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Piss Off, Snobby London!

All week in London, I had to defend the North. Londoners act like the entire northern part of the country is one giant inbred cousin, inexplicable and dull, and slightly embarrassing. You know what, though? I loved my trip up there, and not just for the spectacular company. I’m an urban snob, but I’m not immune to the charms of small, quiet towns. In fact, the older I get the more I think they've got it going on. (Assuming, of course, that one has the natural ability to create fun wherever one goes.) Lancashire overall was really quite beautiful, even in the rain, and Lancaster itself was a great little town, pedestrian-friendly medieval-style little burg with just enough modern touches to keep it from feeling too remote. Blackpool is sweet and trashy, just like I wanted it to be. Morecambe is a faded flower, still keeping itself moving along, even though the crowds have moved on. I had no trouble seeing why Paul stays up that way, despite the occasional drawbacks.

Sure, small towns can have plenty of small minds, but cities don't automatically shield you from those. Small towns can offer the luxury of being able to catch your breath and determine your own pace. If your satisfaction only comes from novelty or consumption (of stuff, of stimuli), then big cities are te way to go. If you can make that move toward producing a life instead of consuming one — a goal I like to think I keep closing in on as I get older — then why not do it with a little elbow room and a little bit less strain on your bank account?

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