Friday, April 27, 2007

Space and Convenience in the Suburbs: What's it worth?

In response to Christine's comments about the value of space and convenience in the suburbs...


If you go from a 3800 sq. ft hom in the burbs to a 688 sq. ft. 1 bedroom apartment in the city with a child, you can appreciate living space. But here are a few possible reasons you may not value the extra square footage:

1) You are OCD about cleaning but tragically hate to clean (surely we can think of 1001 other things you'd rather do when your child is napping). How are you going to keep a 4 bedroom/2.5 bath home dust free for your toddler? (Obvious answer: Housekeeper. We finally found one after 3 months of searching.)

2) You are not a homebody and prefer being outside rather than being home - oops, nothing to really do outside the home in the burbs and now all that square footage going to waste...

3) You hate bugs - all bugs. But now you have a yard full of bugs. Did I mention the bees in the suburbs are 5 in. long and look demonic???? And ants...they infest every house, apt and condo. Theere are no escaping them!

4) You are up to the challenge of making the most out of space. I'm especially inspired by apartment therapy's smallest nursery contest - a 36 sq. ft nursery in a 550 sq ft apartment?? City dwellers have SO much imagination and creativity.

I confess we do enjoy the 1300 sq footage we have now, compared to the walk-in closet in NYC. k has a playroom (which she rarely uses) and our "home office" is situated in our dining room with space to spare. And I'm giddy about being able to cook without using the stove top and sink as extra counter space. But I would gladly give up the extra room for the chance to step outside my door to grab a cup of coffe or walk to the park. Which leads me to the issue of convenience...


Swimming/golf/tennis - ok, the burbs has all of these in abundance, but not within blocks of each other. More like within tens of miles of each other with a child in the back seat that does not take kindly to being chaufferred around. Theoretically, there is a starbucks on the way to gymboree class, but since stopping for coffee in the burbs entails parking, taking k out of the car seat, waiting in lines that move incredulously slow (apparently no one is in a hurry here), balancing coffee in one hand and k in the other arm (far too lazy to lug the stroller out of the trunk), and belting k back in her car seat, the coffee never happens.

I believe the city wins on the point of convience - in NYC, we were blessed to have trader joes, whole foods, garden of eden, food emporium and a farmer's market within 4 blocks of each other. And walking home from grocery shopping, I could get a pedicure, pick up a new cookbook, upgrade my wireless phone service, buy another yoga mat, get new sandals to showcase my pedicured feet and grab a croissant and cappucino good enough for the pope himself. Granted you could do some of these things at a mall, but then you have to deal with teenagers (yikes).

1 comment:

christine mi said...

ACKKK! When you put it THAT way...
Are you just trying to SCARE me into staying or what?