I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I live in a pretty small town. It’s by choice. I like being able to walk the entire town, if I so desire, and I like knowing my neighbors. It would be impossible to get lost in my town, or to get turned around and confused as to which direction to head next. There is one stop light, there are no one-way streets, and you don’t need a taxi or bus to get around. We don’t have any parking garages, no double parking, and no metro transit.
I recently took a small trip to the big city for a conference, and although it had its finer moments, the experience reminded me how much I love my small town. Some may say that small towns lack culture…that you can’t see a great play, or eat at a unique restaurant. No museums, no concert halls, no sports stadiums, and no global markets. Some may pity us poor country bumpkins, having such a limited lifestyle, and might assume we must be miserable.
Well, I’ll admit it…I love a good Thai or Greek restaurant now and again, and much of the big-city amenities are appealing. I’d love to have a larger grocery nearby, where cilantro is not considered an unfamiliar exotic. And being a people watcher, the big city certainly offers a tempting landscape.
It was a bit of a rush, being amongst all of those energetic city people, in a big hurry to get somewhere or other. I wondered where they might be going. Everyone I saw seemed to be on some sort of mission. My head was reeling with imagined possibilities for each of them. Taxis, busses, metro transit, cars, bicycles, people on foot…yes, the city was abuzz, and exciting.
And there was an abundance of architectural diversity. Sleek, tall buildings, reflecting light, even at night. Old brick and stone structures, a bit of history lingering amongst their modern counterparts. Parking garages filled every block, offering slots for thousands of cars. Small, modern boutiques, massive bookstores, and classic vintage storefronts. My eyes tired of darting, and my neck ached from craning to see the tops of the skyscrapers. It was almost over-stimulating, with all there was to take in.
BUT…after dealing with one-way streets, lots of traffic, crazy drivers, feeling lost, and going into panic mode upon nearing the perimeter of the looming metropolis on the expressway (even though I wasn’t even driving!), I’ll take my tiny town any old day. My city adventure is over, and I am very glad to be tucked back into my little burg. This small excursion into urban life should tide me over for a couple of years, at least.