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Old 07-26-2012, 09:26 PM   #161
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We ourselves can go grocery shopping every 2 weeks, I think, because we do not drink milk but only need to get fresh veggies. Just now looked up on the map and found out that the distance is closer to 40 miles, one way, to the nearest town.

Due to family obligation in-town, the longest we have stayed up in the boonies home was a 2-week stretch. Hence, we have always been able to bring enough food from the city home for the stay. We have been driving back/forth (145 mi one way) between the two homes.

I surely hope gas will not be so expensive that we cannot afford to do that commute. If it gets to that point, a lot of people would not be able to go to work as many commonly drive 50+ miles to/from work each day. That's 1000 miles/month, compared to our 290 miles/2weeks commute between homes.

PS. Then, there goes my RV'ing plan if gas gets that expensive. Need to put on the miles soon. Alaska or bust! And Newfoundland next.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:13 PM   #162
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No way are suburbs going to die. As this article points out, in almost any American city a carless life can be difficult. Still, marginal improvements are happening for the city dweller who is either carless or dislikes cars.

Shopping for Everyday Living - Seattle Transit Blog

This guy moved to Stockholm for a year, and needed everything. He was able to find it right downtown next to a subway station, at Clas Ohlson.

Similarly, a downtown Seattle "City Target" opened last week, just one block from the Public Market. It too is very handy to the entire retail core, and to the light rail and almost all bus routes. I plan to stop by today and look around.

Something new has happened in our real estate and transportation patterns. Our city gets fairly healthy in-migration, but the biggest part of it is young mostly single, tech workers who recently have been attracted to downtown or at least close-in urban living. I keep in touch with my real estate agent who has become a friend. This week we were having drinks in the sunshine on the patio of a sports bar in my neighborhood, and she told me that a fair number of the new workers coming to work at Amazon and other programmer heavy firms which are expanding in South Lake Union are carless, and in some cases don't even have driving licenses. Many of them are of course choosing to live within walking distance of work, or at least on heavily served quick transit routes. So there is a greater need for basic life retail services easily accessible downtown. Also, in contrast to many carless households, these people are well paid and have plenty disposable income.

Downtown in handier also for anyone living in places like Queen Ann, Capitol Hill, or First Hill. Anyone who needs bus access rather than parking, which is very expensive downtown.

Ha
I live in such a neighborhood. My neighbors tend to be single young folks working in tech and with plenty of disposable income. Many don't have a car and don't need a car. We live close to the train station with service to Silicon Valley and our city block is served by a dozen bus/metro lines connecting us to every corner of the city. Downtown, with all its shopping and dining options, is less than one mile away so walking is often an excellent choice. We have a Safeway, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's all within walking distance (and soon we'll have a City Target too). And if someone needs a car, they can jump in one of the ZipCars available behind the building.

I myself go carless as much as possible and use the car only when I want to get out of town (once or twice a month).
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:22 PM   #163
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Yes, it is sure true that these people have plenty money to spend. It makes for a very lively place to live.

Intersting sidelight on Clas Ohlson. I saw my Swedish dance partner today and asked her about Clas Ohlson. She said that when she left Sweden, and for many years before, they were mostly a mail order firm that served rural customers, much like the old Sears or Montgomery Ward.

If Target has good prices on meds, I will likely switch from Sam's Club as it will be handier either walking or a short bus trip on rainly days.

Ha
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:04 AM   #164
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I just read some of the earlier posts. People were discussing sidewalks, or lack of them.

My boonies home is in a remote area. What sidewalks? Some people do not even have roads. More like a hiking trail! We all love it here. I have a driveway. Some of my neighbors don't even have that.

The other day, walking around the area, we saw a house perched on a little rocky hill. We wondered how the owner got to his house. Perhaps he had a back road that we could not see. I looked up the plat map. Nope! His house is backed against someone else's lot, so the access had to be from the front. This means he has to hike from where he parks up to his house, the little trail that we could see. Yet, it is not a cheap shack, as Zilllow guesstimates the value at $200K, even in this depressed market.

Among my neighbors are a few widows and single women who live alone in seclusion. No city folks up here, whom they call "flat-landers".
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:22 AM   #165
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Milk is actually not a big deal for shopping every three weeks (or even every three months for that matter).
Pasteurized milk in tetra packs (extended shelf life a.k.a. ESL) in stores here has expiration dates in 3-4 weeks range.
You can get even to 6-9 months of shelf life with UHT milk, which we occasionally use when camping (because it does not require refrigeration), but IMHO the taste is not the same, and you can't use it for everything regular milk can be used (for example feeding bread starter, making yogurt or kefir).
What I would miss the most would be fresh veggies and fruit - canned and/or frozen could be substituted, but that's not the same.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:28 AM   #166
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The following concurrent hot thread also needs more info:

The sky is falling.....
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:43 AM   #167
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Soy milk is a good substitute as well for things like drinking and cereal. Couple months of shelf life. And locally I don't have a problem finding milk with expiration 2 weeks out, and it is usually still fresh a week or so after opening it. So you can get 3 weeks of milk.

Agreed - fresh fruits and vegs would be a problem. However some fruits and vegs keep well in the fridge and can definitely stay fresh for more than 3 weeks. I'm thinking carrots, onions, apples, oranges, grapefruits. But I would definitely miss some of the more delicate green vegs and leafy vegs, plus cherries, bananas, berries, melons etc.

Lucky for us we have a full grocery 1/4 mile down the street so fresh fruits and vegs are very easy to obtain even on foot. Or by car when the heat index hits 110!
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