Some people love the hustle and bustle of cities. They love the crowds, the action, the sounds, the smells. They relish the sense of opportunity, of possibility, or even danger.
I’m not one of those people.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the country where the woods began at the edge of the lawn and the wild lands of the Catskill Mountains were a short hike beyond that.
Perhaps it’s because I’m just two inches past five feet tall. In a crowd, I see shoulder blades and shirt collars. I feel trapped. I get short of breath and dizzy. I want to scream and run, but there’s no place to go.
Perhaps it’s because I’m—in the words of my husband and others—a control freak. In a crowded city, almost everything seems out of my control.
There are great restaurants and theaters and museums in large cities. But no meal is so terrific, no performance or exhibit so amazing, that it can alter my visceral reaction.
So give me tall trees instead of tall buildings. Give me millions of grains of sand on a beach instead of millions of people in an urban area. Give me a view of mountains or a lake or a river instead of a view of my neighbor’s living room.
You take Manhattan. I’ll take a walk.