Wyoming

Have you lived in or visited Wyoming? Tell us about it.

CHEYENNE, Laramie, Wyoming, USA, (North America) — July 2019 —Personally I do not enjoy my town. The weather is only good for around 3 months out of the year and the rest of the year is either snowing, windy, raining or all of the above. Its great if you enjoy hunting, fishing or other outdoor activities and do not mind the wind or cold but for me I do not enjoy the fact that the town itself has not much to do or see besides Cheyenne frontier days. The bars are overpriced, only one good movie theater, few good restaurants that aren’t chains and the good ones usually wind up closing within a few years due to people only going to the chain restaurants. Its nice that we are within driving distance of Fort Collins, CO and Denver CO as there is much more to do down there than up here. Recently the town has gotten worse crime wise due to the influx of oil field workers. We used to have a very low crime rate (albeit high per capita) but the past few years we have had murders, rapes, kidnappings and child-porn related crimes at an alarming rate compared to what we used to have. Drugs have always been a problem due to Cheyenne being a crossroad for two major interstates, I80 and I25 which can take you anywhere in the US.

ROCK SPRINGS, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA (North America) –May 2019 — Rock Springs, WY 82901 I really do like my town, and honestly that is not something I thought I would say 25 years ago when I first moved here. Rock Springs grows on you, as do the residents of this semi-small town. It is a city with a small town feel and it boasts around 30,000 residents. The residents are very proud and hard working, supported mostly by energy industries such as the oil and natural gas fields and trona mines. What is trona you might ask? It is a component for not only baking soda but glass. Rock Springs has a rich history and claims 56 nationalities call it home. Around Christmas that really shines are our Christmas Fairs as different groups sell their wares from the Greek Churches or perhaps homemade tamales. Our town is perfect for outdoorsy type activities. We have the Flaming Gorge lake only 30 minutes away for camping, fishing and boating. We also are within 15 minutes from the Green River, where you can float the river on tubes, kayak, or fish. We love our fairs and boast the best fair in Wyoming, often attracting very big name acts like Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion, Lifehouse, to just name a few, the entry price is kept under $20.00 so more people can come out and enjoy it. One thing I do wish we would get is more businesses investing in our city. Other Wyoming cities similar in size seem to get more attention than we do, and that does not make sense to me. We also have a neighboring town and many smaller communities that would come and shop at their locations so it would make perfect sense to bring Hobby Lobby or Target to our city. Oh well, I guess it is a small price to pay for the nice area I live in. We do put a lot of mileage on our vehicles though, driving to the big city for some decent shopping.

Wisconsin

Have you lived in or visited Wisconsin? Tell us about it!

Milwaukee

Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA – March 2020  I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin right now. There are around 26 cases of the Corona virus right now in the surrounding area. I am now fearful. I have to make sure I keep myself clean. I have to make sure to stay away from others too. The only way I can stay safe is to work at home now. I am trying to get work to allow me to work at home. I don’t trust other people and their cleanliness anymore. I am so stressed. I don’t want to catch this virus but I am sure I will. I am afraid of what will happen if I don’t make it out alive. In Milwaukee there are two direct cases since yesterday. I think these people were selfish for returning back form their trip. Now they are going to effect all of us and even the children. Schools have been shut down for a month here in Milwaukee and even some universities have taken action by cancelling classes and doing them online now. My workplace is still slow to accept as to what is happening. They still are scheduling dangerous meet outs on the weekend. I will blame them if I catch it during the meetings.

River Falls

Pierce County, Wisconsin, USA – March 2018 River Falls is a small town of about 15,000 residents. It straddles Pierce and St. Croix counties in western Wisconsin. The community is best known for being the home of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. It is named for the waterfalls that once were found there along the Kinnickinnic River, which is one of the nicest trout streams in the region. While the city has much to offer, it also is lacking in certain amenities, such as a rich variety of restaurants or first-rate retail (unlike Hudson, which is a few miles to the north). It has lots of bars, like one would expect in a college town, and also a number of used clothing and goods stores. The community is relatively safe, and that’s perhaps what draws some people to it. One of the good things about the city is that it is relatively close to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where you can be in less than an hour. If living in a small town but having a big city nearby is what you like, then River Falls might be a good choice. Over the years, the community hasn’t changed all that much, and that is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Property values are relatively stable and there definitely is a “small town” feel, especially along Main Street. But compared to a place like Hudson, it seems River Falls is missing out. A lot of well-known retailers and chain restaurants seem to overlook the city.

River Falls

Pierce County, Wisconsin, USA – February 2018It is so sad to see what has happened to the River Falls area in Wisconsin, USA. My husband and I lived here from 1959 to 1987. Raised our family and had his [content moderated to remove information that might identify writer]. We left here in 1987, moving to Ladysmith. We are now back in River Falls, due to health issues and to be by family. Looking at what was beautiful farmland is now buildings. Oh yes, a field of solar panels, that’s something to look at. Property values fell. River Falls is now a bedroom community, the EXODUS, every day to the Cities to work. This is now why the liberal socialism abounds here. Plus the media from the Cities.

Years ago at a meeting I said River Falls needs industry. I was told “don’t need industry, we have the ‘U.'” So how’s that going? Always asking for more money. I haven’t seen that growing on trees. Speaking of trees, you people [content moderated to remove information that might identify specific people] The area now has a growing drug problem. Having to put children in foster care. So more money needed to be found (taxpayers). Feeling sorry for the children. Ending on a high note, having met some very caring people from Interim healthcare hospice of Hudson, also the staff at Our House senior living here in River Falls.

