Many people see the environmental push as one of these two options:
1. live in the middle of nowhere in a small off the grid house, grow your own food, and don’t have a car.
2. live in the city in small tall apartment building, buy locally grown food, and don’t have a car.
I have sort of tried both of these. While living in Arkansas, I was definitely in the middle of nowhere in a small apartment. It wasn’t off the grid, I didn’t grow my own food at all, and I definitely had a small car but I really didn’t make too many trips into town. I loved living out in the middle of nowhere and kayaking the local river with friends, sometimes twice a week. But I couldn’t do it forever. After a year, I missed simple pleasures. I missed the ease of going out to eat, I missed random interactions with strangers, and I missed just knowing that the grocery store was a step away. WHAT?! What’s funny about this thought is, I have been known to talk about how city people just value knowing that nature is there. The mere fact that it is there, but they won’t visit nature, is good enough for them. And here I am saying that I value knowing a store is a simple walk away, is what I value?!
Well apparently I want my cake and I want to eat it too. But the city life gives this to me and is just as green and some argue more green then living out in the middle of nowhere. Everything I can possibly need is within 10 miles of my house and most of where I go is within 2 miles. My home range is small. My grocery store that does a pretty good job of having local food is about 800 yards from my front door. My 24/7 veterinarian is about 1.5 miles away. A pharmacy if I need it: about 200 yards. The park: less than a mile. A lake to kayak on: about 3.5 miles. Restaurants galore: all within a mile. Redbox for movies: 2 within 200 yards. The train station: about 3/4 of a mile away. And my grand trip today that made me so thankful, was Trader Joes: about 1.8 miles away. How can I not get caught up in the endless supply of places meeting my everyday needs within a fingers reach? I can’t. I love it.
There are of course the downsides of the city. For example, the fact that a 69 year old man got beaten within inches of his life, outside a restaurant about 50 feet from my bedroom window. People are by far the scariest thing in the city. At least in the middle of nowhere you don’t have too many crazies to deal with. I remember one night in my apartment in Arkansas, I was woken up in the middle of the night by what I thought was a burglar trying to get in my apartment. I grabbed my phone and punched in 911, which turns out wasn’t going to do anything because 911 doesn’t exist in the middle of nowhere! So I crept down the stairs ready to push call on my phone (to nothing), and turned on the kitchen lights quickly only to see… a raccoon, about eye level with me climbing up my screened window.
So today as I rode my bike to Trader Joes to gather up some cheap organic goodies, I smiled in the sun at the fabulous city life I live. But unfortunately, not too many others are living the city bike dream. But if you build it (huge bike rack) they will come:
Here are a few more pictures of my quick bike trip today. Across the street from Trader Joes is a new place that’s opened up called the Truck Yard. An open air lounge space that has three rotating food trucks everyday. Love it.