Quick, don’t think: what is your favorite city to visit and/or live in?
1. You have to have been to the chosen city.
2. You have to honestly enjoy the city-no cheating such as, “I really dig that coffee shop on D St.” It has to be a profound, soul-inducing love affair with the chosen city.
3. Maybe you’ve been there with people, but you’ve enjoyed the chosen city on some level of solo effort.
4. It has to be big-you know, like a city.
So, I’m from the south, and contrary to what many think, the south has cities full of urban banter! In fact, I’d say we have some of the loudest, and unruliness of the bunch. Either way, I wouldn’t describe myself as a lover of cities; I like to avoid them. I kind of dig living in areas where it’s college size, there’s some culture, but at the same time, the culture isn’t smacking you over the head like a brutal migraine; instead, it just rests around you when you want and it’s mandatory that you can get away from that easily.
Even so, just like how the woods teach you about yourself, I believe that cities can and do teach you about culture, vitality, the globe, and simply, the human spirit. What makes that even more awesome is that all of that leads you to learning more about yourself.
True, you can learn so much about culture in villages or small towns as well, especially the ones rooted in tradition and the kind of strength that we all want to take like vitamins. One day, I’ll write about that type of place, but in reality, cities begin due to convenience, money, and politics. Last time I checked, traditional cultural values have nothing to do with any of those. People went off and created something easier for a reason, but in my mind, the real advantage to that is diversity. And the easy access to it. In many ways, cities expose the authentic layers of diversity that don’t typically exist in traditional areas.
Going to a city can be like a burst of vitamin D after a long, dark winter. They can blow your mind awake and make it remember the beautiful corners of the human race. Mountains teach you about Mother Earth, but cities, they teach you about people, and everything that goes along with that.
I haven’t been to many cities, but I’ve listed these as some of my favorites because they’ve all delivered me wonderful slaps in the face (in no given order): Barcelona Amsterdam Washington, D.C. San Francisco Florence NYC Atlanta Lima (that’s right, I’m putting Lima on this list)
So quick, what city will you share?
Thanks for reading, reflecting, sharing, commenting, and liking!