This passage, which is in a book, Green Metropolis, that has a central place in a Hugo House class I begin teaching next week, Writing the City (I will also read something about the urban body during the upcoming Greenwood Lit Crawl), is just music to my ears:

Our daughter, Laura, was born in Manhattan (in a hospital that we walked to from our apartment when Ann went into labor), and when she was very young her favorite activities included being taken for walks in her Snugli. If she was crying at night, a quick hike up and down Second Avenue would almost always either cheer her up or put her to sleep. When she was a little older and could sit up in a backpack, she and I would sometimes accompany Ann on her morning walk to work, in midtown—a round trip of more than three miles. My intention was always to turn around immediately if Laura began to seem bored or unhappy, but she seldom complained, and we not only got all the way to Ann’s building most times but, often, made significant detours on our way home, doing errands en route, with no sign of unhappiness from her. When we moved out of the city, in October 1985, shortly after Laura’s first birthday, I was excited to think about how much more she would enjoy going for walks in the country, which at the time of our move was at the peak of New England’s leaf season. But she didn’t love it at all. The first time we walked to the village green to buy the morning newspaper, on a spectacular autumn morning, she fussed and squirmed in her backpack almost the whole way. As far as she was concerned, there was nothing to look at. The absence of urban commotion along our route made the walk seem long and boring. And it usually has the same effect on me, although I hate to admit it.
Not only is walking in the city more colorful, more entertaining, more everything, it also makes raising a child bearable. Who wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere (the rural areas) with a bunch of kids? You want the human delights of a city to counteract the boring business of raising of a boy or girl. If you are in the country, all you have are the trees and the natural stupidity of these undeveloped little people. (The belief that children are in anyway interesting or entertaining is a terrible corner that only those in the suburbs and country have talked themselves into.) Happiness is walking down a city street with your baby—both of you are distracted...