Kenosha

Kenosha County, Wisconsin — January 2018 — Kenosha, Wisconsin in the 60s and 70s was very much a factory town. School children would go on field trips and tour the American Motors and Snap-On Tool factories, and when either factory laid people off for a time, or there was a labor strike, the economy there would be severely affected until the workers were recalled to work or the strike was resolved. Kenosha is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, so water sports were common there. There is also a port, and viewing ships from all over the world is a past time that most people from this time period engaged in. There are also many parks along the lake shore, and on a hot day, they would be crowded with people having picnics and playing games like football or baseball. On the Fourth of July the fireworks were shot off over the lake, and they were spectacular. To the north of town was a beautiful park called Petrifying Springs, known as “Pets” to the locals. We would go there often to hike the paths, including one to an old shack that the kids all called “Hermit’s Cabin”, inhabited by a mythical hermit that might cast spells on you if you annoyed him enough. I’d never heard of him actually being spotted by anyone, however it made for fun stories and we enjoyed the hike into ‘the backwoods’. Though I no longer live in Kenosha, I visit relatives there often. American Motors left the city in the 80s, and that hit the local economy very hard, but it recovered and other manufacturers moved in and filled the void. Being located between Chicago and Milwaukee makes it easy to get to either location for entertainment or travel from the airports located there.

West Virginia

Have you lived in or visited West Virginia? Tell us about it!

Saint Marys

Pleasants County, West Virginia, USA (North America) – July 2018 — Saint Marys, Pleasants County, West Virginia, was a wonderful place to grow up. With 3000 residents, the small town community is made up of generations of local families. Saint Marys is located along the Ohio River and was a haven for industry in the 70’s and 80’s. This translated to large amounts of money for the city being generated through taxes that funded education, sports, and the community. I never had to pay for extra-curricular activities, uniforms, books, or tuition. Folks had good paying jobs and opportunities for long term employment were available. Most families owned their homes, which set them up for greater wealth over time. Prosperity was palpable in Pleasants County.

Washington

Have you lived in or visited the state of Washington? Tell us about it!

 

Burien

King County, Washington, USA (North America) — March 2019 — I grew up in Burien, Washington suburb right outside of Seattle in the King County district in the 2000’s. Although I’ve visited many other suburbs throughout my life, Burien has an authentic charm which sets it apart. Perhaps I’m seeing the city through rose-colored glasses, but the various events put on by the city are often met with genuine enthusiasm. Burien’s diverse population created a community focused around diversity and inclusion. Burien often takes pride in its downtown area, known as “Olde Burien”, in which various independent shops are located. There was no place I would rather study than in the coffee shops or the library located in Olde Burien. While walking around downtown Burien, I was always guaranteed to be met with smiles by other pedestrians. My most fond memories of the city takes place within downtown Burien, where many of the events were held. The two day Strawberry Festival, for example, filled the air with the smell of kettle corn and sounds of children playing. The event allowed community members to set up arts and crafts booths, farmer market stands, food vendors, and other miscellaneous projects. It is during these two days, right in the middle of a pleasant summer, that Burien’s zany, diverse, and friendly character truly shines. My favorite event takes place towards the end of the Summer, known as the Lantern Festival; the festival took place at the end of August or beginning of September and was always a perfect way to reflect on the Summer before the next year of school. At this event, everyone would bring tiny LED lights or lanterns and wait until the sun went down before parading around town the marching band. There’s something very powerful and empowering about walking around town like this, it always reminded me that I am not alone in my struggles.

Seattle

King County, Washington, USA (North America) — April 2018 — I live in Seattle, Washington. The city that I’ve settled down in gives me lots of mix feelings but I also really enjoy living here. There’s no other place like Seattle because it is very diverse. The big three companies are here (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon) so there are many people moving here for work. Our city is becoming more modernized and gentrified over the years but still has it’s own little touches to make Seattle unique. To travel around Seattle is pretty easy because our city is pushing for our people to go more green to help the environment. Taking public transportation in Seattle is very easy and it’s efficient. If it’s a nice day out, you can even rent a bike out if you see one of them just laying around on the streets. It’s easy traveling in Seattle. Seattle has a little bit of everything, urban and non urban areas. For instance, Broadway, downtown Seattle, and the area around University of Washington has a lot of new high rises that were built over the last couple of years. Even the suburbs looks very different from how it did when I was growing up as a kid. It’s kind of sad because it feels like my childhood is being erased from the city. For a person who never been to Seattle, must dos are mostly in downtown. Pike Place Market is a historic area that everyone has to visit. There are many restaurants to eat and lots of places you can take photos at. For instance, the gum wall, the pig, and the waterfront are great places to take photos to post onto Facebook, Instagram and etc. Many states don’t have it’s own China town but in Seattle there’s International District where you can come try many different Asian cuisines. There’s many different places to explore.

