Only in New York

Would you rather escape to the suburbs or stay in the city forever?

By Mayra David | March 28, 2014 - 9:59AM

It's a divisive question that plagues New Yorkers: Are you a lifer in the urban jungle or do you long for greener pastures?

  • This place is one tough bastard These responses are anonymous, right? People get really mad when I talk about how loud and dirty the city is and how it saps your energy. There are no windows thick enough to keep the city out at night. Subway rides to work or anywhere usually feel quick and efficient--but also totally draining at the end of the day. It’s so dirty, and the steps to crawl out the stations--while being squished by your fellow commuters--are just awful. I like living in the city for now. But I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had a stroller to carry up and down those stairs one day. This city is one tough bastard and that’s what you need to be to survive here. Yeah, I’d leave. - Hannes, Hamilton Heights.
  • City slicker for life My parents live in the suburbs, having left the city in the 1980s. Back then, that was the goal: get out. Meanwhile, all my brothers and I want is to stay here and keep moving up the real estate ladder, if we can. I love living here and can’t imagine wanting to move. Though it’s super comfortable when we’re home at my parents' place, I also can’t wait to leave and come back to my tiny, overpriced city home! - Andrea, Upper East Side
  • City slicker for life (I hope) I have mixed feelings about leaving the city. On one hand, I totally love it here. But we want to start a family soon. How do you raise a family in the city comfortably unless you both make an insane salary? The standard of living is low all over this country, but even more so in the city, where the price per square foot of any decent apartment is pretty much through the roof and not realistic for people with regular jobs. Unless of course you compromise and move out to Queens or something. But then, might as well move to the 'burbs. But if money were no object, I’d stay here forever. -  Dennis, Upper East Side
  • Convenience is the ultimate luxury I love the convenience of the city. We moved here for the convenience factor--the commute and also being close to friends once our baby was born. But we’ve stayed because I love being able to walk to the gym next door first thing in the morning, and then grabbing coffee and bagels on the way home for breakfast, all without getting in a car and driving for 20 minutes first. Meeting up with people is so much simpler, too. The distances are different here and so it’s entirely possible that we meet up with people or drop by their homes while we’re out for a walk. I love it. We’re staying. - Marissa, Midtown West
  • Needing the nightlife They say it’s really expensive to live in the city versus the 'burbs, and maybe it is. But salaries are higher here, too. And I don’t need a car like my friends who live in the suburbs do. It is expensive to go out here, and it’s a lot of fun, so we do it a lot. Maybe if I had nowhere to go, I’d stay in more and have game night or something. If these high rents weren’t a factor, I’d stay here forever. I think the city has so much more to offer than the suburbs! - Stephanie, Inwood
  • Hating that I'd love suburbia I love the city, but I think if I really had to choose, I’d have to go somewhere greener and quieter. I’d be like that girl in that show "Suburgatory": kind of hating that I’m actually loving the suburbs. But it’s just so hard to have a quiet moment in a park. Any green space is always packed. Any outdoor gimmick the city can come up with, you can be sure there’s going to either be a line for it or it’s swarming with tourists. Or people will be playing turf wars there with their picnic blankets. -Kevin, Chelsea
  • No passion for Connecticut I don’t work in the city, but I live here. I work in leafy-green, affluent, perfect Connecticut. People who are thinking of moving out there from the city: stay here! People out there are bored and boring. There’s nothing to do on the weekends (unless you take the train into the city). The relationships with my co-workers out there are totally different from my former co-workers when I was working in the city. In the city, we went out for drinks together. Or I’d meet friends for mid-week dinners or to see a play or concert. Out there in the suburbs nobody goes out, ever, because they can’t drink when they go out anyway. Maybe a glass or two. But they have to drive home. And also, the drives through the leafy, long and winding roads are dangerous. And the people out there aren’t connected to museums or shows--opera, stand-up--like we are here. I don’t go to the theater that often, but much more than people I know who live out in Danbury, I can tell you that. - Martin, Harlem

Verdict:  Suburbia, 2.  City, 5. 
Winner: City llfe! (Surprised?) 

**Offer your own thoughts in the comments section below. We'd love to hear them!

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