Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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By nature, I'm an anxious, borderline-agoraphobe who likes nothing better than a quiet afternoon at home listening to books on tape and painting my sun porch. Because I'm 50 — or at least it seems like that sometimes. In between the occasional blasts of shitty techno and '80s Whitney Houston from the bachelor on one side of us and the chronic chorus of screams for the gaggle of kids on the other side, the idea of moving to the suburbs (cue angels with harps) pops into my little, throbbing head.

So, as I put pen to paper (or digits to keys, whatev) to write this week's Public Notice column, I found a Craig's List ad that spoke to me, on an irritated neighbor level.

11 reasons I live in the burbs

1- The air pollution in the city is disgusting! The air quality in the burbs is MUCH better.

When we go to visit my fiancé's parents in McHenry County, the air is so clean, we think it's fucking Vermont. That's what I remember when I'm stuck behind buses exiting the North Park CTA garage.

2- The city fucking smells like shit. Dumpsters everywhere, filth in the streets and so on. In the burbs people don't litter often or shit or piss on the sidewalks.

My Metra station (in the city, thank you) has recently been sprayed with both piss and graffiti. But not Vice Lord tags this time — seahorse stencils and Bruce Lee profiles. It's cool.

3- Too many homeless people. In my town we have only one. Businesses support him and so does the community.

Do they support him in the way that the father in Heathers supports his dead gay son? Or like every woman's right to choose?

4- The city is WAY too expensive to live in. Plus in the burbs you actually have a yard when you rent a house, not 12x12 grassy area.

But not everyone wants a yard. And not everyone has a big dog who needs to shit a bunch of Alpo all over a big yard. Then you have to get a lawn service to not only mow your lawn, but also pick up the big piles of dung and throw them into your neighbors' yards.

5- There's just too many fucking people in the city. It's annoying to get anywhere with the traffic.

Ahem, Schaumburg. Heal thyself. But, true enough, city traffic can be a pain. Plus, all the cars pump out urine-scented exhaust.

6- The city is filled with pompous snobbish wanna be artists. The too cool for you attitude usually ends around 22, not for city dwellers.

There are no wannabe artists knocking about my neighborhood, unless you could the Vice Lords who like to tag the garage next to ours. But it's very true that the city does have twee pockets of indie-rock kids who love to pose as artists. However, there's an Alley at Woodfield now, so that posture will spread around Palatine as well.

7- There is so little nature anywhere...besides the lake there are no large areas of woodlands in the city.

This one is just stupid. Of course there are trees in the city. And there are bunnies fucking all over Millennium and Grant Parks. There are forest preserves, parks, city streets — all with trees, bushes and flowers. But in the poorer parts of the city, instead of poplars and silver maples, liquor billboards bloom.

8- The city is more prone to crime. Not much happens besides pot busts and traffic tickets in the burbs. Maybe an occasional sexual assault, barfight, or murder but, nothing like the city. Safe streets are nice :)

I hate statements like this, because instead of "all suburbs" people really mean "my particular suburb, as far as I know." Because some will be more crime-ridden, just like there are very safe areas of the city.

9- I work in the trades and city regulations and permits are ABSOLUTELY FUCKIN RIDICULOUS!! If you don't have money to bribe you might as well close shop.

I'm sure our intrepid political dude Ramsin can speak to this better than I. But let's just say that this dude is correct, and you've got to pay to play in the city that works. The economics are still in your favor because you get to charge a lot more for property, for work and for materials here. So just take care of business.

10- The dating scene sucks a nut in the city...Why? Not because it's not easy to hook up and meet people..But, because everyone is looking for the next best thing...Fuck'em and chuck'em attitude. Who's next? Pathetic and young way to have relationships. City folks don't even want to get to know you...They just want to fuck you the first night. At least in the burbs people seem more interested in meaningful relationships..Maybe because us lame suburbanites want to have a family and raise them in a safe clean environment where we know our neighbors and appreciate our community. While living in a house that is not 5 feet away from the one next door. Go figure.

City people like to fuck and run? This one I don't get at all. How easy could it be to meet people at the Rosemont RAM or the Highland Park Corner Bakery? I thought how it worked was that people met and married in the city, then when they got ready for kids, they went to the 'burbs? Did I read the manual wrong?

11- The school systems in the city cannot even compare to the burbs. PERIOD!

See number eight. Absolutes are for Siths, yo.

Enjoy living in your filth city dwellers...You can't even drink your water without a filtration system...Oh yeah great..Sign me up!

It's just like the old song says, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life." You've got to learn to love where you live, both the pee and the glee. I like living in a place where I can have parties, then send drunk people home on the bus. I don't like hearing everyone in the neighborhood. I like being eat in Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican, Chilean and Thai restaurants within a few block radius. I don't like trash and gang graffiti.

But we started going to the ward meetings. We've met our alderlady. We know our local cops. So while we've earned the right to complain, we also know that there's work being done. There are suburbs I quite like, and parts of the city I can't stand. But we've made our choice and planted our flag — for now anyway.

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About the Author(s)

Shylo Bisnett loves ironing, baking and dancing naked. She dreams of being a naughty housewife. Let her know what you think about Public Notice at .

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