Friday, May 7, 2010

Goodbye, Downtown Life

On Sunday we make the big move to the other side of the river. I've gotta say, I'm sick of moving. This will be the 4th time Jesse and I have packed up in less than two years. We've been averaging about six months per place--it's kind of like we have a summer home, and a winter home! Kind of.
But in our defense, these last two times really haven't been our fault. I got a job that required us to move downtown, and now I have another job that requires us to give up that downtown living. So we pack again.
I've been struggling with downtown living for awhile now. Often, I like the idea of something, but in practice I find out that it actually isn't my thing. This is very true with concerts. I love the idea of hearing a great band live, but once I'm standing there for two hours with the lower-back-concert-ache, I find myself begging the band not to come out for an encore. With living downtown, though, I can't quite decide where my expectations were--I wasn't sure I ever loved the idea of it in the first place.
I liked parts of it. Downtown is synonymous with fast, exciting, walkable, convenient-to-everything, and fun. We found a lot of new restaurants and shops--but they were all a bit more expensive than our usual. It is more walkable--but most of our friends and social lives still took place on the east side, so we found ourselves driving more than we ever used to. And it is fast and exciting--but do I want that all the time?
My biggest problem, and regret, was that I worked in a high-stress job inside the very building I lived in. I often went a couple days without ever going outside. It was hard not to feel like I was always at work. I do wish I could have enjoyed downtown without that pressure hanging on me.
And secondly, the high-luxury downtown lifestyle in such a building just didn't fit us. I don't need to have a concierge buzz friends in--I'd rather open the door to them myself. I don't need to get a 14th floor view of the city--I'd rather watch the rain splash in puddles on the ground. Waiting for elevators just isn't fun. Ever. And riding bikes in traffic downtown isn't quite as easy as the wide, tree-lined bike routes of the outlying neighborhoods.
So while I mourn for the fun downtown experience I seem to have missed, I look forward to the small pleasures of being in a great neighborhood a little bit further away. Where we are a bike-ride or short walk away from friends, great cheap restaurants, parks, and a slightly slower way of life. Plus, there are a lot of trees. Who knew I would miss that so much?
Here's to our new house!

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