I’m going to Baltimore for the first time this coming March. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a place filled with history and delicious food. It touches the water, and I read that it is the birthplace of our national anthem.
I like going to places I’ve never been before, but not as much as going to places where I have been a time or two. They seem to be more special to me, but you had to have been there at least once for that to happen, so going to new places is part of the process.
Visiting familiar places is like seeing people you met once or a few times before. You remember their first names or at least the name they are known by. You think of those characteristics that make them stand out in your mind. Like the guy who tells stories that seem too hard to believe or the lady that you know is always going to be behind the old diner coffee counter because that’s where she’s been since anyone can remember.
Returning to a place you have been before is a statement of how you feel about what is important to you. Give me a choice on what to do for the weekend and I always say that I want to go back to that restaurant, in that small town where the food isn’t the critics’ choice but what you see and feel is irreplaceable.
When someone asks me if I want to try out the new big chain ice cream store, I always tell them I want to go to that old ice cream parlor that has some dusty, barely working arcade machines in the corner, and the counter is filled with rows of candies and cheap toys that appeal to kids of most ages. I like those old ice cream stores because the attendants are usually teenagers who are happy to be working for their uncles or a family friend. They aren’t wearing hats with corporate logos, and the shirts they have on show you that they’ve scooped almost one of each flavor throughout the day.
It’s good to go back to those places because you remember what you felt the first time you visited. Returning to places you’ve been before is like visiting the annual county fair. You know what you are going to get. Nothing much…