So as it is the holidays, I have once again made my semi-annual (or is it bi-annual?) pilgrimage from New York City to my childhood home in Connecticut to visit my parents. Growing up we had little to do. Up until the time we were coming home from college, our activities generally consisted of the following:
-Hang out at someone’s house
-The sketchy arcade / batting cages / go-cart place
-A bar in one of Connecticuts cities up to 45 minutes away
-The occassional house party
-High school related activities - football or basketball game, etc
-Drive around and get drunk (not the driver though…which sucked for him)
As any childhood friend who I might have kept in touch with has moved away, I am left wondering what the heck I would do with myself if for some reason I were to move to suburban Wherevertown, USA.
-Where do adults socialize (a 35 year old guy probably shouldn’t be hanging out at a high school football game)?
-Where do singles meet people (see above comment)?
-What kind of activities are there (other then getting drunk in a local bar)?
For the purpose of this discussion, “young adults” would be defined as childless people out of college, roughly aged 21 - 45.
“Suburbs” I’m defining as far enough from a major urban center that it’s a major event to go into the city. Say at least 45 minutes away by car.
I have no idea. I think they get married and get entertained by their husbands/wives.
I’m 28, live in the suburbs, and do fuck all for fun. The things I have tried to do for fun/meeting people turn out to be full of married people: dog obedience classes, karate, dog park, community band, the gym. Even church.
A short poll of my handful of single friends would tend to suggest that you get together only to smoke weed and/or drink. Otherwise, we’re all at home alone on the Internet, watching TV or reading. Plus we tend to work a lot of extra hours.
Singlehood in the suburbs is not too exciting. Thank God for the Internet!
Seriously, the suburbs are no place for the truly single. If I didn’t have my girlfriend and a whole lots of hobbies (new ones all the time!) I’d go nuts. We have a few single friends and they grouse all the time about the lack of things to do.
When my brother was a single young adult in the suburbs, he owned a boat and went out on it most weekends in warm weather. So, if you’re into that sort of thing and have the cash for it, that’s one option I guess. I think he met other singles “on the river” a few times. Not my kind of thing, though.
For me, I finally wised up and left the 'burbs. That was quite possibly the smartest thing I have ever done. I don’t mean to disparage the suburbanites here; but living in a city–even a smallish city like Cincinnati–is just a much better fit for me.
The city I live in has about 120,000 people, which some Chicago suburbs have in themselves.
Anyway, I’m 28 and have lived here my entire life, except for my college years which I spent in Chicago.
My current girlfriend I met online, although coincidentally, she lived about 45 minutes away in another town. The girlfriend before her, I was friends with for many years before we started dating.
For fun, we hit the various bars/pubs that are close, go out to dinner, bowling, mini-golf when the weather is nice, go running, go to the movies, hang out at friends’ houses, and there’s occasionally some kind of ‘event’ around here to attend. Not nearly as many as in, say, Chicago, but we still get various festivals, carnivals, art shows, etc. throughout the year.
Yeah, this thread seems to define “suburb” as “small town with one stoplight.”
Not all suburbs are created equal and some of them are so close to other suburbs (or even, gasp, “the city”) that the idea of staying with the town limits of wherever you live to do something seems absurd.
And beyond that, I imagine there are plenty of people who enjoy hanging out at other people’s houses and going to the movies.
I live in the suburbs by choice. I like the relative quiet and the fact that there is less violent crime, at least where I live.
For fun, my friends and I get together every Friday for drinking and karaoke all year round and in the summer, barbecues every Saturday as well. We also do Halloween parties, Cinco de Mayo parties, St. Patrick’s Day parties and Christmas parties at county bars and at each others’ houses. In the dead of winter we have a “Soup Cook-Off” at my friends Maria’s house where we create various soups and they are judged and rated. (Okay, I don’t cook but I enjoy the efforts of others.) Whoever wins gets the Silver Timer Trophy, which is passed to the next winner with each successive year.
Also one of our friends has a really good jazz/blues band and we go see them whenever we can.
Sometimes we just hang out and watch movies at each others’ houses too. I know that my friends who are city dwellers do more stuff downtown, but after working in Baltimore City for a few years I don’t go there unless I’m being paid.
Develop a UK/Ireland-style pub culture. It may well shorten your life expectancy but it will enliven your sex life, and you’ll definitely be able to get home repairs done a bit cheaper. That’s win-win.
I think we’re going to have to better define “suburb” and “major urban center.” I grew up in a “suburb” but the amusements available to me were beyond my ability to do them all. Within fifteen minutes of driving was live music, theatre, sports of all descriptions, boating if it was summer, cross country skiing and other winter activities if it wasn’t… I can’t think of much there WASN’T to do.
The OP defines “suburb” as being 45 minutes from a “major urban centre.” I can’t think of any place I know of that’s 45 minutes from the nearest city centre that I’d call a “suburb,” unless you have an awfully large definition of what constitutes a major urban centre. The suburb I grew up in was near Kingston, Ontario, not a largte city at all - 120,000 at best - but blessed with innumerable things to do. But if you drove 45 minutes from Kingston, you weren’t in the suburbs, you were WAY into the sticks.
Seriously. Lobohan has a group of folks we found after moving to a new state. All died in the wool table top gamers. Regular meets on Saturdays. Projects throughout the week on City of Heros, which they all participate in.
Even though I don’t have the patience to play, the socialness is enough to keep me from crawling into a tub of peanut butter every weekend.
RickJay I think we’re going to have to better define “suburb” and “major urban center.”
The OP defines “suburb” as being 45 minutes from a “major urban centre.” I can’t think of any place I know of that’s 45 minutes from the nearest city centre that I’d call a “suburb,” unless you have an awfully large definition of what constitutes a major urban centre.
I guess by urban center I mean a big city - New York, Boston, Philly, etc. Really what I mean is living an urban lifestyle. Appartments and condos instead of houses, no car or minimal need for one, public transportation or taxis are commonplace, active centralized downtown area where people live and work, large professional population.
Suburbs, I think of single family homes, strip malls, chain restaurants, etc.
I guess maybe I mean big city vs small town.
From my experience, that’s a lot easier to do in cities. I work in Times Square. After work my friends and I often go to one of several local pubs for a few beers. It’s right there, it’s convienient for everyone and we don’t have to drive.
It’s a lot tougher in the suburbs where everything is spread out. When I lived in the suburbs, it was always a freaking hassle. You have to pick a bar that’s convienient for everyone. You either have to pick a designated driver, figure out the public transportation/taxis if you’re going into a major city (which can take 5 times longer than driving) or take your chances driving drunk (which I don’t advise). People don’t want to get together for “a quick pint” because they are going to end up investing over an hour just getting to and from the bar.