Oxford: It’s a Very Nice City

I saw a book cover today and thought of Jon Levin immediately. The book was called Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty.


One afternoon at Oxford I heard Jon crunching along the gravel path singing, “Take me down to the very nice city/where the grass is green and the girls are pretty” which prompted me to giggle. When he reached me, he popped off his headphones (it was the nineties, folks) and asked what was so funny.

“It’s not ‘very nice city.’ It’s ‘Paradise City,’ I told him.

“What?” His eyes widened. “It’s not.”

“It is. What’s the name of the song?” I prompted.

“‘Take Me Home,’” he replied.



“By Guns N’ Roses?” I asked. Jon nodded. I shook my head. “It’s called ‘Paradise City,’ hence the refrain. I have the CD in my room. Come on; I’ll show you.”

“No, thanks; I feel stupid enough already.”


I think of you every time I hear the song, Jon. And I always sing, “Take me down to the very nice city” in your honor. ❤️💔

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