Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Left my Heart in the City

Hot tea is part of my normal routine after work. I sit down on my bed to rest my feet and unwind. Tonight I had a little bowl of ice cream instead, just because. I wanted a few minutes of ice cream to sit and think... about the city. Today I missed it terribly. Not any one city in particular, just the city. Tonight I remembered experiences mostly from Los Angeles, New York, and Rome. Let my try to pinpoint what I find so enchanting.

New friends can be found everywhere you go. In the city you can talk to everyone or you can talk to no one, and get away with either. They have the highest concentration of talent and creativity, making for fantastic variety in music, restaurants and markets, boutiques, specialty shops, museums, and art galleries.

You can walk down the street with hundreds of people you don't know yet sense a bond with all of them, or you could feel completely alone. But when you walk down an empty street, you're just alone.

The city contains tremendous energy. Cars, buses, trains, airplanes, bicycles, people, even dogs are on a mission. Any time of day or night offers something.

So where do you go to get away from it all? That's easy: your rooftop garden. Or, more realistically, your backyard garden. Confession: the backyard in "Return to Me" is just about perfect. Confession: Meg Ryan's townhouse in "You've Got Mail" combined with that garden would be a little paradise.

Some favorite things about aforementioned cities:

Los Angeles
The view of city lights from the Getty Museum.
Aroma Cafe.
Mountains, sea, desert. All in one.
L.A. is the entire world on a micro-scale. Almost every culture is represented.
California architecture.
So many mini-cities to choose from: Pasadena, Burbank, Venice, Santa Monica, Westwood...

New York
I could stand on a corner, jaw dropped, for hours, taking it all in.
The subway.
People on street in winter = dark trench coat, iPod, looking down or straight ahead.
Central Park
Visitors (me) can't blend in, even when they really try.

Chocolate croissants and cappuccino
Early dinner reservations are 8pm. 9 or 10 is normal.
The sweet lady I stayed with and the amazing view of Rome from her window.

I've tried this before, and I can never quite express why I love it. It's like asking me why I like chocolate. It's just wonderful. Hopefully I'll return to the city one day, but until then, it's always in my heart.

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