Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fleeing the BIG CITY

Lately it seems more people are thinking about downsizing. Maybe it is with all the job loss and poor economy that folks don't want to get stuck in large expensive cities. I for one made sure it was time to leave NYC before the meltdown took place. Other colleagues and friends seem to start growing fond of the idea that smaller, in regards to a city, might just be better.

I know for my wife and I smaller was a major factor in our decision to move to Minneapolis. Rob Baedeker over at the SF Gate seems to be having that issue. It seems to be the new mid-life crisis: where should I live?

For at least a couple of years now, my wife and I have been rehearsing a break-up conversation with the Bay Area. As much as we love it here, we're just not sure if it will ever work out.

A lot of our uncertainty revolves around money, and our realization that we can't afford to buy a home here. That fact, rightly or wrongly, has become a touchstone for other uncertainties -- about finding a neighborhood we can stay in for the long term; about having good school options for our two-year-old daughter; about making enough money to afford the high cost of living without giving all of our waking hours over to work.

It seems that quality of life and money have a clear connection these days. Are bigger cities (NYC, SF, LA) really all that much better than say smaller (Portland, Minneapolis, Kansas City) cities. I would argue that they are different but that these smaller cities, and usually cheaper, tend to have a better quality of life but at the same time reduced costs. Are we on the verge of a new trend where people will want to live in affordable smaller cities so that a job at McDonalds (as the article points out) means you can still be a home owner.


Peter said...

that's the funniest article i've read in a long time. awesome. madison people are gonna freak. it's already started.

SF always wears people out -- it takes forever to get set up here, it's crazy expensive, it's not that 'livable', homeless people everywhere, etc. it does have some 'very unique to sf' stuff, so people stay as long as they can -- if they can. but eventually they just give up and go live where life is easier (like the East Bay). can't blame it -- i've done it myself a few times, and will probably do it again. :)

but i don't think it's a trend, other than the longer-term trend of yuppiefication of SF -- affordable housing is tough to find unless you're in biotech or some other government-subsidized high tech role.

alia said...

good article but a bit sad one essay writer