Stay In the City vs. Moving to the Burbs

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The complaint that we’ve heard the most from LA outsiders is that our city feels like a patchwork of suburban neighborhoods that just extends from the beach to the mountains. “There’s no central CITY,” observes a friend who has lived in NYC for a good fifteen years. This could be why, for those of us living in LA who are looking to settle down or start a family or even save on rent, it’s not so much a stretch to consider moving from a more bustling neighborhood to the suburbs unlike our more urban counterparts…

There was an article in yesteday’s New York Times that focused on families in Manhattan and San Francisco who opted to stay in the city, making one-bedroom apartments work for families of four. After reading the interviews from some of the families, the primary reason was that parents were willing to sacrifice space for the community aspect of their neighborhoods and cultural offerings that are so convenient to their home.

Personally, I understand this reason, even living in LA. Having spent a few years in an apartment in West Hollywood and then moving to a home in Pasadena, there are certainly aspects that I really miss about WeHo: walking up the street to Gelson’s, the convenience of being in such a central location, and just the amount of people walking around is vastly different from the more quiet, suburban Pasadena life. Or as one friend put it: “The best night to witness the difference between WeHo and Pasadena is Halloween.”

Would you trade living space for community and culture? For those of you who have made the move to the suburbs, what are the advantages and disadvantages? And for those of you living in a city, have you ever considered moving to the suburbs? What made you stay in the city?

[ Photo by Heidi Schumann for The New York Times ]