Monday, September 07, 2009

Trying urban living for a change

It's time for a little urban living for the Black family. That's right, we are moving to the big city. No, not Boston. We are moving to Lowell. I'm smiling as a I write this because so many people have asked, "Why Lowell?" They just can't understand why we would move there.

In the words of the recent PR campaign for this very city, "There's a lot to like about Lowell!" It's really true. Ryan and I are more than an hour away from Boston right now and during the past five years have found Lowell to be a great option when we were looking for food and live music. They made so many great changes in the city starting with inviting artists in and turning many of the old mills into lofts or office space.

Here are some of the things we like about Lowell: Good restaurants (Life Alive, Mambo Grill, Blue Taleh, Centro to name a few), great outdoor seating (that can rival Newbury!), mom and pop coffee shops (Cafe Paradiso, Brewed Awakenings) a stellar concert series in the summer, the Lowell Folk Festival, the film collaborative, the Merrimack River, and more.

Perhaps the best part of living in Lowell will be what it will do to our commutes. If all goes as planned, I will have a five minute walk to work (no more driving!) and Ryan's commute will be knocked down to 15 minutes. Sweet!

We have a deposit down on a new loft apartment that overlooks the river. It's on the fourth floor and is a corner unit, so there are lots of BIG windows. The ceilings are 18 feet which will help to make the place feel bigger than it is (1,000 square feet). And did I mention that my work is a five minute walk away? Uh, huh. That's right. I'm doing a little dance right now.

It is going to be different for us. I will miss our beautiful piece of land here in the country. I'm listening to the crickets as I write this. No more big back yard (although there is a great park right outside our door that leads to a river walk that goes for miles). And no more back deck to chillax on.

I've never lived in an apartment complex that feels like a hotel. All those doors on the same floor. Thank goodness that they double soundproofed the walls at this place. I've heard bad reports about thin walls in these old mill buildings.

We are very excited about the new place. We are still in limbo until that financing for the buyers comes through. There's always that chance that we won't be going anywhere, but in the meantime we are purging (that's what my next post will be about) and spending a lot of time in Lowell getting ready for the change we hope to make in less than a month.


  1. Congrats on this blog - and the retooling of it all. Looking forward to following your adventures.

  2. Yay! So glad you are joining us in Lowell! We love it when people fall in love with this city like we did. We have been here 10 years and people were looking at us sideways when we decided to move here then, let me tell you :) It's really blossomed so much in the past decade, I think the excellent restaurants are the best kept secret we'd like made known to all!

    And don't forget the HUGE artist community at which offers First Saturdays Open Studios every month :)

  3. Thanks, Liz, for the warm welcome! I was thinking about the artist community as I drove in to work this morning. I will definitely have to write about it. I want to go the upcoming open studios. Thanks for the reminder!