Savannah is a cool town. The farmer’s market is thumping this morning in Forsyth Park. There are food wagons, peanut vendors, farmers, growers, butchers, artists, buskers, hipsters, and tourists crawling all over, hawking their wares.
This little market is located within the heart of the oldest planned city in the U.S., beneath the canopies of mossy oaks, and you can feel that heart beating today.
There are lots of families here. There are children running around with ice-cream smears on their cheeks. There are sleep-deprived parents, sipping coffee from paper cups, pushing strollers that are the size of Honda Civics. There are golden retrievers wearing Atlanta Braves jerseys. There are Midwesterner tourists clad in T-shirts which read: “I’m Not Being Rude, I’m From Minnesota.”
I meet an old man who sits on a bench, braiding a crucifix from a palmetto frond, humming to himself.
“Yo, dude,” he says as I walk by. “Here you go.”
He presents me with the crucifix.
And since this isn’t my first visit to Savannah, I reach into my wallet and give the man a twenty.
dog,” he says, fumbling a cigarette into the corner of his lip. “You got a light?”
He smiles and shrugs. “Don’t apologize, dude. Don’t ever apologize for things you can’t control.”
Philosophy lessons are free here in Savannah.
Savannah is one of my favorite cities. I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve been to New York City; it gave me panic attacks. I’ve been to Philly, Newark, D.C., Vegas, L.A., and once I almost died of hypothermia in Chicago while waiting for the El train. You can keep your major cities.
I prefer Savannah. Maybe what I love is the history, or maybe it’s the way the sunlight hits the cobblestones. Or perhaps it’s that everyone here always seems like they’re in a great mood. I don’t know.
Either way, this is the town that birthed American hospitality.…