Vancouver

Clark County, Washington, USA (North America) – March 2018 —  I’ve lived here since September of 2012, coming from California. The first thing I appreciate about Washington and the Pacific Northwest in general is the huge assortment of trees. I’m a tree lover. They have so many gorgeous varieties and the forests!!!! Just beautiful…. The moss on trees is also something I don’t have in Cali but love immensely. The biome of the forest is so magical to me…. Immensely secretive and enclosed and almost warm, even if it’s cold. The little animals in Vancouver is comforting; you can sometimes hear the frogs in the marsh or the ducks running around. Winters are hard for me.

My biggest complaint for this area is the lack of sun. I mean, sure, we have sun but particularly during the winter, the sun is hidden by a lot of gloom and gray. I tend to start feeling like I have S.A.D. and have started using “happy bulbs” to help with that. They are full-spectrum bulbs to replace that missing sun! I always make a point of getting out when the sun IS out to keep that Vit D up as well. However, spring and summer are awesome, not too hot like the desert. The outdoors here, I mean, besides the trees alone, is an invitation to fun and health. Awesome hikes can be had to little creeks, forests, watering holes or even waterfalls…. stunning!!!!

The people seem average, predominately Caucasian but growing leaps and bounds the last few years, more and more harried drivers, and friendly enough. We are clearly receiving transplants from Portland where the “weird” or eclectic vibe comes across the bridge of late (short drive, ten minutes to PDX from my house) — you can often tell a Portlander from an average ‘Couv resident. Usually it’s the haircuts (or man buns) or clothes but people are usually nice to one another. The HUGE rental increases has been taxing so that may explain some of it – we are less expensive. The economy isn’t great but I am a stay-at-home mom, so, my skills are lacking. The homelessness is another big issue to me and my heart goes out every day – “there but for the grace of God, go I”…. same with Portland (we must get some of those transplants too, maybe). There are few programs I’ve heard of to ease this issue. Drugs, particularly meth, are big too I’ve heard. On a good note, I’ve had assistance paying my electricity before here, which, though based on economic hardship, was a huge aid and offered through a program at the electric company. I’ve seen several food banks and churches and watched good people reach out to others.

So, although Vancouver has its share of problems, like every city, this small city is for me about a 7/10 and as good as any – despite the lack of sun and meth/homeless presence. The prices will keep rising and I may head back to the desert for the sun but I will always remember and love the forests and beauty here.

Spokane

Spokane County, Washington, USA (North America) – March 2018 — t’s great, there isn’t a single thing I don’t like about it. A river runs through it. Urban sprawl. Spokane is an awesome community where you can raise a comfortable family. A small town located east of Seattle, WA with more than 6 colleges within a 100 mile radius. Plenty of open parks and lakes to attend almost everyday of the summer. Traffic is never backed up and you could literally drive anywhere within 20mins of each direction. The downtown atmosphere is very peaceful where rivers and waterfalls create a relaxed and serene environment. In Spokane you can count on; Great outdoor trails riverside, quiet neighborhoods and skiing in the wintertime. And of course my favorite, Hoopfest!

Bellevue

King County, Washington, USA — January 15, 2018 — I grew up in Bellevue, Washington, a small city about 20 minutes east of Seattle. I lived there from 2000-2014, and moved back in 2018 after college. The city of Bellevue is quite affluent, which lots of luxurious high-rises and office buildings downtown. From the time I grew up to now, there have been significant increases in housing, and the housing has also become much more expensive. This is due to the influx of tech companies and tech workers, which is driving up the prices in the Greater Seattle Area. This is definitely one aspect that has changed my perspective toward this city because it used to be a more laid back, and family-friendly area, as compared to the hustle and bustle of a busy city like Seattle. However, now there are more people living here and more companies opening up offices that downtown is becoming busier and busier.

What I did enjoy about growing up in Bellevue, and still enjoy now is the accessibility of amazing nature spots. Just 30 minutes east, one can reach plenty of hiking spots, such as Rattlesnake Lake, Mount Si, etc. To the north, one can reach Mt. Baker and it’s only a 2.5 hour drive to Vancouver, Canada. To the south, one can reach the Mount Rainier National Park, as well as Mount St. Helens, which is still an active volcano after erupting almost 40 years ago. Just 3.5 hours south, Portland is also within reach. West of Bellevue is the city of Seattle, as well as the beautiful Lake Washington, and even further is the Olympic Peninsula, home of the Olympic Mountain range. The beauty and serenity of the Peninsula acts as an amazing escape from city life, and it is amazing that it is only a few hours’ drive away.

Bellevue has definitely been growing a lot over the past decade or so, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. While the influx of crowds and increase in cost of living is frustrating and hard to handle, the temperate climate and accessibility to beautiful nature spots is what has brought me back.

Colfax

Whitman County, Washington, USA — January 9, 2018 — I grew up in Colfax, Washington (99111), United States in the 1990s. It’s a small rural farming town in Eastern Washington that sits right in-between two larger areas of Washington, Pullman and Spokane. Unlike many rural country kids, I loved growing up in Colfax. I had a sense of security from an early age. Everywhere I went I ran into someone I was related to, or someone who was a friend of the family. I worried about many things that “city kids” worry about and I had a very carefree existence. For example, even at the age of 8 or 9, my parents would let me wake up in the morning, hop on my horse, and they wouldn’t see me again until supper. Myself and my friends were able to explore acre after acre of the Palouse region with nothing but a lunch sack and a pocket knife. I wouldn’t change growing up in that area or in that way for anything. I believe it instilled a deep sense of appreciation for my roots that isn’t very common anymore.

