Date your city.

Take a weekend afternoon.

Put on an outfit that makes you feel proud to be seen.

Dress up for your city.

One that makes you walk taller.

Strut for your city.

Take your time.

Promenade through the gardens.

Smell the fragrance of spring in the air

Stop to swoon at the flower beds.

Hold hands with the railings on the bridge as you cross.

Stare across at the water, pause.

Get carried away imaging a future with your city.

The potential for the two of you.

Small children running around, dressed as Halloween zombies, smile at you

They like your big bright outfit

You share appreciative, knowing, nods at each other

Cos today you are both dressed up for your city

See, when you date your city, so many more people compliment you

‘City, dearest’, you ask, ‘shall we go to the gallery or the library today?’

You choose the library.

The city never minds which.

You meander the aisles flicking through heavy books of photography and fashion

Those pages take you away to more fantasy futures and possibilities

When you date your city, your city doesn’t tell you to hurry up

Or pretend to be interested

Or make you go to look at the history books instead

Your city makes you look at what you want to

You take your time traversing the beautiful stairwells and surfaces

When you think no one is looking you caress the smooth perfectly angular surfaces of your city

Stolen moments of intimacy

Between just you and your city

Where to next? Why? When?

Who cares. There is no agenda or purpose on this date.

Walk slow and notice cute signs, stickers or street art you’re usually too rushed too see.

When you take the time to look up, and around, it’s amazing the things you see.

You are here just to be, just to enjoy

This is your date with your city

Time for lunch.

Your city leads you to to your favourite spot for one of your favourite meals.

Familiar friendly faces greet you and know your drink before you ever order it.

And of course they are playing your favourite Talking Heads album

The city is thoughtful like that, it always provides just what you need, if you let it

You spend your lunch eating your favourite burger reading a book about another beloved city

But cities are great cos they don’t get jealous when you talk about other cities.

Cities don’t sulk

It’s true. You do have to buy your own drinks when you date your city

But the feeling of freedom, in return, is priceless

So you have another Gin & Tonic to celebrate this happy moment.

It’s a date, and you’re all dressed up, after all.

Go and look at frivolous things in frivolous shops

Just because you can.

And now why not take in an afternoon matinee

Like they did in the old days.

Hepburn and Bogart and Garland.

Those romantic old days.

When you date your city you always get to pick the film you see.

Nothing ever ‘looks boring’.

You also get to dictate the time of the session

The seat you sit in

And if you don’t like that seat, you just get up and move when the film has started

You get an ice cream

An entire row to yourself

Put your bag on the seat next to you

Spread the fuck out.

Petticoat everywhere.

Elbows galore

You don’t have to share or be considerate when you’re dating your city

And at the end of the film you don’t have to wait until the end of the credits cos your date thinks there might be ‘extras’.

Your city doesn’t care about these things.

At the end of the date you stroll back through the gardens and back home

Just whenever you’re ready

There’s no awkward goodbye

No mismatched hugs or ill judged kisses

No clumsy words or fake promises of next time

You just go home and take off your fancy dress ridiculous heels

And put on your old hoodie

And relax

Cos there’s no stress when you date your city

No games

No anxiously waiting for them to text you

Or waiting another 48 hours to ask them out

Or deciphering their messages and what each word could mean

You know where you stand when you date your city

And you know it’ll always be there

With open arms

Ready to explore with you

And make the day whatever you want it to be

You just gotta go to it with open eyes,

An open heart

And an open mind.

Open eyes.

And it’ll let you in.

Yeah it isn’t perfect.

Or the complete package.

It’s not flawless.

But neither am I.

My city and I.

Had a dream date today.

Today’s outfit was inspired by season 5, episode 1 of Sex and the City where Carrie proclaims she’s dating New York – a days of cinemas, galleries, meet cutes, lunches and beautiful outfits – specifically this favourite of mine – rainbow skirt with a red blazer over a pink top. I love it so much and so, when choosing what to wear on my date with the city, it felt only right to mimic this ensemble as much as I could. And yes. The zombie kids in the Square really did smile at, and compliment, me. Kids appreciate, and wear, ridiculously fabulous outfits too. They have’t had the whimsy hammered out of them yet.

– Bonjela x



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