Cities, Fast and Slow

Big cities: less livable, more intense.

Hey friends,

Last Saturday, I got back home to Riga from my three-week trip to the US. My flight from Newark to Amsterdam got delayed for three hours due to bad weather, so I missed my connection and had to spend a whole day in Amsterdam to take a detour through Frankfurt instead. Fun times.

Jet lag aside, a week later I'm still trying to shift my gears down and readjust to the slower pace of life back home. The population of Philadelphia is ~1,603,797. New York City is ~8,804,190. Riga, the capital of Latvia, is just ~605,802 – and it's by far the largest city in Latvia, the second one being Daugavpils at just 79,120.

And life definitely feels slower here. It feels similar to the vibes I get visiting cities and towns 1/10th, 1/20th, 1/50th the size of Riga during my weekend trips. To me, these places feel completely still, and I just can't imagine myself living in one of them. Now, after Philly and NYC, Riga feels similar. Not completely still, but slower. Will probably take me a few more weeks to fully readjust to this pace.

A few weeks ago, I asked a question about picking one place to live in for the rest of your life. I don't have an answer to that myself, but I'm leaning towards a larger city. Perhaps a megalopolis. I love nature, it's the best, but I get a lot (most?) of my energy from being around crowds of people doing cool things. Big cities are fast and energizing, smaller cities are slower, calmer. More liveable, but less intense. And I'm powered by intensity.

How do you feel about big cities?

Have an intense week,


A few thoughts

Postcards – an analog piece in a digital world. My life is digital and I can't really use analog things, such as paper notes and journals. But I love sending and receiving postcards, which might be the only exception in my digital world.

Wasting time in monetary terms. I just got a 40 EUR parking ticket an hour ago that I believe is unfair. But spending even an hour disputing it won't be worth it if I value an hour of my time more than the amount of the fine. People often forget that their time has value.

Loved this

Wind power with a high-tech twist could help ships burn less fuel "The Pyxis Ocean, a 750-foot-long bulk carrier, is the first vessel to deploy WindWings, which can stand up to 123 feet tall and are made from the same durable material as wind turbines. The prototype devices could potentially curb the ship’s diesel fuel consumption — and its resulting greenhouse gas emissions — by roughly one-fifth."

Normal "One idea I taught was the importance of regaining presence and clarity of mind after making a serious error. This is a hard lesson for all competitors and performers. The first mistake rarely proves disastrous, but the downward spiral of the second, third, and fourth error creates a devastating chain reaction."

The fun part

Snapped this pic of the thunderclouds illuminated by a flash of lightning above NYC once we finally managed to take off amidst a massive thunderstorm. It looked SO. DAMN. COOL.