Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
[ I linked to this piece from my last post, and it proved popular in some quarters, so I'm re-running it here. This post originally ran on February 26, 2007. ]
As my name should tell you, I’m a big lover of cities. I’d much rather vacation in some large metropolis than a sandy beach. I’m a fan of the “great indoors” of the coffee shop, museum, cinema, or opera house much more so than any outdoor activities. Among my urban pursuits is independent cinema. Not too many other people seem that interested in many of these flicks, however, so I often end up seeing them by myself. Now this doesn’t bother me too much. I’m pretty self-sufficient. I learned at an early age that if you are into things that aren’t mainstream, you’d better be prepared to do them alone.
What I find interesting though is the high number of other people that attend these events by themselves. I was particularly noticing this over the weekend as I took in a film. Over half of the audience was people attending by themselves. And it really struck me that this is possibly one of the signs of a strong urban culture. If you are in a place where lots of people are out attending obscure events on their own, this not only shows that you’ve got patrons for them, but you’ve got people with enough passion and self-confidence to go out and do it by themselves in a culture that typically doesn’t see people going to films, concerts, etc. alone. I don’t think there’s any profound insights here, it’s just something I’ve observed.