There are a lot of good reasons for living in the city: smaller eco-footprint, shorter commute; a walkable lifestyle; or access to dining and culture.
Although I certainly appreciate the shorter commute, some of the reasons don’t really apply to me.
I own a car and although often destinations are well within biking range often I just opt to drive out of speed and convenience. So although I do drive, I drive much less.
As for dining and culture, the number of times we’ve gone out to eat or watch a show in a year wouldn’t justify living within a 10 minute drive of those activities.
Really if I’m honest I just enjoy the look of the city. I enjoy having different types of buildings around me. In the city old buildings are destroyed and new infill is built. I like the regular hum of traffic.
When it’s too quiet outside I fear that perhaps the world has ended around me without my knowing.
Perhaps this will change when I have kids, but I’m not sure. Past a certain age I would want my kids to start understanding the bigger world around them, and that won’t happen in a suburb.
Edit: Here’s F Scott Fitzgerald on the topic from the Great Gatsby:
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye.