Saturday, September 29, 2007

oh canada

(Initiated from my crackberry in the Philadelphia airport, continued from Nashville.)

There are many different types of ways to love a destination.

The legends: These are the places that everyone talks about with reverence. The places that if you say "I haven't been there" you are given the look of pity from those who have. The "oh you poor sweet naïve child". They are the first cities that come to mind and displayed on a world map. The metropolis of New York, the romanticism and arts of Paris, the juxtaposition of classic and future that is Tokyo, and the white sandy beaches of Sydney. How can you not enjoy such destinations... except maybe for the prices?

The large, but small: These are the places that are regional. They are not a world, and sometimes the national, travelor's first choice - until they visit. They are the less-trod upon, sometimes the locals complain about their status in the world ("But we are on the A list!"), yet have some combination of metropolitan, cosmopolitan, character, and history that attract visitors to become believers, advocates, and eventual residents. Philadelphia and Boston come to mind.

The local love: These are the destinations that some people say, "Why would you want to go there?" But these are misunderstood. The places that warrant a second look. These are the locations that are chock-full of hidden gems, of history, and proud people. They are where the insiders know how great the city was, is, can, and will be. Where the longer you stay, the more you are drawn in, become a part of it, just as it becomes a part of you. The place that will always be a comforting, accepting, but at the same time - wonderful. For me and many others, Pittsburgh is such a land.

...Must get on a plane, but I will explain how all of this relates to my latest visit to canada soon...

And I'm back. As I was saying, there are many ways to love a destination. Montreal blended all of the aforementioned models - and then some.


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