Living in a city can be tough; living just outside of a city and always having to be in the city can be even worse. Having grown up a mere 67 miles from Manhattan (joy of my youth; pain of my old age) I am well aware of the burdens of suburban city dwelling. It can sneak up on you; like a sneaky cold or the bends; but once you have acknowledged it; it’s all the way there. Being an outcast in the city that you live near can be the most heartbreaking type of rejection one ever assumes. However you need to be careful of erratic behavior because ceding to these flippant whims and succumbing to their pressures can quite literally kill you.
Don’t Take on What You Can’t Handle: My wife and I always fancied living in the Hollywood Hills before we moved to Los Angeles. The reality, I’m afraid, is far less glamorous. We live in a tiny guest house in the San Fernando Valley. We don’t even have our own address; we’re the address “B” – for “back” house. Much the same whenever we dip our toe into the waters of returning to our true home, it’s always with the most modest of ends. “We could live in Battery Park City,” exclaims my wife (often) and then shows me a teeny-tiny studio which is just above our desired maximum price range to prove her point. Or, at other times she’ll say, “You know I’ve always wanted a Classic-6; overlooking Park; so we could host Thanksgiving and watch the setup unfold before our eyes.” Yes, one day dear. Her latest is “why don’t we just buy a brownstone…” (!) “…subdivide it, rent it out, and make the mortgage that way.” Indeed. Because others (slum lords) haven’t tried the exact same thing. The bottom line here (as it usually is) comes down to the brass tacks of financing. If you are living somewhere; your dream city; you’ve got to make sure that the dream doesn’t become nightmare. You can’t take on more than you can handle. Don’t sign that lease until the money’s in your hand, don’t take on that burden until you’ve got income to pay for it; don’t do what we all have at one point done (unless you’ve got a wealthy benefactor).
Don’t Dwell on the Inertia: if you spend all your time thinking about what you don’t have, you’re never going to realize all the wonderful things you do have and are a part of. If the only thing you can think about are all the things you don’t have; you’ll truly end up running to stand still. Make the most of your time near your dream home; you could end up stuck living in a hellish pit that’s not even of your own choosing, if you’re not careful.
That’s the other pretty amazing thing about the world today; you don’t even need to live somewhere or have a home phone or an address and you can still conduct your business as usual. Of course you have to have an address for the state to send your tax bill, have your car registered, and to have an address for your identification, but really, that’s it. I hate spending a hundred dollars a week sometimes to fill up the tank. I’d much rather Metrocard, hoof it, or forget it.
There are many other pitfalls to living in your dream state but the biggest things to avoid are overextension or under-delivery. If you over-extend you definitely won’t be able to deliver.