Each month I said I would write on another major city. Instead, this month how about: Why visit a city?
For some a major city offers: traffic jams, congestion, pollution, noise, tension and conflict. For others a major city offers: culture, architecture, music, museums, universities, theatre, great restaurants, and sports. I find people either love or hate cities. For twenty years, I raised three children in the suburbs and now we all live in the city, and love it! (Except the father and he still lives in a suburbs.) Why do we love our cities? The same reason we visit cities. There is so much going on to do.
I describe visiting cities by how many days we would enjoy touring it. For example, Dallas is maybe a two day city, Seattle a four day, Boston a five and New York a one month city! Or international cities: Madrid a two day, Venice a three day and London, Paris and Rome multiple days! What there is to do and see determines the length of a visit. Seattle has Pike’s Market, the Underground, Space needle, and a nice art museum. Often missed in Seattle are its wonderful parks. Seattle was built after 1900, therefore it has lots of open space. One of my favorite parks is Volunteer, designed by Olmstead. New York City has just about anything you want: museums galore, two teams of every sport, universities of all sizes, music venues from jazz to opera, a different theatre show every night for a month! Did you know the largest buttress cathedral in the world is in NYC?
Most large cities need to be taken in bits and pieces, just a few days now and then, unless you live or work in them. I find four days are enough before I get saturated. When I plan a tour for my clients I mix up the cities and the countryside. Beginning or ending in a city is fun. I have done it both ways with no preference.
Planning ahead is important when visiting a major city, otherwise something you really want to see may be missed. The first time I went to Venice I saved visiting St. Marks Basilica for the last day. Because I had not planned ahead, when I went to visit it was closed. Most museums close one day a week. Always check what day that is. Unless you booked your trip with me, then I’ve already done that for you.
I could write a whole book on the diversity of cities. I love riding my ‘red line’ and seeing people from three or four continents in one car! We have so much to offer each other: our food, our religions, and our personalities. In Rome, they stroll. In New York, they rush! Cities can be a wonderful stimulate to the soul, mind, and body.
What is your favorite city? When was the last time you visited it? Maybe it is time to go again or find a new favorite city!
New York is to the nation what the white spire is to the village – the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying the way is up!
– E.B. White