urban

Suburbs to city living: How I gave up the house but found a life

How I gave up the house but found a life

For 22 years my family and I lived in Westfield, New Jersey, by many measures, the ideal place to raise a family. There are great schools, quiet leafy streets, multiple transportation options, a walkable downtown, and cultural and religious options to fit diverse tastes. Even its names evokes wholesomeness. When I arrived there in 1995, I knew within 30 minutes that it was the wrong place for me. It took us 22 years to undo that decision. I spent years telling myself that it was not so bad but always hating it. This is a story of finding my comfortable place in the world…

Ariel’s whirling rainbow dream… after the remodel

Last fall, I wrote about how I was remodeling my one-bedroom condo to better accommodate my three-person family. Well, six months later, I am here to report back with our-post remodel home tour… it’s six months later because the 6-8 week remodel turned into four months of my family drifting around and couch surfing. We just moved back in a month ago.

The offbeat remodel: my harebrained scheme come to life

Way back in 2011, I mentioned that I had a scheme for how we could remodel our one-bedroom home into a two-bedroom… and now it’s actually happening.

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?

Stuck at a crosswalk in Germany? Play Pong with your friend or neighbor across the street

Calling all social interaction AND video game geeks — a traffic light in Germany lets you play Pong with a friend while you wait to cross the street. As you can see in the video below, the premise is simple — wait for the light to switch to red and the game begins!

Sometimes I take the back alleys

We all know I am an avowed city girl, right? Backstory: grew up in the forest, moved to the city, then moved around to different cities, then settled in the city near my forest. I continue to make all sorts of logistical sacrifices to living my city-center lifestyle, including but not limited to having my son sleep in a walk-in closet and paying way more than I should for a mortgage. I love that I can walk out my front door and immediately be immersed in a flow of hungover hipsters, aging gay professionals, halfway house residents, Microsoft executives, and part-time yoga teachers/body workers/dance instructors/etc. who live in my ‘hood.

But even as an avowed city dweller who loves swimming through people-stew every day, I still find myself sometimes taking the back alleys.

8 hard truths about city gardening for newbies

I’m gonna give y’all some city vegetable gardening tips that might help you save some cash and beef up your summer dinner menu at the same time. You see what I did there? Food pun!
Let’s look at some truths.

I’m at peace with where I live, even though my heart’s in the Highlands

What’s a girl to do in her mid-twenties, firmly ensconced in being a real live adult and having to make the decision about where home will be right now?