Feb 16 2005

Five Cities

Published by at 1:39 pm under General

I just started reading a book called Imperial San Francisco which got me thinking about the six major cities which have been main factors in my life. First Chicago where I was born, raised, and educated through high school. Public high school at that. Then a college period split between rural Indiana and Chicago, but Chicago was still the main factor. Self conscious and aspiring Chicago. Graduate school took me to Pittsburgh Pa for four years. A cruder and somehow less self conscious place. Whereas Chicago always chaffed at being number 2 to New York, Pittsburgh was less and didn’t care.
After Pittsburh, it was on to a brief interlude in a suburb of New York City, but not really New York and temporary. Then on to the big time. London England and then Rome Italy. Two different and justly impressive cities. London was majestic, but a bit shabby. Getting over the King’s Road period but still trying to understand and come to terms with its role in the world. No longer the major imperial power it once was. Rome was just Rome; dirty, chaotic, beautiful, impressive, charming and frustrating. Seemingly satisfied, but less understood by me since my Italian was limited.
Then back to NYC area for an extended period (30 years!). Domiciled in NJ but dominated by NYC. The king. Biggest shot in the country. Most of everything. Noisy and aggressive. Everything was there. And now, to retirement in mid San Francisco. Inner city. So far, the most charming and tasty of them all. Rome was close in the charm category and maybe even better, but I was too busy working to really appreciate it as I “should have done”.

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