish I had a backyard that didn't face another property...

Other than that, I would take my town and move it up to someplace like Michigan where we actually get seasons. Snow in the winter, warm (not HOT) in the summer and rain in between. Oh... and maybe 1/2 the population. 50,000 people would be about right.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
51,054 posts, read 29,137,166 times
Reputation: 90140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluver2
............
However much I enjoy spending time doing various activities in cities I have never had any desire to live in a city. I treasure the simple pleasures of country living too much to ever make a move to the city.

I understand that MOST people base their decision on where they live on the availability of a job that matches their skills. My "WHAT IF" question is: What if you had the finances to live anywhere you wanted in either the USA or Canada, where would it be? If it is a city what is it about that city that makes you want to live there?
...........
Born and raised in Phoenix, and I spent most of my life here, so I am well-established here. Phoenix is a city of 1.8 million, so it could hardly be considered a "Big city", compared to others like Los Angeles, or Houston. The entire Phoenix metro area, has about 3.5 million people, but they're scattered over an area of approximately 1500 square miles. Why do I want to live here?
1- Most of my family is here
2- Convenience of being close to everything
3- Work and career in the Information Technology/Computer software. Not many jobs in that field in rural areas.

There's nothing wrong with living in rural areas, IF you didn't have to drive to your work location in the city. The good thing about Phoenix is it's close proximity to many "rural" places to get away and relax. I know you can be in downtown Phoenix, then 45 minutes later, you can be out in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness, or you can go from the lower desert elevations in downtown Phoenix (about 1140 feet) then an hour and a half later, you can be in the thick pines in the town of Crown King (population just over 100) at the 6000 to 7700 foot elevations of the Bradshaw Mountain Range, north of Phoenix.

On the "What if I had the finances to live anywhere" part. I have the finances, and I wouldn't mind having a house in Phoenix, and a house or a cabin somewhere in the mountains. There were reasons that stopped me from buying a cabin 5 years ago, and it turned out my gut feelings were right. Right now with my busy schedule, and other things, it's too much to handle. But I wouldn't mind living in the city and spending weekends out in the rural areas.
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