By Kenneth McCall
City Living Means So Much More Than Giving Up Traffic and Your Lawnmower
If the rising price of gas doesn’t make your decision to move from the suburbs to the city a snap, consider what taking a train, knowing your neighborhood and re-learning the fine art of carrying everything you need in a backpack does for your quality of life.
Shoulders back and head up. Soon, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t move to the city before you bought that new SUV.
Apps, Maps and GPS –Pretending to Look Like You Know Where You’re Going
The first thing required of all city newbies is getting to know your way around without a car. Public transportation is not to be feared as long as you have a smart/i phone in hand.
- Every city has apps with train and bus maps and schedules. Some cities have them for streetcar and bike routes. You’ll find downloadable apps on most public transportation, business and tourism websites. Check your cell service provider site, too.
- Taxi companies use apps to show taxi routes, fares and the kinds of payments they accept.
- Schedules, maps and fares are available with Internet access to those same mass transit sites.
- If you lose your way, be sure to ask yourself “Does my phone have GPS?”
If you haven’t become obsessed with apps yet, you will once you check out how resourceful they are. While they can’t yet read minds, there are apps that will ask for your current location and your destination, and provide detailed directions on both the route to take and the mode of transportation to use to get there.
Learning Your New Neighborhood
Loud and incessant noise aside, there’s a lot of good that comes from living among a big population of humans.
Imagine walking out your front door, and while on the way to the grocery store, you drop off your dry cleaning, stop for a haircut, and head to the café for an iced latte. Home from the market, you realize you’ve only walked a mile. You’d better get to the gym soon.
If you’re not sure where to find a “green” dry cleaner or great margaritas, the road to discovery can be as much fun as reaching your goal.
- Many city neighborhoods have their own local papers, brochures and magazines. You’ll find stacks of these freebies in cafes, by shop doors and in bins along the sidewalk.
- Subscribe online to local business newsletters. They’re great for coupons.
- Just about every business uses apps to keep customers up on sales, specials, events, news and even the general chitchat in the neighborhood. App access information is circulated through email, websites, blogs, social media, QR codes or other kinds advertising. If all else fails, search the Internet.
Shake your head in agreement if that kind of life sounds better than filling the gas tank, sitting in traffic for hours and grabbing a burger at the drive through on the way home.
Now that you clearly see why city living should be a permanent thing, it’s time to address that lawnmower issue.
If learning your way around the city is enough to deal with for the moment, why not stash the rest of your old suburban life (i.e., a whole garage full of holiday decorations, old tax paper work, lawn equipment and everything else you can’t bear to part with) in a self-storage space? A little time, a little distance, and you might decide that, if it doesn’t fit in your backpack, you don’t need it anymore.
Kenneth McCall is an avid ski, boater and bicyclist. When he is not engaged in outdoor activities he directs the IT operations at storage.com , building websites and tools for homeowners and businesses needing storage, including self storage in Seattle and around the area.