Tuesday, June 17, 2008

City Dwellers vs Suburbanites

I have never been a suburbanite and for the foreseeable future I don’t plan on ever being a suburbanite. Don’t get me wrong I have no ill will toward the people who live in the ‘burbs, but there is a distinct difference between those who live in the city versus those who chose to live away from the hustle and bustle that a city offers it’s inhabitants. I totally understand the idea of living close to a major city but choosing not to be a full-time resident. Things like raising a family, affordability and moving away from congestion and higher crime. I however, choose the hordes of people and variety of city living. I could totally do with less crime though, couldn’t everybody?

What brings me to this point is that after living here for only a short while you can spot the subs in an instant. Sometimes it is subtle, others are more glaring characteristics, but either way there is a physical distinction between the two. Let’s break it down. Note: There are exceptions to every rule.

Clothing: While I wouldn’t say subs are ALL less fashionable, because let’s face it some people in the ‘burbs are loaded and do their shopping in upscale shops (mostly in the city) and have clothing tailored for a better fit. But the majority of the subs choose chain stores for shopping, which ultimately produce a frumpy look due to mass production and average sizing. Whereas in the city, you can find an alteration shop on most blocks and people in the city will have their clothes tailored for a better fit. Even though we buy off the rack and at chain stores, the clothing and total look is fitted and polished – for the most part. There are always exceptions…I have been known to be the exception sometimes.

Hair: This is very much the same as the clothing situation. It’s like West Valley vs Capitol Hill. If you’re from Utah you totally know what I’m talking about. Once again I can be the exception to this as well because I’m now dealing with humidity and naturally curly hair…ugh!

Stature: Subs just seem to be a little softer in the middle, if you catch my drift. Don’t mistake me, I am no size 4 super model (or are they now size 2?), but when you do more walking than driving your body gets toned and tighter. Your legs don’t jiggle anymore or at lest not as much. Of course people come in all shapes and sizes, I totally get that, it’s just different.

Accessories: Sometimes this difference is all you need! The difference between carrying your lunch/extra shoes/take home work in a plastic Target bag versus a Dooney & Burke leather tote pretty much makes my point. Not being a snob here, just pointing out what I see. For the record I do not own a D&B leather anything.

The reason I point out all these differences is because I get off the bus/train in the middle of downtown Chicago and walk 4 blocks west to my office. My office is directly east of two of the major commuter rail stations in Chicago. So while I’m heading west, the commuters from the ‘burbs are heading east. This happens all over downtown because the city rails (the “L”) and buses all come into the middle of downtown and the commuter rails come in on the outskirts of downtown. So every morning I am passing subs and noting the difference.

Since this blog is about my experiences in Chicago versus my experiences in SLC I just thought I would point this out. Do I ultimately have a point here? I don’t really know, but last week while I was in SLC, wearing something I had purchased here in Chicago and had altered to fit, I did get a lot of compliments...A LOT! So, either consciously or subconsciously I noted the difference and adopted the city dwelling lifestyle. Albeit without the D&B leather tote...someday!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Totally depends on the city. Here, the best way to tell is dialect. (I live in New Orleans.) You can tell by the way people talk, and that's about it. Oh...and whether they're wearing shrimp boots or not.

When I lived in Seattle, you would identify someone by the kind of car they drove. Suburbanites always drove Suburu (ironic, I know) station wagons and city people had bus passes or BMW's.