Thursday, June 26, 2008

Urban or Rural

One of the imponderable questions often asked and evaluated around our home concerns the debate about urban or rural. If given the choice to live somewhere; would it be rural or urban. I have found myself re-thinking along these lines over the last few weeks.

There are parts of the urban (really sub-urban) existence that I enjoy, primarily proximity to so many choices of places to work, things to do, buy, and see. Where I find fault with this attraction is that exposure to choice creates its own problems; the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind.” I find myself being amazed with the size of the Twin Cities. The number of miles that can be ridden on a bike without ever leaving the metro often stuns me!

Outside of being impressed with the scale and convenience offered by life in the city, I think that is where the fascination ends. I would much rather take the peace and pace of a quieter place like the open road in the country.

We are suburb dwellers, feeling like urban farmers… tending to flowers and landscape on what would be considered an extremely large lot for the city (approximately ½ acre.) It once felt like I could be on the open road in the country in a matter of minutes by bicycle. Realistically though, it is a minimum of something in the order of 20 miles before I would be anywhere I would call remotely close to rural.

Some of my longer rides have taken me considerably further away from my house into what I would truly call rural areas. My loose definition of rural being: Can not see more than a couple of homes or structures from any one given location. There are portions of Washington County or Dakota County that might qualify, but one really needs to cross the border into Wisconsin. Even there, the glory days of open roads and great riding have become more difficult to find as the border cities have grown in size too.

It promises to be a busy weekend, then heading out of town for next week. Don’t expect to read anything new until after the weekend after the 4th. Go ride your bike, give it some thought as you live your life and consider the question I pose: Given a choice: Urban or Rural


James said...

I do not like the constant noise of the urban as stated. But I like the convenience of the city so I am one of those, God forbid, suburban dwellers. I have my lake small, weedy and green but it is only 10 minutes from work on four wheels or 30 minutes on two. I also like people.

bother yam said...

Urban, as I find people much friendlier and outgoing in the city. I like the weird, the "one of everyone" population and the flavors, smells and sounds of people mixed together. I've been rural and I don't miss it much. I like the space and the ability to garden more, but the small town provincial attitude is nothing I want any more of, thank you.

I would do rural, but on my terms -- basically an artist's colony like Grand Marais used to be before Deepest Darkest Suburbia invaded.

mnultraguy said...

I would love an acre or 2, but refuse to live 30+ miles from work each way, so I choose urban. I also want to be in a more close knot area when things go south, as when goods stop getting shipped to every little town. The major areas will be the first stops.

Jim Thill said...

In the rural areas with which I'm familiar, I would have trouble finding people who have interests similar to mine. I'm happy to be in a city for now.

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