On Seville

[Conor Friedersdorf]

In his famous book on Spain, James Michener wrote that “Sevilla is a feminine city, as compared to masculine Madrid and Barcelona, but if one finds here the ingratiating femininity of grillwork on balconies and grace in small public squares, one finds also the forbidding femininity of a testy old dowager set in her preferences and self satisfied in her behavior.”

If a stranger could inspect but one city in Spain and if he wished to acquire therefrom a reasonable comprehension of what the nation as a whole was like, I think he would be well advised to spend his time in Sevilla.

A Sevillano will tell you his is the best city in the world. He may be right too, but he has no shame admitting that he’s never traveled elsewhere.

“Why would I leave?” he’ll say.

Sometimes I recall all this and wonder, "Why did I leave?"

All of which is to say that you should probably travel there ASAP.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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