Vermont

Have you lived in or visited Vermont? Tell us about it!

Burlington

Chittenden County, Vermont, USA (North America) — May 2019 — Burlington is a beautiful city. It sits on the edge of Lake Champlain, so even on the hottest summer days there is usually a cool breeze blowing through. It thrives on culture, with countless different bands, clubs, and venues putting on events every night. A plethora of restaurants serving every style of cuisine you can imagine waft savory smells into the air. The highlight of the city is Church Street, downtown. In the winter, it is decorated with brilliant Christmas lights and a giant tree, with music playing softly around the main thoroughfare. In the summer, it comes alive with street musicians and performers, vendors selling their foods and wares, and throngs of tourists mingling with the locals. Vermont is a politically liberal state, and Burlington is a prime expression of that mentality. Its residents regularly engage in public protests, marches for different causes, and a variety of other forms of social activism. Cultural diversity is prized here, as the cultural center of one of the most racially homogeneous states in the country. A core part of the city’s culture is welcoming any and all who may feel marginalized or unwelcome in other places. It is a college town, with the University of Vermont and Champlain College nestled around the downtown area. Events like commencement and convocation processions are accommodated by the city, rerouting traffic around the streets that are used and providing additional security if necessary. Responsible neighborhood is an expectation in Burlington, and something the people there pride themselves on.

South Dakota

Have you lived in or visited South Dakota? Tell us about it!

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota, USA (North America) — July 2019 — I live in Sioux Falls a town of about 170.00 people, It is mostly working class people. Bars,music and motorcycle riding are main pasttimes here.We have many scattered small lakes and the Missouri River is near so there is some recreational fishing and camping here too. People are very friendly here, are talkative and helpful. It has changed a lot in the last 50 years. Our population has tripled so it is a different landscape with many different races and lifestyles. The center of the town is the downtown area. It has changed dramatically and is not our main shopping area. Malls have taken over that but many stores in malls are disappearing now, due to internet shopping. Close to this area is what used to be one of our main employers, John Morelll Packing Plant. Generations worked there and it was once a sense of pride to work there. Also in that area is the Sioux Falls–an area of pink pipe stone rock with many waterfalls. It is an outpouching of the Sioux River that runs thru town and right by the Morrells Packing Plant-also not far from all this is the city sewer–and up on the hill overlooking it all is the state penitentiary–Ive always found this dichotomy interesting and illustrative of this town . Though Sioux Falls has grown, it remains pretty non-progressive and South Dakota itself is a Republican state.

 Minnehaha, County, South Dakota, USA (North America) — May 2019 — 57033. I love living in Hartford. I have lived here almost my entire life and it is my home. It’s a relatively small town, of only about 2,500 people. There’s not a lot to do here, but there are a few different restaurants including a sports bar, a steak house, and a fine dining establishment. The town of Hartford always has fun activities to do, such as the yearly town garage sale, street dances, and different things as well. The high school, West Central, has a long history of excellence in athletics and has tons of fan interest in town. Hartford is only a short drive of twenty minutes from the biggest city in the state, Sioux Falls where you can get anything you need. Overall, Hartford is a very beautiful and relaxing town that is continuing to grow and thrive. It is a great place to live.

Rhode Island

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Providence

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) — March 2020 –I am a student living in Providence, Rhode Island. Right now in Rhode Island we have 20 confirmed cases, but I’m sure the actual number is much higher than this. There simply is not enough testing to know what the actual numbers are. Students are concerned for their safety and the safety of their parents and families. My school has cancelled classes for the next week, and everyone is being asked to leave campus within the next few days. There are rumors that a student who is living on campus was diagnosed with Coronavirus, and people are rightfully worried about that. I think our governor has been doing a good job of keeping the city updated about new cases and steps that the local government is taking. However, the news from the federal government has been lacking, and I do not know if I can trust the information coming out of the White House right now. I feel that more drastic measures should be taken to prevent the spread of illness to those who are most vulnerable. Personally, I am very worried for the health and safety of myself and my loved ones. I do not think my university has done a good job of handling this crisis or communicating next steps to students.

Providence

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) — April 2018 – Providence RI USA This is a friendly city – almost anyone you stop on the street will answer a question for you or strike up a conversation. The traffic is bad because of one-way streets and narrow streets, not built to handle the amount of cars on the road now (as opposed to when the roads were built). Traveling North-South is easy but there are fewer roads heading East-West. As a result people do not enjoy driving more than about 10 miles from home.

Art and culture are easy to find. Dance, theatre, art galleries, music venues and museums are plentiful including national tours. The colleges provide further exposure to culture of various kinds. Residents support Boston sports teams and local college teams. There are four distinct seasons, with winter and summer bringing temperatures as high as 100 and as low as -10. Snow removal is less efficient than one would expect for a city in the Northeast. Everything closes down for a relatively small amount of snow.

Many charter schools are available for those who would like to avoid a public school education for their kids. Many different ethnic backgrounds are represented especially Hispanic, Cape Verdean, Liberian and Laotian (in addition to Caucasian and African descendants typical of the USA). All kinds of diversity are present and appreciated. Neighborhoods vary from downtown lofts to mcmansions, farm houses, closely-spaced single family and multiplexes. Lots are typically small except for the least-populated areas outside the city, and large lots for real mansions. There are community gardens in several locations and many farmers markets.

