Music to My Ears

We all march to the beat of our own drum.  What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander.  Chacun à son gout! 

Our likes and dislikes, among other things, is what make us unique.  The differences in our personalities and temperaments are at the heart of our relationships, and these relationships make our lives rich.  Can you picture surrounding yourself with people exactly like yourself?  Wouldn’t they just drive you crazy?  Wouldn’t that become mundane on a day-to-day basis? Sorry, but as much as I ‘like’ myself, you can have too much of a good thing.

When we first made our decision to move to a downtown condo with a young child, I witnessed and sensed many disapproving looks and attitudes.  No one actually came out and said anything explicitly negative, but it was implied.  I found myself making excuses and defending our decision to people we discussed our move with even when it wasn’t warranted.  These reactions provided my initial motivation to start City Mom.

Shortly after our move, we had some visitors to our new place and there I was, rationalizing our choice, when my visitor responded by saying “I think it’s great that you want to live downtown.  Our city needs all types of people; some to live in the suburbs and some to live in the city.”  This really made sense to me.  I had never thought of it in that way before.  What would our great city be without the individuals that live in it?  What if my Blog was so powerful and moving that everyone flocked to the city, disowning their suburban plots?  What would happen to some of the wonderful neighbourhoods that our city has like Old South, Old North and Lambeth and the small businesses and shops that conduct business there?  Or fathom the reverse; the urbanites cash in their city digs for a few more acres?  Neither scenario would be favourable to London or its inhabitants, so thank goodness for individuality and the freedom to make choices!

We have always been drawn to the city life.  Pre-baby we owned a condo in downtown Toronto right in the centre of the action.   My husband and I have always loved the sights and sounds and the hustle and bustle.  When we left T.O. for a small suburban home (to be closer to our families) we noticed how much we missed those constant sounds.  It is hard to believe that the wail of sirens, honking of horns and drone of street cars would instill a sense of calm.  It is said that silence can be deafening…for us, it was. 

Since being back in the city, I feel much more at peace.  I realized this just the other day while playing on the balcony with my daughter.  It had just finished raining and I could hear the sound of car tires on the wet asphalt and the soft hum of the large air-conditioner units from the large buildings surrounding us.  With the sun shining down on us and the symphony of sounds, when I closed my eyes, it felt very similar to sitting on the beach at the lake.  Perfectly harmonious!

I can’t speak for my daughter in regards to the sounds and how they make her feel or if she even notices them.  It is likely something to which she will become accustomed and it will be neither here nor there.  One thing I do know is that our concrete building acts as a very effective sound barrier and the most we ever hear are the dulled sounds of the nearby train and we even find that therapeutic.  Little S has never seemed to be disturbed by any of the city’s sounds.  Like the saying goes:  Sleeping like a baby!  Whether it’s a train, a plane or your neighbour’s dog, a deep sleep is a deep sleep and you’re truly blessed if you have a child who will sleep through it all!  We really weren’t sure what to expect with her and the “noise” in terms of outdoor sounds and the indoor sounds from our neighbours being so close.  After all we now have them beside us, below us and above us.  S does not seem to be affected…the neighbours on the other hand…I don’t know but can only assume that the pitter patter of tiny feet isn’t so cute at 8am on a Sunday morning.  No noise complaints yet…so keep your fingers crossed.

I really don’t think there is a better way to summarize this post then the way Petula Clark did in her song, “Downtown” and the moral of this story is that variety is the spice of life…so add some salt and pepper and enjoy!

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go – downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know – downtown
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown – no finer place, for sure
Downtown – everything’s waiting for you

Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you
There are movie shows – downtown
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close – downtown
Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova
You’ll be dancing with him too before the night is over
Happy again

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, where all the lights are bright
Downtown – waiting for you tonight
Downtown – you’re gonna be all right now

And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along

So maybe I’ll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown – don’t wait a minute for
Downtown – everything’s waiting for you

Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown.”

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9 responses to “Music to My Ears

  1. I love this post!! Only a true city lover appreciates the sound of the city and it’s something I miss everyday!! And on a side note I’ve always had a soft spot for this song 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Judy. Sounds like you are a city lover yourself. You are no longer a city slicker I take it? And I agree with you, that song always makes me smile!

  2. Awesome post once again! I think you’re really get the hang of this!

  3. Ya, really great post!! I love that song 🙂 As you know, we have the busy street right out front of us too, and while it’s more like a highway than a quaint downtown street, I do have to say that the noise is also soothing to me in some weird way. I hate when it’s totally quiet and I feel like we’re in the heart of the action when you constantly hear cars driving by. Also, as you know too, we have the train right there and many people consider it romantic 🙂 A nod to the olden days 🙂

    • Old South is lucky that it has its own ‘feel’ but is still much a part of downtown.
      Love the nod to olden days…never thought of it that way. Now if only the fashion would revert back too!

  4. Good read once again Kel! You have always loved that song;) Me too….even from a small towner gal like me now, I know what you mean about all of those sounds.

  5. Pingback: Living in the ‘Hood’? « City Mom

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