Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10 Reasons I Live in a City (& Love it!)

A typical Buffalo Neighborhood
I love living in the city. Moreover, I love living in Buffalo. Urban life makes me happy. I'm even working on a series of paintings about side walks and streets. Check out my other blog for updates on that. Heck I even have a Pinterest board called,"The Streets Were..."!

Let it be said, I love city life! I while I have only been subjected to the suburban lifestyle in small short burst, but the idea of it make me ______.  (Well this is supposed to be a family blog, right.)  I feel that a little less downright angry about genuinely rural life. I could imagine myself at least vacationing on a farm or in small town inn, with out getting too stabby.

I have family and even friends that for some reason prefer the suburbs, or country, I know the city is where I belong.  It is part of who I am, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I am passionate about this, so my list might be a little long, actually I should probably write a whole book on this. Anyway, I am going to post my bullet points a few at a time.  So stay tuned.

This list is in no particular order.

Ignore the baby bump,
that's Pittsburgh back there!

1: I grew up in a city: 

There is something, again to be said, for sticking with what you know. Pittsburgh in the 80's was suffering from industrial decline, crime, and pollution. It was still a wonderful place to grow up.  I have fond memories of public school, PAT busses, friends and cousins that lived within walking distance. 
Pittsburgh, even in its muddy, dirty, under-doggiest, always had its good points and a lot have to do with being a vibrant central city.  As a little kid and a teenager, I benefited tangibly from being part of a community with research hospitals, theater and classical music productions, the Carnegie museums and libraries. There are intangible things too, like winning sports teams, extended family and community. All of these were accessible, largely, without a car.

Buffalo, is not Pittsburgh, but it still has a familiar network of places, people, and destinations that I can be meandered and discovered. I have lived her for nearly 16 years and I still and learning things about this place. I was born in a city and I feel like I understand urban pulse and it is comfortable to me.

2) I am rarely the strangest person around.

I'm sure it's everywhere,
but there's more weird stuff in a city
I don’t ever remember fitting in. For whatever reason, I tend to stick out. I have learned to accept that.  The nice thing about living within an urban community I am usually never the biggest weirdo around.  There is always someone with more tattoos, piercings at least.

The selling point of many suburban developments has long been homogony.  You live around people who all live in nearly the same style house, which everyone bought for the same price. For a long time minorities were not welcome. Cities thrive on the very crashing different communities together.

I married someone who was raised Polish Catholic, I am, by self-report, an African-American Buddhist. A city is, for me, the place where the bird and the fish can live together.  Even their children do not even stick out that much.

Nature in the city

3) Concrete grey is the new green

In my earlier post about making Every Day Earth Day I talked about house, I try to make green a lifestyle choice. While I do not think suburban life makes that impossible, there is a considerable carbon footprint associated with new-build, car only accessible development. If we take clues from our urban past and make the most of new technologies city life will be the green alternative for a sustainable future.

That’s all for now, more post about why to live in and love your central city coming soon! Tell me what you love about where you live, be it city, country or suburb.
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