The southernmost towns are very popular due to their proximity to the ocean. Southbound morning traffic is often backed up for miles during the summer, especially on weekends; and northbound on those evenings. Residents are active on several bike/walking paths throughout the state and a downtown skating rink. Water sports are very popular. Many parks support baseball, football and basketball leagues. Residents flock to the plethora of beaches visit year-round.

Shopping can be less-than-great. A large downtown mall has expensive stores (e.g. Nordstrom’s). Strip malls are sprinkled liberally all over the state; however stores tend to be the smaller versions with limited variety instead of the large versions of the same stores one might see in Boston or New York. Residents like to boast that they can eat at a nationally-rated restaurant after spending a day sailing on the open ocean. The Federal Hill area is known for Italian cuisine and many others are represented around the state. The largest employers are a hospital group, Hasbro and Brown University. Unemployment has been higher than most other states for many years. State government is actively recruiting big tech companies to locate here and a push to train more high-tech workers is ongoing. A significant amount of the state’s income is related to Narragansett Bay, especially the restaurant fish industry, real estate and recreation. The Bay has been cleaned of much of its past pollution so property values have increased. Some residents find housing prices in RI so economical that they live in RI and work in Boston.

Lincoln

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) — January 2018 — I grew up in Lincoln Rhode Island 02865 starting in the early 1980s. Lincoln is a great small to medium sized town just north of providence Rhode Island and about an hour south of Boston. There was always something to do in Lincoln as the town is full of great restaurants, shops, parks, golf courses and many more. Most of the residents are beyond friendly and it was a fun and easy place to grow up. Not a whole lot has changed in Lincoln over the years except for some updating and I still enjoy visiting my parents there often.

Foster

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) — 2017 — Not much existed in Foster as far as entertainment for kids. So when my church, St. Paul the Apostle, started holding a carnival each summer, (late 1960s or 1970s) it was a very big deal to me. I was still in elementary school when it started. Out in the “boonies” of Foster, a giant Ferris wheel would rise up on the church grounds a few days before the carnival was to begin.

The church is located on Route 6, and when I saw that Ferris wheel as we drove by, the excitement would start to build. When the day came that my family was actually going to the carnival, I was so excited that my stomach felt funny. The Ferris wheel was just one of many thrilling rides at the festival. One ride that spun people around made my brother sick. There were booths and games and prizes and cotton candy. And it was all out here in Foster, where most of the year….nothing happened. I don’t know how many years the carnival lasted. But I do remember the letter coming in the mail from the church, informing us that a decision had been made to change the event drastically. The church had decided to eliminate the rides! The money spent on the rides was going, the letter said, to the out-of-town operators who owned the rides.

I do not know exactly what the adults were thinking, but as a kid, it was as if someone had let the air out of a giant balloon. I knew right then that the event would never be the same, and it wasn’t. I still went for a couple of summers, but the excitement was gone.

Foster

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) –2017 — When I recently visited my hometown of Foster, RI, I got a sense of just how “rural” it remains after all these years since I grew up there in the 1960s and 1970s. Deciding to drive around for nostalgia, I turned off Route 6 onto Balcom Road.  The road was so narrow that I wondered what I would  do if another car came in the opposite direction. No lines, no shoulder, and thick woods crept right to the edge of the road.

I passed some large, nice houses, but also some homes with a collection of “stuff” in the yards, including what look to be non-functioning automobiles. I couldn’t remember exactly where Balcom Road leads, but figured I would continue my nostalgia trip by taking the next right turn – until I saw that the next turn was onto a dirt road. There are still dirt roads in Foster? I kept going, and saw another dirt road.  Finally, I got off of Balcom by turning onto North Road. Like Balcom Road, North Road is narrow and encroached upon by woods.
Backward. That is the word that came to mind. Foster is backward. But then again… maybe it is a good thing that Foster remains so undeveloped. Wait…no maybe about it.  It is a good thing. When I  consider the town I live in now, where woods are disappearing to make way for more unnecessary retail.  How many supermarkets, pharmacies, fast food joints, and strip malls does a town need?
 
I don’t know how Foster did it, but its rural character remains intact. It is not entirely the same – I have been told that some of the farms are gone. But the extent to which it has escaped development is remarkable.
 
Would it have turned out differently if the plan to run a major highway through Foster had gone through? When I was in elementary school, it seemed everyone in Foster was trying to “Stop I-84”. The signs were everywhere. Interstate 84 in Connecticut would have been extended to run between Hartford and Providence. It was the early 1970s, the ecology movement was strong, and environmental damage was one of the arguments opponents raised against the highway. I-84 would have been an alternative to the treacherous Route 6. A stretch of Route 6  in Connecticut is actually referred to as “Suicide Six” because of the many fatal accidents. I remember my family discussing at the dinner table what we would do if our house was taken by eminent domain to make way for the I-84  project. “Maybe we’d take the money and move somewhere else entirely,” my Dad speculated.
 
Opponents of the project won – the highway was never extended as a direct route between Hartford and Providence. As an adult, when I worked and lived near Hartford and  Western Mass, I discovered how hard it was to drive back to see relatives in Rhode Island. Maybe they should have built that highway, I sometimes thought.
 
