City boy returns to the suburbs.
I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island, but when I moved to Boston in 1997 to attend college, I started to define myself as a “city boy.” My school didn’t have a campus, so I had to learn the layout of the city in order to get around. I fell in love with Boston fast, and stuck around after I graduated. For over ten years I lived in the city and its surrounding towns, moving from apartment to apartment. There was a brief stint where I moved to San Antonio, but after about nine months I found myself back in Boston. I loved being in the city.
As the years went by I found myself slightly further away from the city, but always within arm’s reach. In my last apartment, just north of the city, I was far away enough that I wasn’t bothered by the traffic (human or vehicular) of a city center, but also just a bus ride away from my favorite bars, restaurants, and other cosmopolitan attractions I’d become accustomed to. I could enjoy the quiet of my somewhat-isolated home, but still be in the heart of the city in a moment’s notice.
Now I have a family and a house. Now my home is very far away from the city. And I have to say, after nearly a decade of being a self-defined “city boy” and returning to the suburbs… I’m surprisingly in love with it.
I do miss all the cosmopolitan restaurants and fancy bars. I do miss being a bus ride away from the shenanigans of the Boston burlesque scene that has so graciously adopted me. I look longingly at my friends’ Facebook feeds, where they decided, on a whim, to dress up and have fancy drinks and get into all kinds of urban mischief. The city boy in me cries out for a nearby bus to take me back to Boston on short notice.
But my suburban roots have taken hold of me, too. There are things I love about being far, far away from the city. I have property now. As much as raking all those leaves is a pain in the ass, I have a front- and backyard that isn’t subject to a landlord’s… anything! Our local liquor store has a surprisingly good selection of snobby beer!
And the people out here are just nice. I live next door to a church, and the parishioners stopped by within a week to 1) welcome me and my wife to the neighborhood and 2) help me with all those leaves. My neighbor across the street plowed my driveway after a snowstorm, for no reason other than he had a plow and it was the neighborly thing to do. Crossing guards wave to me as I drive by. The cashiers at the supermarket even welcomed me to the neighborhood. I chatted art and music with the guy who refilled our oil tank.
My wife and I have quickly fallen in love with being suburbanites.
Now if only this town had an eccentric burlesque scene.