There is a butcher’s shop in London called The Ginger Pig that offers a course in pigs – how pigs are fed, how to slaughter them, what signs to look for in good meat, what parts of the pig are used to roast, stew, cure, boil, or broil. It includes how to make hams, sausage, and salami, and ends with a dinner serving a port loin.
It’s why I love cities. Somewhere in the city you can find people who know the most extraordinary array of things. Cities are places where experimentation and new ideas flourish. Ever since we first started to live in cities, they have been hot houses of talent and opportunity, the biggest, most concentrated stores of talent, knowledge, and skills in the world. Cities are where writing began, where pots were first made, iron tools first fired, animals first domesticated, the wheel first tied to the underside of box to make a cart.
Yes, I know. I can make a list of all the terrible things that flourish in a city as well.
But if it weren’t for cities, there wouldn’t be any books. No computers. No telephones. No cars. No televisions. No internet. No electricity. No universities. No schools at all. Not even any MacDonald’s hamburgers.
I’ll take the city. For better or worse.