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Is it better to live in a big city is better than in a small town (1)? Лучше жить в большом городе или маленьком городке?

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In English, there is a well-known fairy story about a poor country boy, Dick Whittington, who goes to London because he believes that the streets of that city are "paved with gold." The story is a tale of "from rags to riches." Dick eventually becomes the Lord Mayor of London. Like the hero of that story, I always find wonder and adventure in cities.

Cities contain a great assortment of people. Whenever I walk around a shopping precinct at midday on a weekend, I am fascinated by all the different types of people hurrying around the shops. Sometimes, I just sit on a public bench and simply watch the variegated streams of shoppers. Today, in the age of globetrotting transport and communications, city life is more mixed than it has ever been. Capital cities are not cosmopolitan, and eager to attract foreign trade and currency. There is a contemporary English joke that tells, "You can never find an Englishman in London."

Whether rightly or wrongly, governments and local authorities usually build public amenities in the big cities. Money is invested in transport, libraries, parks and museums. Often, countries will compete with each other for the best "show-case" building. Malaysia has built a skyscraper that is taller than is anything in New York. In large countries, region will compete against region: New York against Chicago, Shanghai against Hong Kong and Beijing.

All of this is good for the citizen. The magic of the Dick Whittington story is rekindled in me when I enter a library in a magnificent building. If a person is at university studying art or music, a large city usually offers galleries and public performances. Even as a teenager, I appreciated the worth of living in a city because two or three times a year there was a rock concert by a favorite band.

Architecture is the urban landscape. If a person has an appreciation of architecture, a city can be as visually exciting as the Himalayas. A modern metropolis is a mountain range of height, light and solidness. And then there are the old buildings: the quaint, unspoiled side street or shops and homes from a distant age. If a person lived all of his life in one large city, he would continue to discover its architectural secrets into his old age.

Man is a "social animal". He talks, mixes and creates. Cities offer the libraries, universities and cafe bars for him to meet others of his kind.

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