For a long time now--possibly since college--I haven't had a reason or opportunity to listen to music on headphones, other than the odd airplane flight. For the last number of years, I've spent a majority of my time in places where headphones would be inappropriate. The car, which contains a car stereo (not to mention the fact that listening to headphones in a car is about as smart as walking against traffic on the railroad tracks while obliviously lost in thought). My bull-pen style open-plan office, where I work with 3 other people, so headphones would be pretty much rude, plus I'm regularly on phone duty. My apartment, with kick-ass speakers and a long list of things to do that does include cleaning, hanging out with Max, playing with pets, and watching TV, but doesn't include listening to music on headphones.
Ah, but I have none of these things in Dublin. And I make a point of leaving my apartment every day and walking somewhere--to the gym, to the grocery store, to run errands--the perfect opportunity to listen to music on headphones. It really transforms my world, and was a bit hard to get used to, actually. But my soundtrack has been growing with old and new favorites, and I'm convinced that some albums were created specifically to be listened to while walking anonymously around a city. Sufjan Stevens' Illinois is one of them, as is Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's Etiquette.
But today I ventured out to rediscover the joyous sounds of stereo that you can only get with headphones: The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and The Beatles' Revolver. My ears are still tingling with audiophonic satisfaction. This definitely makes the list of reasons why I like living in Dublin.
Try this one on for size. I've still got residual goosebumps.