I find it hard to write about what the future holds for my husband & I without a lot of back story.
In my teens I fell in love…with a city. The City of Minneapolis. I couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere else. I thought it was the perfect mix of variety but not overly crowded like San Francisco or New York City.
Everything about it excited me. Going to a coffee shop. Trying a new restaurant. Getting tickets for a concert. Seeing a play. Turning 21 opened more doors as well. Staying up late and still being able to find plenty to do. I loved it all. Every time something new opened I would circle back with my friends and see if they had been there yet, what they though, and then planned when we could go altogether. I grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, which at the time was an artist’s neighborhood but with lots of industrial grunge and ‘character’ aka crime. I was finally able to appreciate the secluded feel from the more popular neighborhoods, like Uptown, once I was an adult.
When I was broke and the city held a lot of promise for the future when I would have a full-time job. I always dreamed of the day that I would be able to prance around the city doing whatever I pleased and finally taking advantage of those little boutiques where everything cost more than I spent on groceries.
Part of continuing my picturesque city life, was landing a job downtown Minneapolis. I thought “Of course this is perfect! Now I can enjoy downtown more.” An ideal location to work for a city dweller.
If I have failed to communicate this, I was literally the poster child of living in the city for many people I knew. (Throughout high school and college I basically lived on the city bus)
Well turns out since Spring of 2014 many other people have landed jobs downtown Minneapolis. Also many people have moved into the neighborhoods closest to downtown; North Loop, East Hennepin, and including our neck of the woods. Apartment building after apartment building went up in developement.
All of a sudden I noticed, “Why am I frustrated every time I leave the house!?!?” It was because another 20,000+ people added to the area were ALSO running errands at the same time. Add living on one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood and having a puppy, patience has been wearing thin for my husband and I especially these last few months.
I can’t tell you the exact moment I realized I wanted to move out of the city, but one day it just happened. I am no longer in love with Minneapolis. I no longer have a crew of friends in the neighborhood (although good chunk of my family lives here). While Minneapolis swaps real full car lanes on busy streets for bike lanes, I fume, because I don’t want to bike on busy streets anyways but I sure as hell want to drive around without so much traffic. This city is not what it use to be for me.
I began fantasizing about big yards, being out closer to ‘the woods’ (pretty extreme I know), and shorter drives to my brother’s place in Wisconsin. The suburbs were a stretch for me because my motto was always “in the middle of the city OR the middle of nowhere.” We looked a few first ring suburbs (like St. Anthony or St. Louis Park) but weren’t seeing any ‘bang for your buck’ as far as housing went. Hell, I even looked at living in St. Paul which I joked about for years that I would never do (St. Paul vs Minneapolis rivalry).
Finally, we started looking further out to smaller towns that were so far out they weren’t technically suburbs. I said I would consider a small town as long as it ‘had an active downtown/main street area.” One day I found a few houses in the same neighborhood for sale that had Open House times on the same Sunday afternoon.
Tree line streets, houses that were different farmhouse or craftsman style, streets that kids played in…my husband and I were falling in love again but with a neighborhood. We pictured walking our future kids to the nearby elementary school. We pictured big family gatherings that could be held with plenty of space to spare. We drooled thinking about letting our dog out without a leash. We could be free!!!
All of a sudden we have found ourselves buying a house in a river town, known for antiquing, river front cafes, and an adorable drawbridge. We bought a house! Outside of the metro area! This is possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done but I’m so excited!!!
(Picture of downtown Minneapolis and 3rd ave bridge, credit to my husband for this)