I've always lived in cities, I love cities, I believe in cities, but the last two weeks have been so full of crime, car crashes, constant sirens, catcalls, and crazier-than-usual bus rides that I'm a bit beside myself. What do you do when your beloved city starts getting you down? I'm really writing about this because I need your help and advice, but in the spirit of fairness I'll share the somewhat-effective little methods I've come up with...
No Retreat, No Surrender Sure, out there is where all the noise, filth, and yelling people are, but it's also where you'll find kind-hearted servers, sassy baristas, and hundreds of your fellow citizens quietly trying to make each other's lives better. Go out into the crazy city, throw yourself into it, smile at people if you can muster it, and let all the beautiful things that people make & do heal you.
Retreat, Retreat! But sometimes, you just need to stay home. Close the windows, lock the doors, make dinner with what you have on hand, hope there's a little bit of booze stashed away (if you're so inclined), and hunker down on the couch with a movie and a stack of books. Forget about leaving the apartment — don't even leave the couch (the floor is made of lava!). Stick in earplugs, try to get some sleep, and hope that the next day will have a bit more peace.
Staycation Try venturing out of your usual hang-outs and explore new parts of your city. Though they're sure to have many of the same stressful issues, thanks to the novelty of a new neighborhood ("vacation goggles"), you might not notice them. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Chinatown and North Beach (Little Italy) or soak up the surfer calm and excellent food, coffee, and goods in Outer Sunset. I love to run away to Japantown, where you'll find a million fascinating objects, excellent noodles, and a rare sense of hush.
That's all I've come up with so far, but I could use a few more tips and tricks — thank you!