I loved my college town during the summers, when the population would suddenly be reduced by about half, leaving us with a little city that still had fun things (a great Indian restaurant, excellent $1 pitas, fantastic video stores, rad concert venue) but with the peace and quiet of a much smaller town. The warm, wide streets felt empty, as the summer stretched out before us...
It was almost as if the town still contained the same amount of fun and potential — but now it was divided amongst only half as many people. We'd suddenly doubled our per capita fun! The place was still charming and interesting and lovely, but without the crowds and traffic and waits and people everywhere that can simply wear you out.
Now I live in San Francisco, where a similar clear-out seems to happen every August when tens of thousands of people leave for Burning Man. Of course, with 15.9 million visitors coming to San Francisco every year, and a large number of those visiting during the summer months, one could say any perceived city-clear-out is all in my head. However, tourists often congregate in certain areas, whereas Burners are from all over the city. There's also a good amount of our residents who leave in August to escape one of the coldest, foggiest months of the year (more fog for the rest of us!). Overall, the city just feels a little more spacious, a little more ours.
Is there a time of year when your city clears out? Do you have it to yourself, or are you one of the ones leaving? Do you enjoy the added quiet, or do you feel left behind?
(Image: Lindsay Tella/A Design Lover's Guide to San Francisco)