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Curved-letter cities

12 Dec

Curved-letter cities

Last night, Dylan asked me where I would move if we didn’t have to worry about practicalities. “Brooklyn,” I said. “Portland. Berlin.” Cities that start, comfortingly, with nice rounded capital letters. There’s almost some aural symmetry in their pronunciation, as though they might sound the same if spoken by a tipsy Frenchman with a speech impediment. These cities couldn’t be more different, but I like all three of them, and it’s not just the lousy weather patterns that unites this trio. I love cities that fidget with creative energy, mostly because I hope some of it will rub off on me. I love these cities because parts of each remind me of Chicago, of home, and because they have rusty run-down things along with the shiny new ones.

Lately I’ve been sculpting a romantic notion out of going to Berlin in the winter. When you don’t live around snow, it’s easy to think of it as a beautiful backdrop to wonderful scenes. And maybe it is for a minute or two, but then it’s cold and your nostrils feel like tiny igloos, and you feel like you’ve been walking the tundra for weeks even though all you’ve done is take a three-block walk to a coffee shop. But I keep thinking that a Berlin winter cannot possibly be as brutal as its wicked Chicago sister. Wikipedia temperature information confirms this theory.

Realistically, though, it’ll first be Brooklyn in February and Portland in March; the Southern Gentleman and I need to save up some shacking-up costs anyway, so big trips are not in my near future. Berlin will have to wait, as will a more thorough explanation of why I like that city so much in the first place. (Been sick for six weeks, and can’t stay awake past 9 so well these days.)

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