An ode to the city

24 April 2008 at 2:51 pm 5 comments

Last year we moved to a small Northern Italian town surrounded by corn fields and rice paddies. Natural parks and rivers are minutes away. The population is just under 8,000 and everyone seems to know us. Feels like Stars Hollow sometimes. We can walk our kids to school and the cats roam freely around the block. Well, except for poor pudgy Sausage who got stuck in the fence the other day. We had to call the vet and fireman to set her free. It was quite the event in town!

I really do love it here and it’s a great place for my kids to grow up in BUT sometimes I get an itching for concrete and traffic that just overcomes me and I have to rush to Milan to get my fix. I guess you can say I’m a city girl at heart.

I was born in downtown Toronto and spent my first months of life there. Maybe I breathed in too many exhaust fumes back then that did something to my developing baby brain. Whatever it was, I think I’ve always felt an inexplicable connection to big cities. We later moved to the burbs where I spent most of my formative years but every time we would make our annual summer trek to the Ex, the sight of the CN Tower and skyscrapers fascinated me to no end. When I was a teenager, I would skip class just to walk down Yonge Street, “the longest street in the world” or hang out at the Eaton Centre, even if there was a perfectly fine mall nearby. And when I was old enough to travel on my own, I never felt more alive than when I was walking down the streets of Montreal, Mumbai, Paris, Madrid, New York, Rome and Poughkeepsie (ok, I’ve never actually been to Poughkeepsie but a girl can dream, can’t she?).

Some people go to the country to “recharge their batteries”. I go to the city to get my fill of energy. There’s something about the lights, the crowds, the colours, the anonymity, the hustle and bustle that make me feel at one with the universe. Yeah I know, I’m nuts!

In less than a week I’ll be in la ville lumière, Paris. Can’t wait!!! I’ll be posting lots of pictures and stories from there when I get back. Another place I’d love to visit again but won’t for a while is New York. For me, it is THE city par excellence. I love it and keep trying to find ways to get transferred there. For now, I dream and make do with looking at some of the best pictures of NYC I’ve ever seen on Blogjem. Frances’ photos make you feel as if you were really in Times Square or Central Park. And her black and white pics are spectacular.

She’s also the brains behind She Who Blogs, a collection of posts from female bloggers that I am proud to be a part of.

Finally, my ode to the city cannot be complete without a bit of music. Here’s the Jam, featuring the sexy-ugly Paul Weller, with “In the City”:

So, what’s your favourite city?  Where would you live if you had the chance?

Entry filed under: Milan, Paris, Something about me, toronto, Uncategorized. Tags: .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nyc/caribbean ragazza  |  25 April 2008 at 7:17 am

    I hear you! I was born in NYC and lived there until I was 10 then we moved to the ‘burbs. To this day I still get chills when I see the NYC skyline. I love my city. Sometimes NYC will wear you down but loved living there (I did make it back right before I move to L.A.).

    I am a city person, which why living in Los Angeles for nine years did not work for me. It’s like a big suburb with none of the perks of suburban living. I found it strange living in the second largest city in America and having to drive every where.

    I would say my fav. cities are NYC, Rome (where I am living), London, Toronto, Austin and Paris. I would love to visit Chicago, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, CapeTown, Nice, Palermo and few others.

    I do enjoy spending time in the country and by the beach but get anxious if I go too long without going to “the city”.

    Yeah, I guess we’re like Woody Allen in that way! Glad to see you like the centre of the universe (aka Toronto)

  • 2. Beatriz  |  25 April 2008 at 10:28 am

    I love the city too, and I have to say that my favorite would be Bogota. It is just my first city, my first love of all things in one place. Where I found me amidst the million others living there. I love its architecture, the backdrop of green mountains, its many museums and quirky stores, and I miss it! I am heading that way this summer, and you will see more about it. Of course there are other cities that I love, like San Francisco, Paris, Barcelona… and there are many more I want to visit, Berlin being first in my list.

    What a lovely description of Bogota. I’ve never been to S. America but am very intrigued. Looking forward to your posts this summer!

  • 3. your brother  |  25 April 2008 at 9:15 pm

    why do you say “the burbs” and not say Scarborough? you shouldn’t be ashamed of your roots!

    Nice e-mail address. Is it new? Well, “brother”, if you cared enough about your sister’s blog you would have read every single post and page, including my ABOUT page, in which I clearly and proudly state that I am from the magnificent city of Scarlem. And why do you say “your brother” and not say Joel? You shouldn’t be ashamed of your fine name!!

  • 4. SugoiSue  |  7 May 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Ahh… check out this article about “Scarlem.” I love Scarborough and all its blemishes despite what this pretentious magazine says…

    All the effort it took me to remember how to spell Scarborough with an ‘ough’ when I was a kid is enough to keep this city close to my heart! 🙂

  • 5. SugoiSue  |  7 May 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Aww… it doesn’t look like my comments went through right. I’ll see if I can remember what I wrote.

    You should read this article about “Scarlem”:

    I think it’s a lot better than what this pretentious magazine says about our dear Scarborough. I love Scarborough with all its blemishes.

    I think it’s all that time I spent as a kid trying to remember how to spell Scarborough with an “ough” that makes this city dear to my heart.


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