I think we've made the same decision, albeit in the opposite direction. We all make choose what we want to live in and what we want to live near, and for now we like the bustle. We also know that if we want to frolic around in wide-open spaces, we can hop on the train to my sister's and goof around in the corn field. When we stay overnight, there's no light, no sound, just endless peace and nothingness in every direction. It's creepy as hell.
I would argue that my neighborhood in NYC is just as neighborhoody as any suburb, with the added bonus of proximity. When my son and I go out for bagels, Stacy and Prakma see us coming, and our bagels are sliced before we walk in the door. Elias knows our favorite four-top at the corner diner. When we do errands, my son hands the money to Kevin at the drycleaners, Norman at the drug store, and the amiable-but-cross-eyed guy at the laundromat. John at the meat counter always has a roll of Boar's Head press-on tattoos, which are a big hit with the under-4 set.
So when it comes to raising kids in urbania, don't knock it 'til you try it. It's remarkably easy when everything's only a few blocks away. And who lugs things to the park? Naturally, you're supposed to pile everything into your stroller, the ultimate status symbol of the city parent. It's the only way to make the scene, babe.