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Friday, August 01, 2008

Demographic Inversion

Nice article on demographic changes in American cities. Since we now live "in the city" (but not "downtown"!), I guess we're part of the trend.


For my part, the appeals of the city:

(1) I walk to work. It takes me 15 minutes, door to door. It's a pleasant walk down tree-lined streets, parks, etc. Walking to work is relaxing, unlike driving, which I always find stressful, especially commuting. This is a biggie for me. I wouldn't really want to live here and commute out to, say, the Dulles corridor. IOW, I wouldn't like to live "in the city" if I didn't work "in the city."

(2) The city is beautiful--not like the desert or mountains, but beautiful. Especially D.C., and especially Capitol Hill. My dad visited last weekend and he described the neighborhood as "like a jungle," by which he meant the large number and variety of plants in the (mostly well-kept) gardens. If my dad, who hates cities in general, found the neighborhood we live in pleasant, there you are. When I venture out to the suburbs, mostly it's meh. Even high-end suburbs are kind of meh.

(3) Things to do: Now, YMMV, but I can walk to museums, restaurants, the theater (at least the Folger), shops, and I can easily Metro to more shopping, more museums, hiking trails (yes, D.C. has hiking trails accessible by subway--it is an amazing thing), and so on. Sure, you can drive in for these. But I don't have to park!

We're also walking distance, sort of, from the new ballpark, although I haven't tried walking it yet. Haven't taken in a game since the baby, and the baby came the same time as the move--but that's a different story.

(4) The people. The article touches on this, but the best bet we have, as a couple, in having neighbors with whom we will have things in common is to live in one of these urban neighborhoods where other young(-ish) professional types live.

(5) There is a "cool factor" in living in the city. Not that we live in an "edgy" neighborhood or anything like that. (We are not very close to H Street, because we're not that hip.) Sure, Falls Church is nice, but no one ever says, "Oh, you live in Falls Church." Capitol Hill is a "cool" address.

Btw, Outside magazine listed D.C. as one of the best places to live 2008. Pretty amazing, I know.


At 10:56 PM, Blogger IUMike said...

When I lived in DC, I loved it for most of the same reasons. And one doesn't even need to live in Capitol Hill for those benefits. I lived near Clarendon in Arlington for two years and got along fine without a car.


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