Monday, July 04, 2011

my fair city

Now that it's coming close to the end of my time living in Columbia, I'm really finding myself appreciating what's great about this city. And I also have been getting a little weepy at the least expected moments.

When Erica and Fuzzy visited last weekend we went to the Main Street Mast General Store for the first time. I know it's just a store and I really am not one to love to shop. But ironically, I found myself getting emotional when I was in the store. I think it's because it's a sign of a change in Columbia, a change which I've seen slowly unfolding over the past 8+ years that we've lived here.

When we first moved here, there was very little in the way of local produce and good food was hard to find. I remember shopping at like 3 grocery stores before I could even find feta. It was considered a "specialty item." There was definitely no local farmers markets, other than a few vendors that went to street fairs in downtown. There was also very little going on in terms of outdoor recreation. The Riverwalk was open, but the Greenway wasn't as sprawling as it is today. And whatever cool "scenes" that were happening in this city were mostly disparate groups that operated in a niche of their own with no cohesive whole.

Now, there's definite change in the air and I really love living here. Not only do we have an awesome local farmers market (within walking distance of our house) and the Greenway, but we've got tubing and kayaking on the river, roller derby, neat shopping areas. We have a crap-ton of awesome Indian restaurants. There's a sustainable farm in downtown. We see neat festivals making their way through Columbia now. And there are some neat musical acts coming out of here (or so my husband tells me. I'm not really a music follower. But I trust him on this.) It's just a great place to be.

So, although I definitely look forward to the changes that are coming, I think it's important to take a look at what we're leaving behind and what we're giving up. I'm sad to miss the continuation of these awesome changes and will be bummed that we're no longer a part of that change.

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