Saturday, August 11, 2007

City Life

I'm a country boy. I didn't grow up on a farm or anything, or even way out in the country boondocks. I had close neighbors and only needed to drive a couple minutes to get to a grocery store or restaurant. But even though there was a lot of traffic and more blaring street lights than I care to mention, we did have lawns and gardens and woods and animals and all those other things city folk never see. And those things were the reason I could never see myself living in the city.

We just got back from visiting Andrew and Lyndsay who live in downtown Minneapolis. The Sunday before that we spent the day in downtown Chicago. These are two really big cities. These aren't (what now seem like) small little places like Cleveland or Pittsburgh or Columbus which to date, have been my only city-type experiences. These are the real deal. And I was amazed at what I found.

Due to poor life experiences or ill-cultured tendencies, big cities always seemed one step from scary to me. Not like I was fearing for my life every minute or anything, but there was always this anxiety I couldn't explain. Just something about it that didn't seem altogether safe. And that may actually be rational, but it's not healthy. To live in an intense kind of fear doesn't do anyone any good and doesn't help anyone enjoy their time in those cities.

Last week I grew a whole new respect and admiration for City life. We walked almost everywhere we went, as did everyone else who wasn't riding a bike. We had our pick of quiet coffee shops and sculpture gardens and parks and cafes and music and museums and on and on and on. None of which I had in my little hometown of 2200 people, or in any of the places we could drive in an hour any direction. These were awesome things I could really get used to. Did you feel a little less safe in alleys at night? Sure. But crime is everywhere. Was it harder to find a parking place when you had to drive? Sure. But we barely drove anywhere. There's a romance to all kinds of living, and I now understand a little more the romance of City Life. As much as I'm a country boy, after this week I could actually see myself living in a city. Something I would never have said 7 days ago. If only I could take my garden with me. Hmmm.......

2 Comments:

Blogger Adrienne said...

Glad you enjoyed yourselves so much!

You could always live on the top floor of a highrise and put your garden on the roof?

I used to be sure I wanted to move somewhere much bigger...but I always knew Adam would never leave the Valley...now, I wouldn't go if I could.

3:34 PM  
Blogger a.k.a. Zooomabooma said...

I would never move to the heart of a city (although, I can't really say never because ya never know what God might have in store... but if it's up to me -- nope!)

But there was a time when I was bi... and by bi I absolutely only mean that I could be happy living in a small town away from traffic and sprawldivisions or happy in a city such as when I spent a summer living on Union Square West in New York City. Wow. Since I grew up just miles away from Manhattan, I knew the city well, could go walk around at 4 a.m. and hit the bars, ride the subway, no big whoop. Living there full time for awhile was something completely else. It was amazing! Nowadays -- no, thanks. I'll visit for an hour or for even a few days but I needs me my trees and open spaces!

10:45 AM  

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