15 July, 2008

Summer Special

When it comes to intellectual stimulation and provocation concerning aging. I usually start with Ronni’s blog. Then I wander over to the blogs listed in her sidebar. When it comes to inspiration of practical nature, I tend to look towards my mother-in-law, older friends, and occasionally, to random strangers of a certain age. Last week, while travelling down to Berlin, I made three surprising observations about elders:

  • The new shopping mall construction site, across the bus stop from where I was standing, is employing a lot of elder construction workers. Of the twenty or so fellows I saw working on the site, over 60% were 50 years or older.
  • When I arrived at the train station and walked by the taxi line up, once again over 60% of the taxi drivers, both male and female, were 50 years or older.
  • This next encounter was not surprising, but delightful. While sitting in one of those café franchises, two elder women (one possibly mid 80s and the other one late 80s) were doing their best to drink a fancy summer special: exotic flowers, lots of foam, syrup, crushed ice, etc. It lightened my heart to witness these women’s obvious pleasure at trying out something so silly.

These observations got me thing about something I had noticed while staying in Toronto a few months ago. While there, I couldn’t shake off the impression that the majority of the people I saw were young. During the days, and into the evenings, I was often the oldest person sitting in the cafés and restaurants, buying goods in the pharmacy, or walking down the street. In the ten days there, I couldn’t shake off this feeling in a city of young(er) people.

I would be interested to know whether you think that there is a difference between the age span of people living in American cities and those living in European cities. Does anyone know where I could find out this information?


  1. Maybe older people in Toronto don't go out as much? Also I find that during summer break here most of the younger people, especially with children, leave town.

    A friend once told me that there's a much higher percentage of old people living in the town I live than in all the surrounding ones. I don't know why though.

    I can't help you here but I'd like to know what you find out.

  2. Here, I found almost 75 percent of my co-workers older. Some very old. The busses and trolleys to downtown are filled with all ages. In San Diego, we are a many age city, and I find it delightful.

    Thanks for noting about my images today. I let HP know what both of us thought about this.