How the other half lives

May 20, 2009 11:02 am
Posted by: heather

While we were in Pittsburgh we got to an Ocho de mayo gathering at Eileen’s neighbor’s house. There were three other couples there who were all very nice and the host made excellent margaritas but that is beside the point. What I really got from that evening and just our visit to Pittsburgh in general was a view of life in surburbia.

We technically live in a suburb of Boston but it is about as urban as you can get without being downtown. Our two family house has a tiny back yard, no front yard,  1200 sf per unit and was built in 1916.  I work full time and commute via the subway (T). This is normal for us. Most of our friends live and work like this.

Eileen lives in a gorgeous 4 bedroom house in a planned community 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. She decided that having two kids and trying to keep working full time at a job that required a significant amount of travel wasn’t worth the impact on her family life. She is now a stay at home mom who consults periodically for her old job. Most of the families in her neighborhood are in a similar situation. You can afford to do this in Pittsburgh. In Boston, not so much.

At the Ocho de mayo party I heard all the gossip from the neighborhood. The guy who used to live in this house had an affair with woman in that house, one guy is totally crazy and jealous, one woman went on to the school bus to yell at some kids who were picking on her kid, stuff like that. I don’t even know my neighbors names and I have lived here from 5 1/2 years.

While we were there, Jace and I took a walk around the neighborhood. It  was great to be able to let him explore and not have to worry about cars, garbage and urban things. He checked out the rocks, looked at the stream, ran around the tree, climbed up a mound of mulch, watched ants and generally did little boy things. At home I feel like I have to constantly hold his hand and tell him to put that gross thing down.

I like my life here in Boston but there are definitely some things that would be nice to change.

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(C) Steve and Heather Leibman, 2007.