If you look online or in the dictionary for the difference between a village, a city and a town, you’ll get a rather sterile description. I personally think the real difference is in the spirit and emotion they evoke.
I love cities! I’ve been in many awesome ones. San Francisco, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Guadalajara, Dublin, to name some I love.
The spirit of a city is grandeur and motion. It’s a place where great, important things happen.
Emotionally cities are exciting, beautiful, vibrant, alive day and night. Full of people you don’t know, colorful. Demanding, competitive. Excitement in the air, people are focused, purposeful, energized, moving fast.
I lived in Philadelphia for a good long while and it always seemed to be more town than city. New York to the north and Washington, DC to the south are more cosmopolitan, sophisticated, as cities should be. Philadelphia, with its old cobblestone streets, its colorful 250 year-old colonial townhouses, its gorgeous green squares and parks, is a town made for endless walking and looking.
Whereas people walk fast in the city, in a village you will stroll and even saunter.
Just the word village conjures up emotions for me. While cities get my adrenaline running, something deep inside of me relaxes when I’m in a village.
Villages are friendly and welcoming, safe and happy. Villages are charming.
I have 3 I particularly love.
Adare, Ireland is one of my favorite places on earth. Its thatched roof cottages and elegant manor with 76 fireplaces (best place in the world for afternoon tea) transport me to another world, another time. The beautiful actress Grace Kelly and I agreed (although never discussed) the best hotel in Ireland is the Dunraven Arms, built in the 1700’s, a place today where patrons come down for a big Irish breakfast dressed in their red fox hunting clothes.
I lived in Sunol, California for 4 years and still visit. It’s a fabulous quirky village with only 750 people. Downtown has a Whistle Stop Antique Store and Little Brown Church. We had bed races where people put wheels on beds and raced them down Main Street, with someone dressed in a way to make you laugh riding in the bed. We had pet parades that included llamas, tarantulas, peacocks, horses, and the usual cats and dogs. I lived next-door to a very large and intelligent pig. Sunol made international headlines when they elected a dog, Labrador Retriever, named Bosco for mayor. His slogan was, “I chase cars, not women” and he openly accepted bribes. I adore Sunol.
It takes me about 5 minutes now to drive down to the village at the bottom of the hill where I live. Every Sunday there’s a farmers’ market. I know every farmer who grows my food. We discuss the week’s crops and they tell me their struggles, their victories and little stories about the grapefruit, artichokes, peas, peaches and collard greens. The farmer who grows the most amazing Meyer lemons in the world proudly tells me what time he picked them the day before. What I bring home always feels like it was grown with love and each meal I make has special meaning.
I love them all, cities, towns and villages. They are humanity’s expression of the desire to live with others, to make a life in community. Whether exciting or charming, they each have their own soul.
Wishing you a home and travels in places that charm your soul and make you feel whole.