It can start with a stolen car stereo or an upstairs neighbor who sounds like Lord of the Dance. Often it’s the birth of a child that does it. Sometimes it’s just the smells—other people’s cooking, other people’s garbage, other people.

For Mike Marusin, it was “Jump Around” that drove him from the city to the suburbs once and for all.

“I was in a one-bedroom on the North Side of Chicago and these young guys moved in next door and started blasting House of Pain at all hours. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little space from all this?’”

And so, five years ago Marusin, then in his late twenties, did what a surprising number of otherwise intelligent, mall-averse Americans are starting to do. He relocated to the land of the cul de sac, the garden gnome, and the 4,500-square-foot starter house. “I didn’t fit the profile of the lawn-obsessed, Escalade-driving suburbanite,” says Marusin, a website developer who drives a Prius and now lives in cushy Naperville, Illinois, with his wife, Liz, an interior designer. “But staying in the city—it was beginning to kill us.”

To say all the cool people are moving to the ’burbs would be an overstatement. For hard-core city types, the idea of settling in suburbia is a death sentence. Life without 24-hour Thai delivery, backstage passes to the Buckethead show, and the occasional Stan Brakhage retrospective is hardly a life at all.

It can start with a stolen car stereo or an upstairs neighbor who sounds like Lord of the Dance. Often it’s the birth of a child that does it. Sometimes it’s just the smells—other people’s cooking, other people’s garbage, other people.

For Mike Marusin, it was “Jump Around” that drove him from the city to the suburbs once and for all.

“I was in a one-bedroom on the North Side of Chicago and these young guys moved in next door and started blasting House of Pain at all hours. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little space from all this?’”

And so, five years ago Marusin, then in his late twenties, did what a surprising number of otherwise intelligent, mall-averse Americans are starting to do. He relocated to the land of the cul de sac, the garden gnome, and the 4,500-square-foot starter house. “I didn’t fit the profile of the lawn-obsessed, Escalade-driving suburbanite,” says Marusin, a website developer who drives a Prius and now lives in cushy Naperville, Illinois, with his wife, Liz, an interior designer. “But staying in the city—it was beginning to kill us.”

To say all the cool people are moving to the ’burbs would be an overstatement. For hard-core city types, the idea of settling in suburbia is a death sentence. Life without 24-hour Thai delivery, backstage passes to the Buckethead show, and the occasional Stan Brakhage retrospective is hardly a life at all.