But what would have happened to Foster? Would there have been an exit to Foster from the highway, and the typical services springing up near the exit – McDonald’s, etc.? May not seem like a big deal, but it would have been quite a change for Foster. Would Shady Acres, the restaurant that has been on Route 6 in Foster since I was a kid,  have been replaced by a Burger King or a Wendy’s? Would my family have moved “somewhere else entirely”?
 
I finished my nostalgia drive around Foster and headed back to where I now live in northwestern Connecticut, driving a circuitous route to get there.
 
Some pictures of Foster:

 

Foster

Providence County, Rhode Island, USA (North America) — January 2017 — “How many people live on that island?” I ran into a number of people in the Midwest who thought Rhode Island really was an ISLAND. They would snicker a little, as if Rhode Island were some kind of joke because it is the smallest state. I grew up in Rhode Island in the 1960s and 1970s, but went to college in Madison, Wisconsin, in the 1980s. Not only were they wrong about Rhode Island being an island, they were wrong in assuming that the smallest state is small in population. In fact, Rhode Island is very densely populated, much more so than Wisconsin. Eight states have smaller populations than Rhode Island, including Alaska, the largest state in land mass, according to 2013 U.S. Census data. “Did you live near the ocean?” I didn’t think so; I was on the other side of the state, in a rural town called Foster.

But some of the people I met in Wisconsin had never seen an ocean – and that blew my mind! Rhode Island does have nice beaches. My favorite was Scarborough Beach in Narragansett because it had big waves. Rhode Island has the ocean; Wisconsin has lakes. In Wisconsin, people annunciate words clearly without, to me, any noticeable accent. People in Rhode Island talk funny. They eat chowda and drink cawfee. The state is never pronounced “Rhode Island,” by natives; instead the two words are slurred together: Ro Diland. The inhabitants are “Rodilandas.” People in Wisconsin had no idea what a “bubbla” was (translation – water fountain). Midwesterners sometimes drive hours to get from one city to another. The land is much flatter, and country roads are surrounded by prairie so you can see far in every direction. Country roads in Rhode Island have lots of curves and hills and are surrounded by woods. Most of Rhode Island is developed; more of the state is city or suburb than country. “Did you live on a farm?” That is what the Wisconsinites always asked me when I told them I grew up in the country. They did not understand the concept of someone living in a rural area and not being a farmer.

We had some farms in Foster, RI, but many people wanted to live there for other reasons: privacy, peace and quiet, to escape from the crime and pollution in the cities. Rhode Island has four seasons. Wisconsin only has two seasons. Unbelievably cold winters in Wisconsin quickly turn into unbearably hot and humid summers. One time it did not go above zero for three weeks. I remember waiting at a bus stop in Madison while the temperature was 11 degrees below zero – that was the high for the day. Really bad cold spells sometimes forced us to stay inside for several days – exposed skin would freeze quickly outside. Coming home for Christmas one year, I left Wisconsin in 14 below weather. I arrived back in Rhode Island to hear family members complaining about the cold when it was in in the 20 degree range. New England winters can be harsh; Wisconsin winters are brutal, and they last six months. Of course, this raises the question: Why the hell would anyone live in Wisconsin? Or, as one of my New England relatives asked me, “HOW can anyone live there?” To survive the cold in Wisconsin, I forgot about fashion, wore a long, heavy down coat and bundled up with hat, scarves and gloves. I enjoyed living in Madison and being a student at the University of Wisconsin. The enormous campus, with 40,000 students, blended into the downtown. After growing up in the rural town of Foster, RI, I was delighted to live in Madison where so much was going on. I never owned and never needed a car in Madison—I walked almost everywhere, occasionally taking a bus. I particularly liked State Street with its shops, coffeehouses, and restaurants.

And people in the Midwest were friendly; Rodilandas are cold and unfriendly, sometimes downright rude, at least with strangers. But after I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, family ties brought me back to New England, and I now live in Connecticut. I appreciate Rhode Island a lot more now than I did when I was 19 and eager to “escape” from it. In fact, I view Rhode Island as a vacation spot – the beautiful beaches, the clamcakes in Narragansett, Waterfire in Providence, the mansions in Newport. Too bad the people I met in the Midwest were so ignorant of its charms. No, Rhode Island is not an island, and it should not be a joke, either.

Oklahoma

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County (parts of the city in Canadian, Cleveland, and Pottawatomie counties), Oklahoma, USA (North America) – March 2018 — I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and it is a pretty [content moderated for profanity] place to live. The jobs don’t pay very well, and there aren’t many careers outside of the Oil and Gas industry, which can be very volatile and harsh at times. Things might be great for 10 years but then all the companies start laying everyone off and you’re stuck in a state where the entire economy has gone to [content moderated for profanity]. The only good thing about living in Oklahoma is that the cost of living is low. But if you compare our cost of living to other states that have a lot more to offer, it only makes sense to get out of this state as soon as you can. But it’s so destitute that most people get trapped here for life. If you are looking for a place to spend your vacation, Oklahoma has nothing to offer. It’s hundreds of miles of boring, flat prarie, and there are more cows than people. If you’re looking for a place to move, you definitely do not want to even think about moving here, unless you want to be miserable and stuck here for the rest of your life.

