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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Why do you prefer small towns?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (18935 points ) September 16th, 2010

What is it about small towns that you like? Could you ever live in a big city?

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23 Answers

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I might be able to live in a city temporarily. But in the long run, I need space. I grew up in the woods with no visible neighbors from my yard. I like seeing trees, and I hate seeing other peoples’ crap. The good thing about where I am is that although I live in a very small, rural-feeling type town, I’m only a few minutes away from the second biggest city in New Hampshire, and only 30 miles away from Boston.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@tragiclikebowie So then would you live in an apartment in a small town?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m in the middle. I like the ‘burbs, seeing my neighbors all the time, charming little downtown, all that, with a reasonable train ride into the big city conveniently available.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@papayalily Maybe. If it was a decent size and I didn’t hear too much of what was going on in other people’s apartments. They tend to convert a lot of large older houses around here into a few apartments. Some of them can be pretty nice.

I would prefer my own house with a few acres, but I also like being around friends so an apartment in a smaller town might not be so bad.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@tragiclikebowie I’m thinking of college town, where it’s like a 3 mile diameter with 4 to 6 thousand people living there.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@papayalily That wouldn’t be too bad. There’s a few very nice college towns around here I could see myself living in.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I do prefer small towns….that are near a larger city. I have lived in a big city and while I enjoyed it…too much traffic, noise, pollution, high cost of living and people, people, people. I like your idea of a college town…it has the culture of a larger city (most times) and a small town feeling (usually).

I keep looking for the ideal college town….and have not yet found the one.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus So not the small towns that are hours away from any moderately sized city?

What’s “the small town feeling”? Having never lived in one, I have no idea what that means, it’s just a bunch of words to me.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I live in a county that has fewer than 5000 residents. The nearest city with over 25K people is 150 miles away by interstate. Not enough nosey neighbors to bother a person.

DominicX's avatar

Why is it always small towns vs. big cities? What about something like Palo Alto or Santa Clara or one of those suburbs in between? That’s what I truly prefer.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@DominicX Truly? Because if I asked the small town question only, then a lot of it would be city people posting about why they like cities and not small towns. But if I asked for suburbs too, I’d be out of questions for the day.

DominicX's avatar

True, true. I just never hear much about those places with populations around 20–70,000. Those are what I like the most. :] I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in a big city like NYC or a small town like Podunk, KS. Something in-between is the best option.

wundayatta's avatar

I grew up in a 30–40K population college town. I lived in a place from which you could see no other houses. Aside from the snow mobiles that sounded like supercharged chain saws chattering past us in winter, the birds provided the loudest sounds.

Growing up, I heard about how dirty and unsafe places like NYC were, and I knew that I could never live in a big city. What did I know?

People who hear where I came from all comment on how beautiful it is and wonderful it must be to live there. Beauty yes. Wonderful? Not so much.

I was terribly lonely growing up. There just wasn’t enough going on for me to be able to find my peeps. That only happened in college.

Small towns are really nice places to visit. My parents still live in the town I grew up in. They clearly work for a lot of people. Not for me.

MissAusten's avatar

When I was a kid, we lived first in a suburb and then in a rural area. I’ve had very little experience spending time in large cities, and while I like to visit them (we’re a train ride from NYC and can also take a day trip to Boston or Providence), I prefer to live in smaller towns. I like the space, the calmer atmosphere, and the easy access to wooded areas for hiking and exploring. Not that cities can’t also have that, but it seems easier to manage out here!

Unlike large cities, we don’t have “bad” areas where crime can be a problem. It’s hard to get lost, even for me! There are no one-way streets, no parking issues, and everywhere I need to go on a regular basis is within a 20 minute drive. Traffic is only a problem if I have to jump on the interstate, which I think @JilltheTooth can relate to because I think she also lives in Connecticut. :)

Right now I’d say we live in the ideal area for us. Beaches, woods, ponds and lakes, cute downtown area, good schools, and close enough to major cities to also enjoy what they have to offer from time to time. I could never go back to living in the midwest!

J0E's avatar

I don’t love my small town (pop. under 900) but there are things I prefer about it over a big city.

I like knowing almost everyone, having a lot of space, going to a small high school, and having family nearby if you need them.

woodcutter's avatar

small towns are are only 2nd place to the rural setting. As long as it has one gas station it’s all good. Since the internet and UPS we all can get almost everything we want without needing to live in the city or small town.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I grew up in a mid-sized town and couldn’t wait to leave. After living in the outskirts of four metropolitan US cities, I’m ready to chuck it for a small town life again. The advantages are (from personal experience of visiting Mom who still lives there)::
* Knowing the neighbors and watching out for each other.
* Having the person who delivers the daily newspaper drop it off at the door instead of the mail box at the curb because he knows someone cannot walk well.
* The drive-thru bank teller keeps a stash of dog biscuits on hand when certain customers do not leave the house without their beloved pet.
* The grocery store manager calls you personally to tell you that they just got a new shipment of your favorite pickle brand delivered.
* Your children can still safely go trick-or-treating.
* Someone leaves fresh produce on your doorstep because they know you enjoy it and don’t grow it yourself.

Despite appreciating a fast-paced and evolving environment, there is always comfort in some factors that just don’t change.

woodcutter's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Yes the dog treats are the nicest touch. My pup has grown to expect the lady to have something to send through. If the small towns are good enough for the dogs they’re good enough for me too.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@papayalily….No even small towns in the middle of nowhere (that’s where I grew up). I meant that I prefer to live in a small town near a larger city (½ to 45 minute drive). What is “small town feeling”?

You can sit on your front porch on summer evening and the only thing you hear are the crickets chirping. You know your postman/postwoman and they know to leave your packages behind the red chair on the porch if you aren’t home. There is a Fourth of July parade and picnic in the square and you actually know most of the people by name. When you go away on a trip, the neighbors collect your mail and keep a watch on your house. The librarian knows what books you like and keeps books aside for you “just in case” you might like them. When you go to the local store and you realize you left your pocketbook back home, the shopkeeper says, “Oh, don’t worry…just run the money by when you can.”

just little things like that

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Ok, so then I don’t get this know everyone by their name business. Small towns usually have 2–10 thousand people in them, right? Isn’t that a shitload of names? I mean, I would think that after 200, it would be too many. 500 if you’re a very social person. But knowing 6000 names, plus what’s going on in their life, a skeleton biography… It just seems impossible.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My town has 325 people in it. My 3rd grade teacher taught an average class size of 25 for 30 years. She still sends me and every other student she taught a Christmas card. 500 isn’t too many to remember.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The stars are more plentiful and shine more brightly in small towns.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I especially love that. I have some friends who live an hour west of me and sometimes we go into the graveyards and lay on top of my car and look at the stars. It’s insane how bright they are.

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