For city dwellers, apartment living is the name of the game. You trade storage, space and backyards for one-of-a-kind shopping, the theatre and 30 places that will deliver a breakfast sandwich at 3 a.m. Of course, those are the required trade-offs to living the cosmopolitan life. So, as I spend a week in my childhood (suburban) home, I have to wonder: How do city apartments and homes in the suburbs really stack up?
Yes, some people like a cozy one-bedroom apartment. They are, after all, nice and intimate. But, let's get serious here; more space is better. Cozy is fun for about a week until you realize that you have WAY too much crap to fit into an apartment. Seasonal wardrobes, holiday decorations, bagel cutters -- lots and lots of stuff and nowhere to put it in the city. In my mother's house, however, there are a slew of closets, a crawl space, a basement, two sheds and an attic. Plus, there are enough bedrooms for a few guests and multiple bathrooms. I repeat, multiple bathrooms.
Winner: House In the 'Burbs
It's 9:30 p.m. in my family's New Jersey home and I'm hungry. My knee-jerk reaction to hunger pangs is to jump online and scour Seamless Web for something to satisfy my craving. The possibilities for food delivery are endless, at any hour, in the city. Indonesian at 8 p.m.? Delightful! Pizza for breakfast? Bring it on. Disco Fries, scrambled eggs and a quesadilla at 4:45 a.m.? Yes, yes & yes and all from the same place. My options in the Garden State after 9 p.m. are nada, nil, nothing -- there is literally no food to be delivered. If I want something that isn't in the fridge, I have to drive and get it. Um, no. Oh, and liquor stores deliver in NYC. So, yeah, winning.
Winner: City Apartment
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
There is nothing more infuriating than having a heavy bag of something in the city. It could be groceries, laundry or the TV you bought off Craigslist. Whatever it is, it is a bitch to get anywhere. The convenience of having a car, somewhere to park it for free and not having to deal with city traffic is one of life's greatest pleasures. On the other hand, one of life's other greatest pleasures is cocktailing it up at happy hour or bottomless mimosa brunch (yes, that's a real thing) and knowing a lovely cab driver is just an arm hail away from getting you to and fro safely.
Winner: It's A Tie!
The Great Outdoors
This one was very close to a tie. My momma's place has an outdoor living room (because she's fancy, huh) -- complete with a couch, ceiling fan and ottomans. However, most people don't have outdoor living spaces like that so I can't really count it in the comparison. So what is left, your average backyard? Sure. Maybe a pool? Ok. BUT, if you are lucky enough to have a balcony in the city, you are lucky enough to have a spectacular view no matter where you're located. A shot of a city skyline beats looking at backyard bushes. Plus, there are bugs in the 'burbs. I don't do bugs!
Winner: City Apartment
I love my city and it's the overall winner in this debate. I will never, ever be the one singing "keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside", but it sure is great to have some family and friends who've gone 'Green Acres.' There is nothing better than escaping the hustle and bustle of Gotham for a time, especially during the upcoming holidays. Christmas lights outside, big Christmas trees inside and room for an actual dining table for dinner? YES! I'll absolutely take my mom's amazing Winter Wonderland over the city this Christmas ... after I do all my holiday shopping in SoHo ... and see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular ... and the tree in Rockefeller Center ...
Maybe this debate won't ever end!