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Paris smells like piss, I just thought you should know.  People say it’s the city for lovers, but really it just smells like piss.  And New York doesn’t have any alleys, that means that the trash collects in the streets along with the rats.  And to be fair, the people in Paris are nicer than the people in New York, so don’t believe everything you hear.  I’ve been to both cities & I don’t really see the appeal of either, sure, as someone who is obsessed with history I have to recommend both, but honestly you can do better.

But New York & Paris both have their fair share of culture.  If you can afford it.  If you want to go to France, go to Bordeaux.  It smells better, the people are nicer, the drinks are cheaper, & you will have more fun.  I’m just saying, there are better places in France than Paris, far better.  And believe it or not, Paris isn’t any prettier than Bordeaux.  You won’t be missing anything.

The same goes for New York.  If you are going to America & you want to do a big city, do Chicago instead.  It’s cheaper, cleaner, the pizza is better, the people are nicer, & the Blues are the best on earth.  I’m just saying, there are better places in America than New York, far better.  Besides, Broadway doesn’t have the talent you’ll find in Chicago, not with Second City & Annoyance Theater.  You’ll catch a better show in Chicago…if you’re into that.  And then there’s The Green Mill, it’s a necessary stop if you are taking part in the night life fight.

San Francisco is beautiful but it is over priced &, like New York, it doesn’t have any alleys either.  Chicago has spoiled me in that regard.  Chicago has plenty of alleys & the rats & trash stay there & not in the streets.  I’m just saying, if you are picking a city to live in, or even to visit, take alleys into account.  Alleys make the difference between a clean city & a dirty one.

LA stinks.  It doesn’t have the piss smell that Paris has, but it does smell like God’s Ashtray.  Mexico City smells far worse, but there are also a hell of a lot more people & both cities are located in areas where the wind can’t readily blow the filth away.  Valley’s aren’t the best place to put a city, at least not if you don’t want it to smell like an ash tray.

And let’s be honest, the people in L.A have a serious attitude problem.  They seem to have forgotten that there is a country & people east of the Rocky Mountains.  They tend to be stuck on themselves & will lie to impress you, little class warriors that like to pretend they are part of the better class.  And that is coming from a city that is largely void of interesting architecture.  When the culture is pretentious & the architecture is nonexistent, you should just avoid it on principle.

London is interesting, especially if you like signs.  The city is beautiful, the architecture is interesting, it’s cleaner than Paris, & it smells better.  But there are signs everywhere alerting you to all kinds of minor inconveniences.  London is the reason sign companies are in business.  England as a whole has too many signs, but London is the epicenter of the sign culture.  In another thousand years, archeologists will call them the “Mind the Gap” culture.  But the people in London are snobs, seriously, the men are brand conscious, to me that’s odd, I can’t tell you what cut my suits are, what style they are, & with the exception of my Doc Martins, I can’t name a single brand of clothing that I wear.  But the British can, even the men.  But then I still dress like I did when Pearl Jam was popular, so maybe that’s just me.

All the roofs in Germany are orange terracotta.  But the people are nice.  Seriously, I love Germans.  If you go there you’ll wonder how they could have ever produced that amount of evil.  They are seriously awesome people & country is worth visiting just to be surrounded by Germans.

Barcelona is a city where you seriously have to watch your back.  It’s dirty, crime is rampant, & it is the most fun you will ever have in your entire life.  Barcelona kicks the shit out of Vegas.  You can get into some serious trouble in Barcelona with hardly any effort.  But that city is not for everyone, you can’t be a bubble-gummer in Barcelona, that’s not a city where you want to do anything stupid in, you will get killed if you can’t handle yourself.  But it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.  Too much fun.

I’ve been everywhere in America.  I’ve been all over Europe.  And sure, Saint-Émilion is breath taking.  And sure, Germans are great people, Barcelona is the mother of all party towns, Estes Park will blow your hair back, everyone has to do New York once, & everyone gets lost in Boston, even if you lived there your entire life.

But it’s the American Deep South that really holds my heart…the Deep South & Chicago, of course.

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You can go anywhere you want anywhere in the world & you will see some stunningly beautiful shit.  You really will.  But Savannah Georgia isn’t stunningly beautiful, Savannah Georgia is hauntingly beautiful.  There is no other place like Savannah on the globe.  It has the type of beauty that lingers with you for the rest of your life.  It haunts you like a ghost.

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The first time you see the sunlight shine through the Spanish Moss, if you are not accustomed to it, it seems like heaven.  It’s a city of parks & flowers.  Paris smells like piss, Savannah smells faintly of flowers.  New York has Central Park, which is a nice break from the city, but Savannah has Forsyth Park.  Forsyth Park is a hell of a lot smaller, but it’s jaw dropping, & the largest of a city filled with little parks each one with it’s own unique charm.  People call Chicago a “City in a Garden,” but Savannah is a garden.  And the culture will blow your hair back.  If you want the statues & fountains of Paris, Savannah has that, if you want the Blues of Chicago & the Jazz of New Orleans, Savannah has that too.

Savannah is my happy place.  I discovered it when I was twenty-one.  Whenever I had the chance I would roam at random through the deep south.  I spent a lot of time in Alabama, Kentucky, the Carolina’s, Virginia, Georgia, but it took me until I was twenty-one to find Savannah.  And though I still live in Chicago & keep going to other places, when I have the time & money, I travel to Savannah.  If I could find a job I would live & die in that city & be absolutely happy for the rest of my life.

In Chicago you can feel trapped.  There are too many people & sometimes it’s hard to find real peace.  But Savannah is peace in as much as it is beauty.  There is no other place like it on earth.  And it is fun, the city comes alive at night & in the right part of town you can have the hustle & bustle of a big city & the slow charm of the South.

It has an atmosphere to it, a spirit that will climb into your soul & haunt you to your grave.  I have been through 48 states in America, 6 countries in Europe, three territories in Canada, four states in Mexico, dozens of cities, thousands of towns & endless miles of country, but I have never been anywhere as beautiful as Savannah Georgia.

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4 thoughts on “Hauntingly Beautiful

  1. What part of Florida?

    All the couch surfer’s I’ve hit up in Florida have suffered from low water pressure. It was low in Orlando & Boca Raton. The water pressure was low in Miami as well, it could be state wide, I’m not sure, but you should seriously give it a test before you settle into a place.

    Boca Raton is really just a white-bread suburb, sort of like a tropical version of Schaumburg (if you’re familiar with Chicagoland) & Orlando is either a tourist trap or a dump, there’s not much in between as far as that city goes.

    On the whole Northern Florida is like the greater Atlanta area, in attitude & people. Southern Florida is much easier to deal with.
    It all depends on where you go. There’s a lot to Florida, just like everywhere else.

    But Miami is a lot of fun.

  2. Really enjoyed your ode to Savannah but “England as a whole has too many signs…“Mind the Gap” culture.” cracked me up laughing. Really amusing (am from London). Agree that Barcelona is great.

    Thanks for visiting my blog – really enjoyed this piece because it make me want to go Georgia.

    • I had the feeling that if I got hurt in London, the first thing someone would do would be to ask me if there was a sign alerting me of the danger.

      Sorry about the Londoners are stuck up part.

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