I grew up in a place where, on summer evenings, the lowing of cows and the chirping of crickets floated through our open windows. I later moved on to a place where endless stretches of green Civil War battlefields and uninterrupted sky were only minutes away.

From there, I moved on to cities, forever sleepless until I learned to tune out the chiming of bells, the roar of trains, the wailing of sirens. I learned that gazing upward at night brought not stars but the pink haze of light pollution to my eyes. I learned that before sunrise the river over which I silently skimmed in my rowing shell would still be lit by gently arching bridges and yellow sulphur street lights.

I learned to love the constant noise, the gentle rocking motion of the train as it picked up speed and carried me home, and the ever-present lights. I learned to love that I could walk in the cool shade of the buildings or cross the street to stroll in the warmth of the sun. I learned to love that, in the city, I could purchase ice cream at all hours of the day or night.

I love the worn and warm stone buildings built in the years my grandparents were born. I love the gentle decay, the patina, the detail. I love the eclectic mix of styles, assembled by generations, graffitied by the next. These images are my urban hymn, my song that celebrates city life.

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