Thursday, September 3, 2009

City Mouse, Country Mouse

I love Aesop's popular fable, City Mouse-Country Mouse. It's been told a thousand times in a thousand different ways, but the fact remains that we all have very different ideas of what's home. As a former "country mouse" (or at least a "small Southern town mouse"), I now live in a wanna-be "city." If I didn't hate cold weather and were independently wealthy, I'd move to New York City in, well, a New York minute. I love the grit, the energy, the community of urban living. I love masses of people of all generations, affiliations and persuasions living on top of one another, eating and living and moving together and tripping over one another in the streets.

One of my favorite memories of city life is from a trip to Madrid, when I was strolling down a street near a park early in the evening, and I watched elderly couples in elegant suits walking hand in hand, doting parents ushering uniformed children home from school, young boys engaged in a boisterous game of soccer, tourists looking befuddled at city maps, all mingling and enjoying the same summer air, then coming together later for fellowship over food and wine and post-dinner gelato. To me, there's something so powerful and rich and alive about being one of many, of living and breathing and mingling in such proximity to neighbors and strangers alike.

While it's unlikely that I will leave Atlanta and even less likely Atlanta will ever grow up and evolve into a real city, I still long for the day when I won't need a car, when I can wake up in my aparment upstairs and wander downstairs to my storefront office to work, breaking occasionally to purchase fresh produce from the local market, snatch up that cute dress from my neighborhood boutique or share a good meal with a friend at our favorite local restaurant, while stopping to chat with shop owners and neighbors along the way. I'll end my day with a long run in the park with my husband and our dog, then watch the sun set over the orange-kissed skyline of this beautiful city I call home.


  1. I had to laugh at this: "Atlanta...evolve into a real city". Compared to where I'm at, even Atlanta's burbs are cities by our standards :)
    I'm drawn to city life as well. I'd live in Washington, DC if I could, but we like to be near our families and appreciate not having to pay a gazillion $$ to have our daugher in school :)

  2. I had all that in Santa Monica and it could not compete with the friendliness and love that I feel in Atlanta.

  3. Great post! Lived in ATL all my life, both urban and burbs. Love it and cannot imagine living anywhere else :)

  4. I too am a city girl and my hubby and I are missing "real" city life. User-friendly public transportation and walkability are lacking here in the ATL. Looks like we might be heading back north, although I am NOT looking forward to the weather!


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