Mr. FE and I grew up in the same quiet suburb just 30 minutes outside of Boston, MA., not far from the Route 128 beltway. In case you are not familiar with Route 128, you can think of it as a place that is often compared to California’s Silicon Valley. Boston being the home of both Harvard University and MIT, had contributed significantly to the massive influx of high-tech companies such as Microsoft, BAE Systems, GE, and Raytheon.
Why We Decided to Move Closer to Boston
Massachusetts is well known for its competitive job market and we knew that if we could make it here, it would be a huge boost to our careers. So after graduation we decided to stay and move closer to the city.
Our apartment sported 695 square feet of living space and was old, dingy and dark, with a mustard yellow kitchen straight out of the 70’s. To get our laundry done we had to hike down several stories using a very scary stairwell to a basement where horror movies were made. It was a high-priced toilet given that our rent back then was $2,000 a month. Trust us, our sad little apartment had no chance of ever making it on Robin Leach’s, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!
We had an outlandish (think lunatic) neighbor above us that would blast Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits every night, and throw random pieces of furniture over his balcony out onto the street. Then in the morning the police would order him to lug it all back inside. It wasn’t uncommon for us to look out of the window and see a couch flying out over our heads. Needless to say, we never want to hear another Fleetwood Mac song again!
What We Learned About City Life
Living near the city allowed us both to grow in positive ways. We enjoyed the fine dining, museums, shopping, concerts, broadway performances, sporting events, and learning about the different cultures. We also learned random things like never to get in the middle of a discussion about politics. Yikes! In case you didn’t know, Bostonians are very passionate about their politics.
But for all that the city had to offer us, we knew that city living just wasn’t for us. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Parallel parking – If we were lucky enough to find a spot, we needed a laser guided vehicle in order to park in it. Some of the spaces we managed to fit into probably should of made it in the Guinness Book of World Records!
- Noise – Yep! It wouldn’t be a city if we didn’t have the constant sound of sirens all day and night. It was music to our ears!
- Price – Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., and we needed at least half a million or more to even think about buying a worthy piece of real estate.
- Entertainment – Everything from flying furniture to streakers and people walking their cats on a leash, the city had it all.
- Crowds – Think of us as sardines stuffed in a can.
After 11 years of living near the city, we missed seeing the lush green lawns and open landscapes. So we decided to move back to the suburbs. Mr. FE was able to transfer to another branch within his company, and I decided to take on the commute. This was well worth it for all that we gained in return.
- Parking – We now own 2 parking spaces. No more driving in circles!
- Peace and quiet – Our neighborhood is so quiet that it’s downright eery. Spooky, I tell you! In fact, on our first night at the house I thought I saw a shadow lurking in the bushes, so I sent Mr. FE outside with a flashlight to check it out. It ended up being a hostile raccoon that chased Mr. FE back to the house. He was in such a frenzy yelling “open the door” over and over again with his arms flailing up in the air. Now when I hear a noise outside, he ignores me.
- Location – We are only minutes away from a major commuter highway, and have a huge retail district nearby which allows for a lot of comparison shopping.
- Price – We got a great deal on a four bedroom, two full bath home with all the space we will ever need for half the price of living in the city.
- Entertainment – We are still within driving distance to the city, ocean, mountains, and lakes. We also have access to music venues, museums, and a theater, along with some outstanding restaurants.
- Space – We have lots of it!
We still miss city life and find ourselves visiting the city often, but for all of these reasons and more we are happy to call ourselves suburbanites.