About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Big Dilemma

Here's the problem, I do not know where I want to live.

Suburb? City?

I think, in part, I get caught up in what-I-think-I-should-want.

There are people out there who will talk your ear off about how the city is no place to raise children. They'll tote the common suburban ideals: safety, big yards, great schools and family community so convincingly that I feel I'm doing my children a grave injustice by living in the city. I feel poor. I feel weird. I feel... well, BAD about our choices. But for every suburban warrior, there is another person who says, "there's nothin' like city living." And of course, this is true. Because we live in the city, my kids are exposed to more culture and more diversity. The trouble is that with this culture and diversity comes a few rude awakenings. They see more poverty, homelessness, drug abuse and other general crime. They deal with crowding. They see people who are clearly nuts and experience the helplessness of not being able to help and the confusion of not understanding why. They live in a smaller space without an attached dwelling (there's no such thing in philly. Everyone shares walls) and don't have a big yard to move around in.

On the other hand, they have an unbeatable charter school in the city. Not only do I feel like my children are getting a top notch education, but I also feel that they are both part of something important. If we moved to the suburbs and lived in Cherry Hill, NJ or Voorhees, there's no doubt that they'd have a good school... but their classmates would be mostly white and come from families that were sitting in an economic middle. Not that this is bad. It's not bad. I just don't think that it's good either. I like the fact that my kids go to school with an incredibly diverse body of children. Some are coming fro extreme poverty and some are coming from extreme wealth. We fall in the middle. I like the fact that rather than making up the status quo, our family becomes part of the diversity. I feel that being exposed to this sort of racial and socioeconomic diversity gives my children an education that goes beyond books and blackboards. They learn culture and they learn social conscience. They learn tolerance and they don't have to stretch themselves far to accept differences because they aren't growing up with a ton of people who come from families that are just like theirs.

And then there's the matter of bedbugs. They're all over this city. If I have to go through it again, I will likely die. DIE. I'm serious. DIE. Bedbugs are the hardest thing that have ever happened to me. And they are spreading like wildfire in this city. Everyone has them or has had them. They're in everyone's neighborhood. They are becoming resistant to the chemicals and people are having a tough time killing them.

What to do... what to do...


  1. first, i love sign you have as an image, too funny!

    i think that i would have the same feelings if I were you. i hear the 'the city is no place for kids' argument and agree, but at the same time, I hear the pro-city argument and agree with that too.

    If i had to decide on these circumstances, i would stay in the city because I would not want to live in those suburbs you mentioned bc there seems nothing to do there =/ Also, I wouldn't want to move again until it was to the west coast to settle, bahahahaha

  2. Hey Nikkol, I know that was a slick joke, but I also think about that. In 2014 we do plan to move, come hell or high water. We're going to take our money and run west.

  3. Anna we live in the suburbs and you would be amazed at the diversity in our school. I think it depends on school/area, but they are out there.

  4. I know that they must be, but I also know what the schools are like in the areas where we've been looking. They're GREAT schools academically. But I do feel that we'd be losing something culturally.

    It's a tough call.

  5. It is a tough call! I'm not sure where I stand either. This is going to call for a lot of thought.

  6. hahaha, nice. come west my pets. or uh something not so creepy sounding....

  7. If you were moving where I live now I would agree with losing the cultural aspect. However, in doing the research on the schools there is actually very much diversity which I was surprised by myself. With being 15 minutes from the city we will also never be bored and no matter where you decide to live, city or suburbs I'll be happy to have my great friend nearby! Stick to what your gut tells you and go with it.