Welcome to the first “U say Friday, I say Free-day” on Fan Fun with Damian Lewis! I plan to write my random thoughts about random things on Fridays, including but not limited to books, movies, family, politics, lifestyle, fashion, culture, sports, food, travel, music, memories, in short, anything you can think about life… and always with a twist about Damian Lewis.
My first Free Friday piece is about the very theme of the day.
When do you feel free? Have you ever thought about it? I have.
I feel free, feel free so much so that I want t scream at the top of my lungs “I am free, I love this!” when I am in a city where I do not need to drive and where I am surrounded by people from all different ways of life.
I feel free when there is no parking, no designated driver, no “driving directions” from Siri 🙂 I feel free when I can leave my apartment (or hotel room if I am traveling) and be on my feet for blocks and blocks, stop by at a coffee shop, stroll in a park, and take the subway to the movie theater or a restaurant downtown. I feel free in the city!
I believe in public transportation as the best way to go from any point A to point B, and I believe in city parks as the best backyard ever. I believe that both bring people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds together — you meet people whose neighborhoods you never visit, but you see their lives more closely. Say, if you live downtown NYC and take the subway, you know that the city is not just SoHo with celebrities and corporate guys, but it also houses real people with real life struggles.
Same applies to the city parks. Think about Central Park, the green space used by millions of people living and visiting NYC. Over the weekends in summer, people from all different backgrounds get together on the Great Lawn or the Sheep Meadow — eating, drinking, playing Frisbee, talking and laughing with friends… sometimes at a free NY Philharmonic or a Summerstage concert, or a free play at the Shakespeare in the Park. Can you think of a better party? I can’t.
I am extremely happy to report that, even though I don’t know his feelings about driving — let’s admit boys will always be boys when it comes to driving — Damian Lewis also loves “public transportation” and “city parks.” He enjoys city life.
When asked about what he missed most when he filmed Homeland in an interview with Hunger Magazine, this is his answer:
“When filming Homeland, I spent most of my time in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a very large and spread-out place where you rely heavily on cars. I missed the clamour of London; it’s a much more condensed city where you can exercise your senses. I love getting out of cars and getting on the tube. I also missed riding my bicycle, and of course, going to the pub.”
And, when asked about London at Times Talks London, Damian Lewis says:
Very well put. Moreover, he truly lives to his word. He takes the Tube all the time, and walks and bikes on the streets of London, and I have to admit, I have a smile on my face every time I see a picture of that… just because I love it when people love city life 🙂
Just to make sure… I am not judging anyone here about his or her choice about where to live… and I know that it is often not a choice but it is about what life brings you… And I also understand my friends that think cities are congested, and noisy, and the subway is all about push and pull — ha, ha this is something I am pretty competitive at 🙂 They just want a yard and a good school for their kids and move to suburbs. I, myself, also live in a suburban area thanks to my job for a big chunk of the year.
When you grow up in a city though, you are an urban creature by nature, and it defines you to a certain extent that you love most things urban. Streets give you your freedom, city parks give you the backyard you long for, people and the noise make you feel alive and FREE! The city emits energy that makes you feel energetic! And, as Damian Lewis put it in the best possible way “you exercise your senses.” You feel alive when you exercise your senses, and sometimes you get to exercise all of them together at the same time. You see, and you smell, and you hear, and you taste and you touch — this is what makes me happy and this is what makes me feel FREE.