Thursday, 23 August 2007

the thing about a city

It's funny how you get to know a city like you get to know a good friend or a lover. You walk its streets, inch by inch you get to know its idiosyncrasies, its rhythms, the patterns of its street lights and the best place to go for a coffee after midnight. You learn its secret places and its mysteries. And if you're lucky, you fall in love. You come to love the way the city can still surprise you even after all this time. How you can turn a corner and uncover something new. An ancient and crumbling graveyard hiding between a parking lot and one corner of the university. It wasn't on your map, there is no sign marking its existence, and you must have walked past this place hundreds of times. But you also love the things about the city know you can count on, those unchanging details that make up a city's character. That you can order a mocha anywhere and it will come in an Italian ceramic mug with two marshmallows or a chocolate fish and it shall be three-dollars-fifty-thanks.

People talk about falling in love with a city, but can you really? I wasn't so certain before now. Wellington is special to me because I picked it. Unlike every other place I've ever lived. I never understood when someone would tell me how lucky they felt to live a particular place, like it was the only place they'd ever wanted to be. But walking home yesterday, up through Victoria University, discovering unexpected views of the city and harbour beyond glittering in the afternoon light, I felt very lucky. Very lucky indeed.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Your post is so timely! We knew that our decision to move here was the best one we've made in recent history, but this was confirmed after our trip to the US. Just one day back, and I was glowing while walking around this city. I truly believe I have fallen in love with Wellington!

It's nice to hear I'm not the only one who feels this way..