Battlepanda: The Golden Cage


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Golden Cage

It's the circle of life for many New Yorkers -- get married, have kids, move to the suburbs. It's nice to see an article about city dwellers who are bucking that trend, moving back to the city after finding the suburbs too lonesome and inconvenient.

I agree with Scott of Lawyers, Guns and Money.
The amenities and ability to walk are the biggest reason I like the city, of course, but the thing about people working on their lawns is another reason why I've never had the slightest discontent with urban living--if there's one thing I have no desire to do, it's spending the majority of the leisure time I could be using to spend reading or listening to music or watching a ballgame or meeting friends or seeing a movie etc. etc. engaging in work that's even more boring and tedious than the worst aspects of my actual job. My parents, although they pay for landscaping and housecleaning services, still manage to generate absolutely staggering amounts of busywork for themselves around the house. I'll pass without a second thought, thanks.

I'm a city girl, and will remain one for the time being. But I can imagine moving somewhere really rural one day -- I like the idea of breathing country air in retirement and raising my own goats and chickens or something. The country life have its attractions. The city life have its attractions. But to me the suburbs are just the worst of both worlds. I like being able to walk out into the woods, and I like being able to walk out to the corner store. I understand that those are incompatable pleasures. But in a suburb, they are both unavailable. I love gardening and growing my own vegetables, which one can do in the backyard of a suburb. But in return one must obey the invisible mandate to maintain a belt of useless grass around the house. And livestock is just out of the question.

Gene and I are moving to Taipei soon (as soon as he lands an English teaching position). We're going to be looking for a rooftop apartment. Those are generally a lot smaller than the other aparments in the building since they are basically another structure tacked onto the roofs of existing apartment blocks. But in return for less interior space, you get a huge terrace (the rest of the roof). To me, that is the best of both worlds -- I can putter with plants, let Dodo run around, have cookouts, eat dinner outside etc., and still be able to walk out of my apartment building right into the bustle of Taipei city.

Perhaps we'll even have enough room for one more schnauzer...