The more and more cities I visit, the more I love cities. I’ve always tried to figure out what it is that draws me to cities so much.

I am not one for dichotomizing people but there is a clear difference between city folk and country folk. Nothing pejorative or anything like that – it’s just clearly different. I have lived in Kingston for four years, Toronto for 18 and had a cottage for my whole life. In this time, I’ve met people from cities as big as my hometown to towns smaller than 1000 in population.

In a word, the difference is how early it gets dark. You may think, Clayton, there’s no fucking difference really. But that’s not true. In Toronto it’s never dark. I can do as much at 4am as at 4pm. Whereas in Kingston, past 9 or 10pm everything is closed except for bars and 24-hr stores.

Another difference is the presence of churches. Not necessarily the number but that the presence is even felt. In my neighbourhood at home, there are at least four churches within walking distance of my house, along with a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple. But, they stick out no more than the corner stores.

In Kingston, I can hear church bells every quarter hour.

But what does that say about the city slicker like me? That I prefer the everpresence to the quiet? I don’t know but it’s something to ponder dontcha think?



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