Qlip, OMG, YES, I totally get where you're coming from! I grew up in the suburbs, and I always knew something about it felt wrong for me. The minute I could, I moved to an apartment in the city and have never looked back.
Being female, I was always a bit more careful about what kind of neighborhood I lived in, and my husband enforces that now () especially since we're thinking about having kids now and what not, and there are definitely no after-midnight walks. My neighborhood that I live in now is residential, and the few blocks around us are pretty safe, but it is technically in one of the skeevier neighborhoods of St Paul. (It's known as Frogtown, but we're right on the edge, so not in the thick of it.) But as long as I feel safe, I'd much rather be around working class people who have to work to make a living, and many of whom (like my spouse) work in plants or mills or factories instead of in a skyscraper in Minneapolis. (Not that I have anything against skyscrapers in Mpls-- I love them, actually, but lots of people who work in them are just not my kind of people.) And I don't give a damn about the lawn.
Another example-- when my spouse proposed to me, he did so in front of our old apartment building in Minneapolis. It wasn't anything fancy, no big public display or fancy dinner or weekend getaway. But it was AWESOME, because a few minutes after I said 'Yes,' and we were still hugging and kissing and smiling outside the building, a crackhead (we think) walked by and asked us for a lighter. We said we didn't have one, and he said "That's okay man.... hey, you two make a good couple. You should marry each other!" It was great, a proper city moment.