Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'll Take Manhattan (But Only if There’s No Other Choice)

Carolyn J. Rose

 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.


  1. Hi Carolyn,

    I am a bit like you, including the vertically challenged stuff!

    I do enjoy going up to London, theatreland, the museums and the history of the place. However I am not much of a one for shopping (unless it is for books) and the constant pushing and shoving of crowds of people, quite frankly scares me.

    I understand the theory of a cosmopolitan City, however the incessant noise of the many spoken tongues and the constant roar of the traffic, soon has me running for the hills!

    Oddly though, I am not a huge fan of too much wide open space, although I don' t mind my own company. I guess that at heart, I am just a small town girl, who likes to keep her options open and dip her toe in either pool, depending on her mood!

    Have a great weekend,


    1. I was a little daunted by the sheer size of London when we were there 18 months ago, but once I got the hang of the tube and the lay of the land in the historic part of town where we were staying, I did okay. But not much more than okay.