Cities vs. Suburbs

Having moved around a bit over the years, I’ve experienced living in different housing styles as well as locations. It’s always refreshing to speak with those who have only lived in one place and sometimes, even one home. Based on some of those conversations I’ve had, these are the main pro’s and con’s to city living vs. suburban life. And please note, when I say city I mean a large metropolitan (i.e. Chicago, San Francisco, etc.).

City Life

  1. You can get everywhere easily–be that by public transportation or walking.
  2. Public transportation is always available & there are a variety of options.
  3. There’s always something going on and you have a high-chance of famous acts coming through.
  4. Many options for food and entertainment.
  5. You learn to tune out the regular noise. And there’s a lot of it out there. After some time, you even stop jumping at the sound of emergency vehicles.
  6. Sparse greenery unless you’re at a park/conservatory of some sort.
  7. Everything’s more expensive when compared to suburbs.
  8. Vast diversity in terms of general population. You won’t alway see the same people twice (unless you’re a commuter).
  9. Numerous schools for all age levels.

Suburban Life

  1. Depending on how far out you are, you’re dependent on a vehicle to get anywhere. There might be one or two places you can safely walk to.
  2. Unless you’re in a more populous city and/or near a freeway–there’s no public transportation. Especially taxis.
  3. Although community events do occur, smaller population means a smaller possibility of getting big-names.
  4. There are usually a handful of local restaurants and bars/venues.
  5. Less noisy when compared to the city. Most noise you hear is strictly within the neighborhood. Emergency vehicles still stand out and draw attention.
  6. A decent amount of parks and fields to break up residential communities.
  7. There’s a good range of prices for anything.
  8. There’s definitely diversity in population. However, certain areas can be more homogenous. You’ll get to know people rather quickly.
  9. Many elementary and high schools. Usually a handful of colleges.

Bonus List: Country Life

  1. You drive or you don’t get there.
  2. Public transportation is not an option. Neighbors are often a ways out.
  3. You are limited to local acts and even then, it’s going to be a small variety.
  4. Everyone knows that one local hangout and you’re always going to see the same faces. One or two others will emerge, but you get loyal to an establishment quickly.
  5. Wonderful quiet normally. If you’re on the edge of the country community, you might have small subdivisions. In this case, you’ll have similar noise levels to suburban living. Further out, anything that’s not a normal sound within your property will draw immediate attention.
  6. If you need outdoor space and the ability to sometimes go for miles with just natural landscape, this is where you need to life. Fresher air as well.
  7. Some things are cheaper than the suburbs, others right on par. If you’re among a farming community, the general stores are a blessing for the freshest produce.
  8. Tends to be the least diverse population. You will always see the same faces and everyone knows when a new person’s come to town.
  9. A handful of elementary and high schools. Maybe a college or two, if the population’s not real small.

This is obviously just a sampling. When it comes to preferences, to each their own. I’ve always liked working/enjoying my time in a city and living in the suburbs or country. I think each lifestyle has its definite perks. And the same perks will irritate you the next day. You know the saying, “the grass is always greener”. Outside of seasons, it’s really just about how comfortable you are in the environment. You learn so much experiencing each setting.


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