I live in New York City, a city bustling with five boroughs of different temperaments all merged together to form a ball of energy.
But when someone asked me recently for the name of a good local restaurant, I paused. “I guess when I’m in my neighborhood, I just go home and cook.”
It’s when friends and family from out of town come to visit that I see my city through different eyes. I take them to my favorite spots and we explore places I’d always meant to go to but never did.
Tourist attractions with a guest are a completely different experience. I’m having too much fun looking through my guests’ eyes to pay attention to the fact that it’s, you know, a tourist attraction.
But yes, I know I live in a city where there are hundreds of thousands of places to see. What if I didn’t? I once lived in a small (well, small to me) city, population: 50,000. They had landmark signs tucked along the roads that I loved to follow. The locals no longer paid attention in the same way I no longer pay attention to the Statue of Liberty. And I loved those landmark signs and what they depicted.
So, go on! Invite someone from out of town and let them show you the sights. They’ll show you a place filled with detail and life. And in the process, your writing will light up with rich description and what ifs and—dare I say it? Magic.