I guess this all starts with the observation that a walk around downtown has always been a peaceful thing for me. I love to turn my headphones off, and just listen to the sounds of the city. And this is all still very novel to me. Growing up in the outer suburbs of the Twin Cities in MN, I never really knew what "city sounds" were (beyond the notion of cars driving and honking and people walking and talking). My favorite part of Boston, after having lived here a year, is still a walk around the Copley Square & Pru Mall area, and then a trek up to the Common to people watch. I could spend hours wandering that area. It's odd, because it helps me think. I always thought that I'd like secluded places where I could hear my thoughts...but it turns out that the hustle and bustle of the city gives my mind enough background noise to be able to concentrate on my thoughts. Too much quiet is unnerving...and creates too much space for my thoughts to travel into. As I explore Boston, I find myself making mental notes of places that have a good amount of noise, but a comfortable feel...those are the places I go to read a book and soak in the feeling of Boston. I guess everyone has a different view of the city they live in...depending on what they tend to be drawn toward. For me, Boston is the little known (or maybe more known than I think) corners hidden from plain sight that provide just enough stimulus to block out and let me focus on thoughts or a book or something one might do on a peaceful day in the country (stereotypically speaking).