I went on a shopping trip to Chicago this past weekend. I'd never been there if you can believe it. The shopping was fun, but I think to experience a city like Chicago in all of its wonder that you really need to take in some culture. I am embarrassed to admit that I partook in nothing culturally enriching. I shopped the entire day. Did I have fun? Yes. Did I feel like something was missing? Yes.
My favorite part of the entire day was watching the people. I loved looking at how people were dressed, and the signals that their bodies conveyed. On the whole, people's attitudes and confidence levels differ immensely from the uptight mini-city that I live in.
Another interesting thing I noticed is how many people there were on the streets. Grand Rapids is like a ghost town- it's deserted except in ruch hour, or if there's an event. I would love to see GR become bustling with the energy that Chicago has. It was an amazing feeling, and I could feel the hum of the street. All of that shared energy can really bring out the creative side of a person.
The other thing I thought about while I was there was about the lifestyle of someone living in the city and not owning a car- probably living in an apartment. As the Mom of a near-toddler, I really noticed how many people had their babies out and about and bundled to the max. I probably would have left my baby at home instead of pushing him in his stroller on a cold day. If I lived in Chicago and had to take the train everywhere, my life would be completely different.
I'm glad that I live in the suburbs, and I'm very grateful for what I have been given in life. However, sometimes I just wonder who I would be if I hadn't decided to go to school in West Michigan, and instead made the jump to big city life.