Living in the City

Growing up in the suburbs, I never thought that I would one day live in the city. I grew up with five huge gum trees in the back yard and with plenty of green grass on which to play. I was used to empty streets during the day; and walking past houses set in large gardens on my way to school. The surroundings were calm and quiet: birds chirped in the trees, and dogs barked at the odd passer-by. Thinking back to my childhood, I know I grew up in an environment coloured by nature’s paintbrush; a place that offered tranquillity and serenity if you wished for it.

Now I live in a city surrounded by tall, grey buildings. Patches of grass can be seen; but they are slowly being replaced by the modern skyscrapers that are built to home the increased number of residents in this city. I experience the noise, the crowded sidewalks  the long queues,  the brusque residents, and the knowledge that I can never truly know the sensation of solitude when I am surrounded by humanity.

A view from my balcony. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Living in the city has its pros and cons. Many amenities are within walking distance: the hospital, the supermarkets, the library, even the post office. Owning a car is not a necessity as the public transport has frequent buses and trains available to take you to your destination. Theatres, art galleries and museums are within easy reach; as are evenings of dining out after a ballet or listening to an opera.

Spots of tranquillity can be found in the city I inhabit. I cannot find it, though, in my own back yard; or walking down the street in which I live. It is for this reason we have created a space of tranquillity in our own home: a place where we can be at peace; a place which we hope may not be intruded upon by our neighbours.

What is your experience of living in the city?

(This blog post was inspired by Jake and his stunning graphics. The prompt for his weekly challenge this week is City.)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012


37 thoughts on “Living in the City

  1. I grew up in a small town, and loved everything about it. We still talk very fondly about it all. I lived in the Hillbrow in the super late 70’s and early 80’s. I loved it, but it was stress to a high level. Living on the farm now is also fantastic, peace and quiet can get mind-numbing though.
    I was completely in love with Oxford, London and Cambridge. But I was equally crazy about the tiny town that Jax lives in.
    I don’t think I can make my mind up!!!


    1. I think this is because both have their positive characteristics. Though I do admit I would not like to live in Hillbrow as it is now, it did have a certain charm in the late 70s, early 80s. And Oxford and Cambridge? Who would not fall in love with those towns? 🙂


  2. Wonderful post describing your City. I felt like I could see what you were seeing at the time you wrote this. I live in the country side now, but I miss the hum of the city. I really Miss my favorite city…New Orleans, Louisiana. I lost most of my photos of that lively city during Hurricane Katrina. But I still have my minds photos and that is what matters at this time. Thank you for sharing your wonderful City 😉


  3. Nice view! Yes, it’s a bit harder finding those tranquil spots.
    I straddle both worlds – suburban house, and a small apt. in NY now- I find returning to the apt. so peaceful after running around in the city.


  4. I’ve done both and enjoyed both,,,,while I’m in Florida I enjoy the feeling the experience of the hustle and bustle…to some extent…but I do love my window into the woods..


  5. Hmm, personal space is definitely an issue, Colline, but then many cities have beautiful green spaces and riverside walks. Not personal to you, though.
    I live in a medium sized town but the beach, the moors, and a choice of cities are not too far away. Good old pocket-sized England?


    1. Nothing quite like having your own yard to step into when you want some green space – no need to leave your home and walk to the green spaces, though we have done it.


  6. I never lived in a big city, but I started out right outside of New York City and am now right outside of Philadelphia. Sometimes I think it would be fun to live in places such as these and be a ‘native’, knowing the cool spots and being super familiar with the streets. Then sometimes, not. 🙂
    Nice pic, Colline.


    1. A young person really enjoys the freedom the city gives: the freedom to go out and about using public transit; the freedom to attend the many activities that take place in a city. But to be honest I have reached the time of my life when this is not all important to me and I look for something more tranquil and peaceful.


  7. Toronto is a beautiful city and I have found the people there patient and helpful to lost
    and floundering tourists. It is one of my favourite places to visit, but I do prefer living in the country. Our daughter has the best of both worlds, living in Ajax, right on the Lake, but close enough to the city to enjoy some of the benefits.


  8. A walk down memory lane! I remember this view. Strangely, everyone I knew said I would not miss Toronto after I fled to the GTA. I love the natural surroundings and beauty where I live now surrounded by forests, trees, pathways and many farms, but, I do miss Toronto. I lived the city life from my mid-twenties for 22 years. I spent weekends in farm country and the week in the city. Now I wish to do the same again. Spend the week in the city and the weekend in the country. Considering purchasing condo for the week in the city and staying at my country home during the weekend! I miss the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city and currently spend at least 2 days a week in the city. Wish for more!


  9. For the moment I cannot imagine living in a skyscraper. I grew up in apartments, but for all my married life and now, l’ve lived/am living in a house with a huge garden. I can absolutely imagine going a lot smaller, but it must be a huge adjustment having to use an elevator to get to your home?


  10. I love the idea of creating a tranquility area in your own home. I enjoy going to the city just to look around, shop, visit but I’m not sure when it comes to living there 24/7 but sometimes destiny leads us to places and we make the most of where we are. Beautiful post.


  11. It is funny that word city, what is it and how is defined by different people. I grew up in the country, in towns and on farms, Anyway near a city was the city, including all the suburbs, it was all the same thing. Now the city, is only the middle bit, where all the high rises are, and some people never venture into it, while others work and live in it and then there are others who love it and go in whenever they can, that is us. I love the city, I would love an apartment in it, but not to live in, I like where I live now, in the suburbs, with paddocks across the road, it is the best of all worlds.


  12. I have been living in city from 1966 to 1986. Now we live yet few weeks on countryside and we move back to a small town. We have great waits to live there. Our future house is an apartment building which is on the shore of lake.

    What comes to living on countryside and in cities, they both have advantages.


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