I love the feeling in the air that comes with a big city. The smells from local restaurants and eateries leak onto the sidewalk. People of different shapes, sizes, and colors walk the street. There's music in the air, from actual music to the sounds of car horns on the street and loud conversations on random street corners.
Being here also has reminded me how much I've changed in just 7 years since leaving Los Angeles. When I'm walking around I'm noticing lots of things. Not a lot of kids, not a lot of families. Stores and restaurants everywhere with "NO STROLLERS" signs on the outside. NYC, for all its greatness, is not kid-friendly. I've long thought that big cities like New York were made for young people just because of pace, but it's more than that now.
I've changed, and I've grown up. I look at a city's livability in terms of whether I can help raise a family there. Thinking about being a dad has rewired me a lot. I think about safe places more than I used to. I think of convenience and opportunities. And I see tradeoffs that come with big cities that I never saw during my L.A. days.
New York and cities like it will be great for our kid because they will get to see a lot of different things and meet different types of people. But it's going to be a place to visit now. Maybe I'm getting old, or maybe I'm just becoming practical.
It makes me thankful we live in the Lehigh Valley. It has a good mix of small and big, of opportunity close by and opportunities within a couple hours drive. I like the notion of having a neighborhood and walkable streets, of having a lawn for a kid to run around.