Neighbors & Hoods

What makes a tent/RV/house a home isn’t always contained within its walls. These posts highlight the community surrounding the structures.

Offbeat suburbanite: “Selling out my generation” and moving to The Burbs

My friends were shocked to hear that we had purchased a home in the suburbs. We didn’t seem like the type, the couple to want the white picket fence and the perfectly manicured lawn. Only that’s not the type of suburb dwellers that we are. Do I sometimes feel like a sellout to my generation for leaving the city for the suburbs? Hell yes. Do I feel like it was a bad decision? Sometimes…

Un-cool living to get more from life

We have a plan for our lives — a plan to save as much money as possible, so we can become financially independent in the next ten years, and then do whatever we want with the rest of our lives. You could call us Mustachians or Early Retirement Extremists, but really we just like the idea of being able to decide how to spend our time without worrying about a paycheck.

Creating a safe and happy home in a dangerous space

We very intentionally moved to our current home after a series of not-quite-right trials elsewhere in the country. In such a site, we saw our lives unfolding with love, adventure, and fresh air. And then, we lived in the home for a year, and realized things were not the way they had first seemed. The less pleasant characteristics of our neighborhood began to creep in, and their severity ranged from small to glaring.

Getting mugged made me reconsider the meaning of justice

The concept of justice is a strange one. It suggests not only that there’s a righteous order to the universe, but that it’s one we can enforce and make right if it ever goes off course. In the case of my mugger, I often wonder whether justice was really served. Not justice for me, but for him.

When is saving money more important than living in a great place?

I live in the wonderfully offbeat city of Portland, right in the thick of things. I love where I live, like LOVE LOVE where I live. I can walk anywhere I could possibly need or want, and our apartment is adorably vintage. Problem is, I’m about to have to take a major pay-cut. It seems more financially responsible to move, but it’s good for our souls to live here. All that to say, when is saving more important than living in a great place?

Who? What? How? Seeking advice on holiday-time tipping

Growing up in New York City, I was vaguely aware that my parents “tipped” the doormen and the superintendent of my apartment building sometime around the end of December. Now as an adult newly living in a city in Texas, in a rental apartment complex, and I have no idea what I should do about holiday tipping… Who are these people we should be tipping? Should we be giving cash or gift cards? If so, how much? Should we be giving cookies? Should we just give a thank you/happy holidays card?

Where in the world should we live if we value equality and healthcare?

My fiance and I live in the US, and are talking about whether or not this is the best place to raise our future children. So we have been trying to find out about other countries that might be a better fit for us. I know that no country is perfect, but there’s got to be a place better suited for us than here. I want to hear from people who live in different countries. What are your countries values, social norms, government and financial systems like? What are the pros and cons about living in your country?

How can I protect my mailbox?

I’ve noticed that many mailboxes in my area get destroyed by kids driving by and smashing them with baseball bats. How can I protect my mailbox?