I'm on vacation this week, so posting and/or responding to comments will probably be slow, and topics will be nice and non-theological, like this one!
Right now, I'm in Chicago visiting college friends. I've been thinking about cities. I've been to Chicago three times now, and I really like it. I feel like I'm getting to know my way around a bit. I feel like it is an "easy-going" sort of city. I grew up in a small city (think 30,000 people) and I now live in an even smaller city (think 10,000). When I was looking at colleges, even schools in mid-sized cities like Syracuse University seemed intimidating to me. When I went to seminary, I chose Drew over Boston in part to location. Drew would give me access to NYC without having to live right in a big city.
During seminary, I interned at the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (say that five times fast), and got to do the whole commute-into-Manhattan-thing. I hated it (the commute, not the agency). Aside from the fact that I worked beginning in September 2001, and had to deal with the immediate change of atmosphere from 9/11, I just hated the stress of the commute. My job wasn't stressful, but getting to it was. Being near other stressed-out commuters rubbed off on me. And Manhattan - something about it just seemed life-draining to me. (Sorry to you NYC readers!) I felt like my thoughts about big cities had been confirmed - could never live in one.
Now, living in a small town, I very much miss the diversity of living in the NY metro area. I miss seeing people who don't look like me. I miss not having people of other faiths living in my community. I miss not having anything open after 10pm!
So, here in Chicago, I'm thinking about cities. When I go back to school someday for doctoral work, I'm thinking you might find me in a big city.
What's your favorite city? Why? What's your least favorite? Why? Do you prefer smaller-town life?