Friday, February 28, 2014

Perched on Fire Escapes under Lights

I've written before about my affection for and occasional ambivalence about cities. Ironically, I'm currently
in the most rural place I've lived in my adult life. But more than my love of cities, I have a love of change. And a love of finding fun and interesting places to work. So perhaps it's less ironic than I think.
The funny thing is that despite my love of cities, I don't know how to really live in them. Cities are intoxicating to me. But like a lot of things that are intoxicating, I can't partake in moderation. I go broke in cities, I go insane with different restaurants, foods, people, places. I run and run and end up in serious trouble and desperately late for work. 



Here, I don't. I'm less enthralled with my surroundings (As Frank O'Hara said I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy...though I'd say coffee shop.) I hate places without sidewalks. I love nature but I don't like spending too much time surrounded in it. I'm always worried it will get on me. I like it like city people do- I hike and climb, explore... then head to a nice bistro for lunch.

One problem is that I'm really enthralled by a city that never really existed. I love old stone buildings and rattling fire escapes of some television studio past. It's the city of a person who grew up in a bland exurban town. And though I've lived in many real cities since then, and visited hundreds across the world, I've never totally left behind that image. It's false, but like the imagined cities, intoxicating.

I wonder where I'll find myself in the future. I imagine I'll have to settle down and cease wandering at some point. Will that mean a city or a town? A rural village? I'd be lying if I even pretended to have an answer. I don't imagine a Tardis will whisk me away to any of my preferred sites, 1920 London, 1947 NYC, 1930 Paris... Since it won't I'll take a page from O'Hara and "wait for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful" and point me in a direction.

2 comments:

sweatingtomordor said...

I can really understand this - especially the TV studio version of cities. I blame West Side Story (and Friends, but don't tell anyone). We had no idea what cities were as we grew up in the country.

And now that we've both lived in them, we're hooked. There's so much here. And yeah, you do go a bit crazy and broke, but there's also Hot Mom Park, so....

What we need to do in take over Index, Washington. That's really the only logical conclusion here.

Ryan Beggar said...

Man I miss hot mom park... Parks are so not filled with hot moms here...
Index! That oakce is awesome. And does solve many of my problems... Hmm...