Last night, as Chris, Zach and I were walking back from the 711, a thought hit me. What if I could design my dream town? My mind started racing, picking at memories of foreign places.
There would be lush, blossoming bike paths sprouting everywhere, as bike riding was the most serendipitous experience I had in Hawai'i. It would take care of the increasingly need for alternative energy (leg muscle power!), and also cut down on the number of times "Get the fuck out of my way, you goddamn biker!" is muttered in the world. That's just unnecessary noise pollution.
Oh, the cafés of Paris. Mon dieu, I'd have a croissant and hot chocolate almost every morning. I can't forget the patisseries, either. I think I'd have the fattest ass in the world if you let me have my way with those desserts.
The buildings would be a blend of Doylestonian Victorian houses, the historic brick and stone buildings of Bethlehem, and a touch of Old Philadelphia - alleyways of cobblestone. Ok, so the bike paths wouldn't be everywhere, but you get my drift.
NO Starbucks. Ab-so-lu-te-ly none of them. In their place? Mom and Pop record shops, and so many independent cinemas it hurts. They all run different movies, however, so you'd never tire of them. Coffee and Cream of Doylestown is allowed to stay.
Toss in some museums (Sorry, Doylestown. You can only go to the Michener-Mercer-Fonthill-Moravian combo so many times before you start calling Henry Mercer a cement-snorting prick). Really crazy, interesting, museums a la the ones that I've never been to in Washington, D.C. because they're not in the mall.
Let me not omit picturesque parks and nature centers. The Waimea Nature Center in Hawai'i and the cherry blossom trees of Washington D.C. come to mind when I think of the beauty of nature, even though the latter serves to break up the monotonous, sterile architecture of an urban landscape.
All in all, the place would have an Anchorage-esque feel. I remember that cityas having this incredibly warm atmosphere (despite the subtemperate climate), somewhat akin to my imagination's rendering of a Scandinavian household. Everyone keeps warm by means of body warmth, a tepid drink, and the family dog. Plus, if it were a little chillier than the Mid-Atlantic region, you could wear hats longer without looking like a smacked bum.
One more thing: ornate streetlights must litter the sidewalks. Can anyone say hopeless romantic?
Thinking about all of my favorite places makes me a) indescribably content and b) lust for travel. When I (as far as I know) go to northern Italy and Austria in May with Women's Chorus, I'll attempt to bottle these moments and use them in my mental utopia - the place that, for me, is the closest I believe I'll ever get to Heaven.