Ohio

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Streetsboro

Portage County, Ohio, USA (North America) – December 2018 —  I live in a big city outside of Cleveland Ohio called Streetsboro Ohio. I moved to Streetsboro about 4 years ago, as it was a better place than I lived in previously. It was also a better route to where I worked. At first, Streetsboro seemed like a good choice to move to, but after awhile, the busy traffic of the town bothered me. So many vehicles driving 50mph down the streets bugged me. I’m older, and have begun to drive more passively as opposed to the hurried drivers on the road. It has me scared at times that I’ll get into an accident. I also have not made a close friend in this town, as their interests are far different than mine are. I do like the closeness of 3 grocery stores, my doctors, and places to go for dinner and drinks, but I can find that anywhere. The only thing that is appealing to me living in Streetsboro is my apartment. It’s everything I’ve always wanted in an apartment. Set back from the clutter of the busy street it is nestled in the woods. A ranch apartment with a private entrance. Good neighbors and a wonderful landlord and crew. The city of Streetsboro itself is just cluttered with many too many businesses and restaurants. It is located near a major turnpike here in Ohio, and the cars just never stop. Sirens often fill the air, and except for the serene apartment I live in, I can’t think of any other reason to live there. I remember when I was quite a bit younger, my family would drive through Streetsboro and it was very different. It was in the 1970’s that Streetsboro was more of a farm town than anything. Hardly any homes and just a trace of business. They ridiculously built the city up to where it is today. A very busy, hustling environment. I’m gonna miss my apartment, but I’m thinking that I will be moving as soon as I can think of a new town to move to now that I’m retired.

 

Southington

Trumbull County, Ohio, USA (North America) – December 2018 — I live in Southington, OH USA. My feelings for my town are great. We are a small community with a gas station,post office, dollar store, butcher and a little general convienece store. The community has a great sense of love,and fun. We all look out for each other and help one another. I truly like living here. We have a growing population of amish settling in our town. Some of the children are attending the public k-12 school that was just built here a few years ago. I would say our town is also gaining businesses due to population growth and demand. Gas prices are on the rise, so it’s nice to have a dollar store, butcher, gas station, and even a bar in town. You really don’t have to leave the area, especially if times are tough. Mike Tyson used to own a mansion here, he bought it in the late 80’s, it’s now being converted into a church now as we speak. Since living here roughly 8 years, I would say the town has changed, but only minor. More people are settling here, as I mentioned the amish. They play a huge role in the mom and pop shops staying alive (aka the convience store in town). The roads have improved over the years. They’ve taken time to pave and redo the major roads that run through Southington. They’ve also built a new school and brought in a dollar store for all our needs. We do have nice programs offered to the children, Halloween and Easter egg hunt are a must. I really appreciate the quiet small town but rural setting. Everyone here is geuine and nice and I wouldn’t have picked a better place to live!

 

Painesville

Lake County, Ohio, USA (North America) — June 2018 — I grew up in a small town called painesville in Ohio in 1956. The population is about 18,000 people, and it is about 40 minutes east of Cleveland on Lake Erie. Most would say there’s nothing to do there, but growing up, it’s the only thing I knew, so I thought it was wonderful. We spent a lot of time outside in nature and played in the woods, rode bikes and played baseball. It was really safe so our parents just let us out to play all day. It’s a pretty little town. It’s on the shore of Lake Erie and a river runs through it. The buildings are very historical. I moved away after college and didn’t return because there really aren’t many professional jobs there. Over the years, I visited often and feel very nostalgic about it. I have wonderful memories and still have many friends there. I plan to retire there in a few years.

 

Bowling Green

March 2018 — Bowling Green in the United States of America is an excellent place to live. It is a small town in rural Ohio of about 30,000 people. It has a small town feel, but thanks to the presence of Bowling Green State University it’s never dull. It has a vibrant arts culture and a jumping nightlife. There are many great restaurants and probably more college bars per capita than most places on earth. The town really has a sense of duality. One side is a thriving college town with all the hustle and bustle that accompanies such a place. The other side is quiet and suburban. It really is a great place to raise a family. It boasts a quality school system and several quality parks and nature preserve’s. There are several fine golf courses in town and more in the surrounding areas. The people are nice, friendly, and always willing to lend a helping hand. The location is excellent too. It’s rural and out of the way, but adjacent to several major interstates. It’s also within a 3-4 hour drive of several major cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. It is also a 45 minute drive from the beaches of Lake Erie, the 11th largest lake in the world. Without a doubt, Bowling Green is an outstanding place to live and raise a family.

Mansfield

Richland County, Ohio, USA (North America) – March 2018 — Mansfield, OH is a small town. Several years ago it was a blooming town. It was best known for manufacturing car industries and steel. Although its not your typical city full of buildings and entertaining spots, there are still a few places that make this town unique. I have lived most of my life in a big city. The adjustment to a small town wasn’t hard. People seem to be much more welcoming in a smaller town. People aren’t always in a rush. While shopping , you can carry on conversations with people who will actually be engaged to the conversation. Mansfield makes me feel more welcomed since moving here. One of the most famous places to visit here is, the Shawshank Prison. That movie was also filmed here in this town. Through out the town, you can see signs of where parts of the movies were filmed. Over all this town is starting to pick up the pace again with the work force. Little by little we find more business starting up and more people populating here. If I had one word to describe this town it would be that it’s a family friendly town. Its residents welcome you as soon as you enter.

