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For passionate travelers, there is nothing more pleasurable than making an entrance into one of Europe’s top urban cities. Nothing truly replaces that ecstatic feeling; the breath of a different air, taking pictures with outstanding monuments and places one could only see on the internet or in magazines. Travelers most of the time are found touring every notable center in the city and most importantly, trying out the lifestyle bouquet; which includes visiting top restaurants and bars, looking to be treated to mouth-watering cultural dishes prepared to pitch perfection and varieties of classy and elegant wines.
The question is, what would you do on your urban journey?
The United States has so many urban cities, with New York, topping that chart. New York City has a population of approximately 8.537 million people as at 2016. This makes it a suitable case study in our urban journey expedition. There has always been a negative smirk to urban living. It is a great place for tourism but almost an unbearable place to stay in, due to so many factors ranging from the high cost of living, congestion, pollution and high crime rate. But it is only normal to experience some of these in a place where everyone wants to make a home, but that does not take anything away from the splendors of Urban living.
HOW TO BE A LOVER OF GOOD THINGS IN LIFE
The popular saying that ‘the best things in life are free’, to some people makes little sense but means a great deal to others. Life has given us the power of choice, how we make use of this power determines our approach to things and ultimately, our perception. There are so many good things we most of the time take for granted or do not even notice at all. That pretty little smile on your daughter’s face when you make her happy, the warm hug and pat on the back you receive from a good friend or father when you finally get something you have been working towards, the compliments we receive from family and the feeling of flapping butterfly wings in our bellies when we feel our lover’s touch, all these you will agree are some good things that just happen to be in our lives. But this list will be incomplete and inconclusive if I do not include good food and wine!
Imagine having a 9 to 5 job, six days a week in a very demanding sector that saps your time, energy and cool. Having to probably spend about half an hour in bumper to bumper traffic – a life New Yorker’s will be able to relate to, it almost seems like your whole life has been taken from you. Below are some ways to still love these good things, despite the stifling schedules or unfavorable circumstances.
- Giving yourself a treat: Trust me, nothing fixes things up more than a spicy, palatable meal, taken along with a bottle of one’s best wine! This act is a loud indication of self love and will open your heart’s eye to other good things.
- Effective Time Planning: Having probably just one free day in a week really calls for a holistic time organization. Doing what needs to be done at the appointed time. Some time scheduler applications can be used to further enhance the effectiveness.
- Take time to rest: Having properly scheduled your time on a daily and weekly basis, you must take out time to rest. This allows your body to recover to an extent, before going through another bout of the day’s work. It also cools off the accumulated stress and pressure from a very hectic day, making you fresher and able to appreciate the good things in your life.
- Go for Outings: In one of the free weekend days, go out on a picnic or to some nice place with your family, friends or close relatives. This will no doubt make them happy and making people you love happy makes you happy.
TRANSFORMING AN AVERAGE JOE INTO AN URBAN LOVER THROUGH THE LENS OF FOOD AND WINE
It’s okay to always have people loving the country side over the urban cities. We hear daily about all the grey areas of the urban cities, which have become like an ugly frame used to enclose a beautiful work of art. Some of their claims however, are very germane and others, purely sentimental and laughable. Taking an average man who holds this belief dear and trying to make him see things differently may just be an uphill task.
Showing him places around, monuments and historical sites may not really help the cause but there are two things that can surely make him fall in love with the urban life and forget the ‘clean air’ of the country side. These two things are, good food and exquisite wine!
New York city, which is our case study is famous for having 5 – star restaurants and wine bars carefully dispersed all over.
A visit to The Dutch or the Gramercy Tavern, which are two top restaurants among the many, is enough to make the magic happen. The later, being a casual but totally chic tavern, holds some of the best wines in the country. From the beautiful light red wine from Thymiopoulous, in the Naoussa which sells for $52 per glass to the pine resin-aged Retsina wine which goes for between $39 – $45. These wines are so good that they shower the tongue with so much goodness as their bubbles dances all over. Wine writer Jon Bonné, even went so far as to pen an essay proclaiming the tongue changing experience of these bottled ecstasies. An average Joe will fall in love with the urban life at the taste of them.
A drive-in food expert once said, “…you can taste the passion in meals prepared by New York chefs”. I can’t say for sure how passion tastes, but there are some mouth watering dishes in urban cities like New York that will definitely send an average Joe into pleasure heavens, literately. A plate of pierogies with sour cream and caramelized onions, the Oyster pan Roast, Mutton Chop at Keens Steakhouse and Combo over Rice are just few examples of wonderful dishes served in urban restaurants and can make just about anyone fall in love with the city. There is no perfect place in the world, only when we embrace the good and the ugly side of things will we come to truly appreciate its beauty. Keep this in mind and enjoy your urban journey!