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Suburban to Urban

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This topic contains 80 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by Chris Sunami Chris Sunami 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #89893
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
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    I’ve been having an extended conversation via PM with controversial new poster Gig3000, and while I think she herself realizes she didn’t give an ideal first impression, she does have some real and important questions that deserve answers. For all us committed urbanists, I think we need to make an extra effort to be supportive of anyone who is contemplating leaving the suburbs for the city, at whatever age, and for whatever reasons.

    One of Gig’s main questions is what expectations should someone who has never lived in a city before have about making the move, and what advice should they be given.

    Since I’ve never lived in a non-urban area, I don’t necessarily have a whole lot to contribute. I’ve given the general advice of keeping an open mind, being flexible, and also being smart and aware about your surroundings, and which parts of the neighborhood are safe and which are not. But maybe some people on here have made the transition from suburbs to city life and have more to offer.

    #477718
    SusanB
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    Lock your doors and never leave anything in your car. Understand that the police cannot arrive in time to “protect” you. Own a big barky dog.

    #477719

    lifeontwowheels
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    Having done it myself I think you guys hit the big ones. I put an alarm system in the house, went with Alarm Force at $30 a month and have been very happy. By no means a solution but does provide a bit of peace of mind. They run a wireless system which can be installed in apartments/condos.

    #477720
    rus
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    SusanB said:
    Lock your doors and never leave anything in your car. Understand that the police cannot arrive in time to “protect” you. Own a big barky dog.

    This.

    #477721
    Walker Evans
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    Not trying to be argumentative or anything, but shouldn’t this advice be pretty universal, whether you live in the city or the suburbs? Maybe you can get away with not owning an alarm system, but I don’t think I’d recommend anyone not locking their doors anywhere, or expecting police to arrive in time to stop a break-in in progress.

    #477722
    rus
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    Walker said:
    Not trying to be argumentative or anything, but shouldn’t this advice be pretty universal, whether you live in the city or the suburbs? Maybe you can get away with not owning an alarm system, but I don’t think I’d recommend anyone not locking their doors anywhere, or expecting police to arrive in time to stop a break-in in progress.

    For more rural areas it’s a given that help is a long time coming.

    Suburban… not so much. Hell, some suburbs a routine traffic stop is 2 – 3 cruisers. Call the police in those areas and five minutes later it’s a party.

    Still a long five minutes, but shorter than 20+.

    #477723

    cheap
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    since i moved to westgate from sawmill/bethel,i only do one thing differently.

    that’s it.

    moving to a new part of town should be fun and exciting.

    focus on that.

    #477724
    Walker Evans
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    rus said:
    Still a long five minutes, but shorter than 20+.

    Last time the cops were called on our our street was when a neighbor’s car was being broken into, and the cops were there in less than 5 minutes to catch the guy. He was making the world’s slowest getaway ever.

    But yeah, YMMV.

    #477725

    mrsgeedeck
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    Don’t take safety for granted would be my best advice. I’m not a big home alarm person, and I don’t think our cat would appreciate a dog, but I’m sure to lock all my doors (even the screens) and ground floor windows at night. I try to know my neighbors, or at least patterns in the neighborhood, so I notice if there is something suspicious going on. Most urban areas also have Block Watch groups, and even if you aren’t directly involved I’d try to keep up with meeting minutes or Facebook announcements. Conversely, I think several neighborhoods also have a police liaison, so you may want to identify them, and have their contact info handy for questions or concerns.
    I’d also say, trust your instincts, if a stranger knocks and they seem shady/the lights out make the street a little too dark, you’re probably right, and better to be safe than sorry.

    #477726
    JPowell
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    My best advice:

    Keep an open mind. The demographics are a bit different, but will utimately make you a better person.

    Don’t leave your ipod on the dash. Duh.

    Don’t walk alone at night.

    Do something you’ve never done before. For example, if you’ve never been into art, go to an art museum. You might be surprised.

    You’ll never go to Applebee’s again.

    Scalp a Jackets ticket, at least until they get good.

    People watch. It’s fun and free.

    Some alleys ARE safe.

    Pick up Alive, The Other Paper, 614, etc. There is always something going on in any neck of the woods.

    If you didn’t like coffee before, you will now.

    Learn the ins and outs of parking, if you need to. If not for you, for your visiting friends and family.

    For (insert your diety of choice here) sake, get out and explore. You never know what’s around the next corner.

    Learn the bus routes and challenge yourself to do as much as possible w/o a car.

    You’re home will likely be smaller. This will take some getting used to. But, in the end, you’ll realize that you had too much crap in the first place.

    June 22-24 in Goodale Park. JUST BE THERE.

    You will be solicited. Don’t get scared or offended. Just nod or say no thanks and keep walking. Or give a little. That’s up to you’re judgement.

    The gum underneath railings is NOT free candy.

    #477727

    leftovers
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    I think you have to keep your guard up a bit. There are things you have to watch for. I had my apartment broken into several years ago. It was preceded by a stranger knocking on my door and asking if “Tom” still lived there. It was odd as he was clearly checking out my living room as I told him no and he asked a couple of other rambling questions. Sure enough, one week later my place was robbed.

    I just avoid opening my home to strangers as much as possible and keep everything valuable away from view of the doorway and keep blinds drawn on low windows. I guess this can happen anywhere, but the density of the city and the amount of people with no work and a lot of time on their hands seem to exacerbate it.

    @jpizzow – I like your list.

    #477728

    JonMyers
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    Does she have any tips for surviving a visit to the suburbs?

    #477729
    Alex Silbajoris
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    cheap said:
    since i moved to westgate from sawmill/bethel,i only do one thing differently.

    that’s it.

    Give me one guess, you’ve given up sitting in the car for half an hour to drive 1/4 mile?

    Couldn’t resist.

    #477730

    Gig3000
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    Thanks all for the tips, very informative! June 22-24 in Goodale Park @jpizzow–was there last year but kept my top on ;)

    #477731
    Porky
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    Three words: Concealed Carry Permit
    With it, I’m confident to walk in any hood, any time, day or night.

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