Living for the city: why this may be your last chance to enjoy the city centre lifestyle we all know and love

As the city centre experience begins to shift, the lust for a life of excitement still burns strong.

By Abi Whistance
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 4:45 am
As more people choose to continue working from home, the busy city centre lifestyle has started to dissolve. Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe
As more people choose to continue working from home, the busy city centre lifestyle has started to dissolve. Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Moving into Leeds city centre has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

After years of trudging through Hyde Park and Burley, waving down buses in the pouring rain and almost always missing them, I decided that this year it would finally be time to pack my bags and relocate to the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

And it had to be now, I thought to myself.

Over the course of the last 18 months the pandemic has seen cities gradually transforming- no longer the corporate glass and steel beasts they once were, to live in the city now means to live somewhere on the brink of becoming residential.

As people learn to work remotely, the idea of travelling to your desk Monday to Friday is shifting from being the norm.

Workforces are being decentred from office blocks across the world, and as we see this happen the entire purpose and energy of a city begins to change.

Already we see a dip in the suited and booted chaos we associate with the streets of cities, fuelled by black coffees and Blackberry's.

Replacing it now is something much calmer, attention paid to curate an atmosphere of indulgence and enjoyment instead of one of muted panic.

I knew that now was my chance to catch what feels like the end of the city life we were once acquainted with.

After a week of living here I'll be the first to admit that yes, despite the smaller numbers it is still noisy, and yes, you don't quite realise how early buses start driving down the streets directly below your window, but sleeping in earplugs is worth the view outside when you wake up, catching glimpses of people with a lust for life in their eyes.

There's a sense of motivation that comes with it too; when you're constantly surrounded by go-getters there are endless opportunities to try new pop-up bars, cafes and quirky bookshops- the city leaves you no time to feel unentertained.

And all of this may seem overwhelming or cold to onlookers, but the same close-knit communities you find in the suburbs exist here too.

This new lifestyle has already made friends of people I'd usually call associates, there are more opportunities to share new experiences with those around you when everything is a stone's throw away.

To me, city life has an even more intimate charm to it.

I'm sure after years of living a lifestyle full of fast-paced passion things may indeed become exhausting- but for now I couldn't wish for anything more.

Let's see how long this love affair lasts.