Dream Town.

2 Nov

Lately I’ve been really unsatisfied with the city I live in. Which is strange, because normally I’m the first person to defend it. Poor Ottawa, a government town sandwiched between the metropolitan meccas of Montreal and Toronto. While my peers lament the lack of entertainment here, I always rally, exclaiming that indeed there are things to do, you just have to know where to look! I extol the virtues of the NCC, how they keep all our national parks perfectly clean in case the queen should decide to make an impromptu stopover. And oh, the beauty of the parliament buildings!

Yeah, now I live in suburbia again and I’m remembering that life in the ‘burbs isn’t really that fun. And now I’m starting to hate it here, because I’ve been reminded that “downtown” is not “Ottawa.” It’s just downtown. Ottawa proper is comprised of a much larger swath of land, and that swath is kind of awful.

When I was in high school, I kept a zillion journals. I was fond of making lists. One such list was essentially about my dream boyfriend. What girl didn’t write that list, amirite? Anyway, not to go too schmoopy-cornball on you here, but Steve basically fulfills every characteristic that I jotted down on that list. In the spirit of wishful thinking, allow me to now compose a list about my dream city…

+ Relatively urban, but not too sprawling.

+ Close proximity (by which I mean an hour’s drive or less) to beautiful, natural scenery, such as mountains (I’m thinking Rockies, not Gatineau Hills) and beaches (White Rock as opposed to Mooney’s Bay).

+ A decided lack of WalMarts and shopping malls. I will accept these blights on the edges of city limits but I do not want to be within walking distance of either.

+ Beautiful dwelling spaces. No aluminum siding. Why can’t function and form mingle a little bit, Ottawa city planners? Why??

+ Lots of trees.

+ A flourishing arts community.

+ People who smile more often than they complain. This is my major complaint. The people I am forced to interact with on a day to day basis bring me dowwwwwwn, man!

+ An extremely high degree of literacy. Not just in the sense that people can read, but in the sense that people do read, and don’t think of it as a chore. I’m not even referring to books here, necessarily. Just, say, the signage in shops.

+ People who can dress themselves. I am the first to say, I know nothing about fashion. I have a weird body type that’s hard to fit and I really don’t know how to dress my figure to full effect. But I do know enough to know it’s hard to go wrong with dark wash jeans, a peacoat, and a half decent haircut. There are far too many people here who think it’s okay to wear Crocs. I actually saw a Croc’n’sock combo just the other day. That is not okay. Primarily because if the people are buyin’, you can rest assured the stores (at the mall!) will get to sellin’, and soon there will be no options beyond those rubbery monstrosities. Ballet flats are comfortable too! Just try a pair!

+ Excellent public transit. Preferably a subway/light rail system in a city that is otherwise conducive to walking.

If anybody knows of such a town, please pass that information on.

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