The other day, I spent the day with my niece in Manhattan, and i think I've finally managed to learn something about myself......
I don't think I'm much of a city person anymore.
In my youth, i certainly THOUGHT i was. Growing up on the Queens border, i spent many days and nights in big bad New York City, along with everyone else i knew. It was kind of a badge of honor amongst us to see who was the most knowledgeable of all the city hot spots and goings-on.
Then, when i turned 18, my family moved farther out on Long Island. At the time, i thought my life was over. Seeing all the trees, parks, big front yards, and general greenery made me feel like i should be standing on my front lawn holding a pitchfork next to some old lady. I HATED it, and spent more time travelling back to my old stomping grounds than i did in my new home.
But, as time went on, i gradually started to appreciate the pleasures that a more relaxed way of living had to offer. For one thing, people weren't stabbing each other. I found that to be quite a nice change. Moreover, people seemed generally HAPPIER. Maybe it was the fact that we all weren't living on top of each other in small, boxed homes, but people generally seemed happier to be alive. Plus, as i said, there was that whole concept of less people wanting to stab me.
Anyway, I look back on those times now with astonishment that there was a time in my life where i actually PREFERRED to live that way over the more suburban, pool-in-the-backyard, weekend-orgy-in-the-Hamptons life that i have now. I KNOW that it all made sense to me back then, but for the life of me i can no longer remember WHY.
I guess it all kind of came to a head for me this weekend as i traversed the streets of Manhattan with my niece, who has now become a die hard cosmopolitan. For every time she told me, "This block has any kind of food you can want.. from a Haitian bakery over there, to great Thai place next door, to a superb Greek place across the street!", all I thought about was, "I'd rather just be home sitting in my backyard where i WOULDN'T be seeing this homeless guy pee on my leg."
I dunno. Maybe I've just become lazy in my old age, but at this point in my life I'll take a nice quiet backyard with a hammock to a 24-hour rave hall anyway.