I’m a city girl.

Not the cool kind of city girl who wears hip clothes and goes to trendy club openings and works for an event planner or whatever, but it’s still who I am. I’m “urban” in the sense that I was born and raised in the heart of DC and went to school for four years on the south side of Chicago – not in the sense that I’m a gang member or anything.

But, after so many years of living and learning and working in a major metropolitan area, I’m totally clueless when it comes to understanding the rest of America. Sure, I’ve traveled a ton, but the idea of people growing up in a place without public transportation or a Starbucks across the street is utterly foreign to me.

Admittedly, hate is a pretty strong word. I don’t HATE the suburbs, buuut it’s easier to title this post “4 Reasons I Hate the Suburbs” than “4 Reasons the Suburbs Kind of Give Me Icky Feelings Inside Even Though a Lot of People I Know Who Are Cool Grew Up There”.

Anyway, here’s why the suburbs are uber lame in my opinion:

  • If you live in the suburbs and you want something, you have to get in your car and drive. I despise driving.
  • The suburbs are all the same. If you’re in the city, every view is different. No matter which way you turn it’s like, there’s an office building, there’s a park, there’s an embassy, there’s a strip of restaurants and bars and patios. Not so in suburbia. There you’ll see an endless loop of perfectly manicured front yards and pothole-free roads and medium-sized homes spaced the perfect distance apart and perfectly manicured front yards and pothole-free roads and medium-sized homes spaced the perfect distance apart and perfectly manicured front yards and pothole-free roads and medium-sized homes spaced the perfect distance apart and…
  • Your closest food options are Applebees, Outback Steakhouse, and Olive Garden. (I’m sorry to be a food snob here, but blegh.) Maybe if you drive another ten or fifteen minutes on some major highway you’ll hit a hole-in-the wall Korean restaurant known for its authentic kimchi or something quirky like that, but mostly the suburbs are home to the kind of dining establishments that serve mediocre food in massive quantities. Amurrrica.
  • You might never leave. I feel like it’s all too easy to get complacent in the suburbs. You have your big house and your two-car garage and the good public schools and you just fall into a routine of averageness.

If you live in the suburbs and you love it, well, good for you. It’ll just never be my cup of tea.

10 thoughts on “4 Reasons I Hate The Suburbs”

  1. This is SO true. I live in the suburbs and every time I walk my dog or go for a run I feel the “Desperate Housewife Suburbia” closing in on me. Everything is manicured (which I do love). It makes the visual settling. However, I need the energy of a city. My husband mentioned purchasing a house as we are currently renting our condo and I thought, “God help me.” I am a city girl too, NY and this is too much!

  2. There are certainly perks to owning a home in a quiet, safe neighborhood on the outskirts of a city, but some of us just aren’t meant to live in a Stepford town… Stay strong bretagnebko, and reclaim your condo for the sake of your sanity!

  3. Just so you know, you can’t avoid Starbucks by going to the suburbs.

    Great blog tho!

  4. I can’t agree with this more. I, thankfully, grew up about 5 miles from a major metropolis (though technically in the suburbs) but I still can’t imagine subjecting my kids to the same life. I think even for a young person there is so much independence and pride that comes with the ability to hop on public transportation (before getting a license at 16) and exploring her hometown.

  5. I’m not a blogger but I should be for this issue. I just can’t bite the hand that feeds me. But I am kinda miserable! As a child I was called the “condo kid” I loved all things involving amenities and city living. Due to economics I had to move with my man from downtown Chicago to his suburban dream (my nightmare, but had to do it!$$). We do have lots of stories of great neighbors helping during storms, and family illness, but we also had that in our downtown highrise. Downside, I can’t beleive the lack of decent food, also, no good dog runs, i got side eyes for having a dog in a high rise but he had more access to dog Runs! in the city then here, we have to get in a car & the first time we did he got a tick requiring vet intervention!
    I Really! Tried to get into this life. Now I ‘m fat ( on arguably marginal food & my own depression/ lack of interest. I love my neighbors, it’s my own personality that doesn’t get into this, The first few months here I laughed that all the house were lights out by 9pm. Now I am in on that secret. Sleep helps. I love the ‘burbs in theory but I don’t have kids & even if I did I’ve seen it done better on the Mag Mile! I want out. Thsnx for posting something. I don’t know you reference point but I’m slowly dying while respecting those that need to be here & like (?) it.

  6. I’ve lived in Danville, a suburb of San Francisco, for most of my life, and I hate it. Pretty much what you say describes Danville. What I hate is that a lot of people who live in Danville, or suburbs in general tend to think that their town is the only good place in the world, and that if you decide to live in a city, you’re bound to get mugged, raped, shot at, or you’re kids will join a gang or something. They think cities are dirty places with nothing good left in them. In reality, it all depends on what kind of a person you are. If you’re the kind of person who’s willing to commit a crime in order to gain something.

    In cities, there’s opportunity. In the suburbs, everything is pretty much handed to you on a silver plate. Here, have an iPhone. Here, have a nice car. Here, we’ll pay your way through high school, so you can graduate, and not have to do a single thing. There’s many things kids are handed, and they never have to work for those things. This makes the kids more selfish, spoiled, and ungrateful for what they have.

    1. I agree with you that people from suburbia often have a jaded view of city life, but I don’t think spoiling kids is inherent to the suburban lifestyle.

      In fact, I know plenty of rich, rude, and ridiculously ungrateful people who were raised in the heart of DC, NY, Chicago, etc.

      Personally, I think the suburbs are boring and can lead to a life of complacency and resentment, but I know there are plenty of wonderful, caring, thoughtful parents who raise wonderful, caring, thoughtful kids in the suburbs. I’m just glad it wasn’t me who had to grow up there.

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