Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Dream Town

Since I was laid off, quite a few people have asked me if Woody and I would leave New York City. I always find this to be an odd question because I never would even think that people would leave their cities or towns because someone lost their job. Woody has a great job, we have an apartment here, and I would like to think that I have just as many chances (if not more) of finding a job here as anywhere else. That doesn't mean we haven't discussed moving, we have for a while, but more in terms of 'some day.' We know we won't live here for the rest of our lives - we're mid-western kids at heart and want to own a home one day. While we've discussed it a bit, I've been thinking of the place where I'd like to move some day more, since people started asking me about it.

Whenever I go home, like this past weekend, I think about how I couldn't live there any longer. At least not in that particular town. It's too spread out and people are forced to drive everywhere. That's just not who I am anymore. It's great to visit, but after living in the city for 6 years now (wow, I just realized I passed my 6 yr anniversary!), I am addicted to walking everywhere. I need and crave that movement and activity. So, here is just a small list of the things I'd look for in a city if we were to move. It's interesting, because most of them have something to do with living out a healthy lifestyle.
  1. Clean air
  2. Grass and parks
  3. At least one body of water nearby
  4. Walkable town
  5. Ability to be a one hybrid car family
  6. Running/walking trails (and golf courses for Woody) close by
  7. Races within easy driving distance
  8. Emphasis in the community on recycling, health, and fitness
  9. A local farmers market
  10. Family friendly
  11. A plethora of cultural activities - concerts, art exhibits, museums, etc.
  12. A growing or stable economy
These are all characteristics of my ideal town. I'd love to wake up, go for a run and then walk to downtown to pick up groceries or have brunch and stop by a good bookstore. To visualize it, it is completely different from where we live right now, but it sounds exactly the same. Don't get me wrong, after living here we won't be moving to a small town hours away from an airport, but someplace with a slightly slower pace.

I wouldn't mind a view like this!

I believe that where we live plays such a huge part in our happiness. Do you love where you live and wouldn't trade it for any other place? Or do you dream of something else? What are your top 'must haves'?
Workout Stats -
13.5mi bike
200 crunches
2x25 sec planks
3x10 ea: leg curl, leg extension, leg press


Anonymous said...

Your dream town sounds great! We live in a suburb of Boston where we can walk to Main St. i.e. "downtown" and have breakfast at a greasy spoon on a Saturday morning. It does require taking the commuter train in (about an hour total commute) but I figure that's better than having to drive that distance, plus it's eco-friendly. Good luck with everything!

Molly said...

I do love where we live for this stage in our life, a quiet suburb great for raising kids. Not sure if we'll live here forever though. I honestly still miss the bodega on the corner of my old apartment!

misszippy said...

I can really relate to this post--I grew up in the midwest but have pretty much spent my adult life on the east coast. I could not go back for many of the same reasons you've listed! I have to say, I live pretty close to the ideal place you describe...we are right in between Baltimore and DC, have great schools, 90 miles of running paths in town, all the cultural activities you could one nearby, great races (4 triathlons and countless races staged right here), the list goes on. Several national magazines put us on their top 10 most livable lists over and over again. If I could change one thing, it would be to make it warm year-round, because I don't like winter!

Robyn said...

I grew up in the suburbs (outside NYC) but I have to say right now I love being here. There's so much to do, I love that I can walk or easily meet up with friends and that even in the heart of a major city I have parks and running paths to choose from.

Christy said...

I love where I live in Boston...I'm right on the river and just a very short jog from some of the most beautiful running trails in Boston!

But as a city, I don't like it that much. It's a very conservative city...not politically but, everything closes at 1am and there's no Happy Hour!

I can't wait to get back to NY where there's a little more LIFE!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

I've often dreamed of living in Portland or some other city on the west coast, where basically you have all the joys of city life but you're less than an hour from nature. Honestly, if my husband and I weren't both so close with our parents, we'd probably pick up and move there right now!

Tricia said...

sounds like your ideal city is Austin :)

TallGuySurfing said...

So I just read your list and only one city of all the places I've traveled pops out in my mind.... PORTLAND, ORE. I'm a Florida boy tried and trued, but I have family in Portland and I visit about once a year. It's all of what you described, not to mention the largest used bookstore in the U.S. and talk about being environmentally friendly; nothing else compares! :-)

Sarah said...

Ahhhh your dream city sounds perfect! Would you ever consider moving out west to the pacific side of things? Your dream city sounds like it could be in Oregon or Washington state somewhere. Happy Friday!

Alisa said...

I think you should move to Portland...emphasis on recylcing and bike commuting is what this place is all about.

Personally, I miss CA and it's sunshine but there are great things about ptwon.