It is my firm belief that cities have personalities like people do. They have characteristics that make them unique, and help travelers determine if they’re best friend material, or simply an acquaintance. To illustrate this, let’s look at two cities I’ve visited: London, England, and Dublin, Ireland.
London could be personified as an old professor. He has been around the block a few times, and is set in his ways. He knows exactly what works for him, and will keep it that way for a long time to come. He has high expectations for you, and he won’t offer help if you need it. He expects you to figure things out for yourself. If you are lost, London subtly points you in the right direction. When you do find your way, London will reward you, not with a big fanfare but with a smile and a nod. He knows a good cup of tea, politics, and has a very good sense of his past.
Dublin is like that guy in a pub. He always has a drink in his hand, he’s a bit gruff, but he’s friendly once you get to know him. He’s rough around the edges – it might take you a while to find the nice spots – but Dublin knows it and will let you get to them on your own. He holds grudges for long periods of time, and takes time to remember those who have gone before him. He’s had problems in the past, and he knows it, but he’s working on putting it all behind him. Dublin doesn’t try to put on airs – what you see is what you get.
So as you travel to different cities this semester, try to get a feel for the personality of the city. Each one is unique, just like a person, so get to know them. You may end up with a new friend.
Written by: Elizabeth Niedbala