Dayton

Montgomery County, Ohio, USA (North America) — February 2018 — I grew up in the 1990s in Dayton, Ohio. It’s not the biggest city but it’s rich in history. I loved how familiar it always felt. There were places I enjoyed going, such as the parks and forests. The parks there were always very well maintained and kept up and they were great for families. There is also an amazing bike trail that goes through the entire city and brings you to the most lovely places. I do not live there anymore, but whenever I go back to visit my family, not a lot has changed. Downtown is not very busy anymore, but all of the buildings are still there. Sometimes I miss the place, but I still live close by and can visit monthly.

Albany

Athens County, Ohio, USA (North America)– February 2018 — I grew up in Albany, Ohio which is a very rural town in southeastern ohio. My father was a professor at the university in that area so that’s why we moved there when I was about 2 or 3 years old. It was a good place to grow up for the most part. There was not a lot of crime in the area. The people are very friendly and I had a lot of friends. Once I graduated from college, I began to realize that there was not a lot of opportunity to get good jobs in that part of the country. I definitely had to move away in order to get a job in my field. So that’s what I did and I have only been back a few times. I still think that part of the country is beautiful and my family still lives there.

New York

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Corning

Steuben County, New York, USA (North America) – February 2019 —  Corning, New York When I tell people I grew up in Corning, most haven’t heard of it. Those that have tell me one of two things – that they think they may have passed through once while on a band trip, or that they have some plates in their cupboard that say “Corningware” at the bottom (today, the famous Corning Glass Works mostly makes higher tech glass products, like fiber optics, but the plates are still produced). The general impression people have as they pass through on the way to somewhere else is that it’s a quaint little tourist town. I grew up there in the 1980s and 1990s, and I can tell you that even if it seems like a nice place to visit, it’s a horrible place to live. I’m told it wasn’t always like this, that from the 1950s to the 1970s it was the place that people came to on the weekends. Maybe the town lost something vital in the flood of 1972, or maybe those elders telling me about how great Corning used to be are just remembering an ideal past but never was. All I know is that when I go back today, the only people left are the people who got stuck there. Everyone I went to high school with lives somewhere else now, but I might run into someone I know who is “temporarily” crashing at his parents’ place after he got out of another stint in rehab. For the most part, anyone who has the means to get out has. The ones who are left – I don’t even know how to describe them. They look like people you might see in an illustrated phrenology textbook from the 1800s. Needless to say, there are Trump signs and bumper stickers all over the place. If you find yourself there, be sure to leave quickly, but without going over the speed limit. The ratio of police-to-citizen in Corning is about double the size it normally is for a town that size, and they’re looking for something to do, so you’re likely to get a speeding ticket. When I was in high school, someone knocked over a couple flower pots on Market Street – it was front page news, as the police launched a major investigation that lasted for weeks. An acquaintance of mine was even interrogated because someone once saw him picking a flower for his girlfriend from one of those flower pots some weeks prior (those who pick flowers from a pot will likely come back to finish taking revenge on those flowers weeks later, obviously). Speaking of Market Street and the police – Corning is one of those towns where they try to maintain a historical feel, so neon signs were illegal at one point. The cops kept themselves busy by visiting businesses and handing out tickets to business owners for using neon. There isn’t much good I can say about Corning, except maybe the pizza – it’s a New York style that I haven’t really seen much in other parts of the country. If you find yourself passing through Corning, New York, have some pizza and leave.

Carmel

Putnam County, New York, USA (North America) – February 2019 —  Growing up in Carmel, NY during the early 2000s was awesome. I was born in late 1995 and I remember growing up in this area very well. it is a small town. It does not have a whole lot of major businesses but it is a home to many small businesses. There are lots of food options but there are no sidewalks where people can walk to wherever they want to go. The high school in the town is located near the center and much of the community focuses on the high school football team and things of that nature. Over the years, it has not changed. It looks the same, feels the same, and all of the people are the same. People get stuck and stay in this town for many years. They do not venture out or go live someone else. I do not know why that is but it is true when people say it sucks individuals in. I do not like how people where I am from are not ambitious and just expect things to be handed to them. However, I like that the town is close and it is very diverse. It is close enough to the major city of Manhattan and it is easily accessible from all directions.

Carmel

Putnam County, New York, USA (North America) – December 2018 — I live in Carmel, New York. I love it. It is a small town about an hour north of New York City. It is diverse in the sense that there are a lot of different ethnicity’s around here. Being from New York, regardless if you’re not from the city, is just a different feeling. I was born in the Bronx and lived there for a few years but I am thankful for my time in Carmel. It has changed a lot over the past couple of years. More people are moving up here from down south as it is cheaper to live here as opposed to closer to NYC. However, the school systems have gotten a little bit worse. I see more undesirables going to Carmel High School than ever before and it is evident when talking to administrators within the school district. The town itself still remains largely unchanged but the demographic of people is changing. But for me, this is home. I love the small downtown area that we have and how close I remain with a lot of my friends from high school. Some of them are not very hard working but they love where they come from. On the other hand, there are some very motivated individuals who come out of this area. I do not judge anyone because being from Carmel, I have seen all different kinds of people from different walks of life. It has allowed me to be able to converse with anyone, from any different background, and I am very thankful for that.

Churchville

Monroe County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — My hometown is Churchville, New York. This is a small town that has a lot of charm, located in Monroe County, in the United States. There is a small town at the center of the area that has a few shops and restaurants. When I grew up here it was the 1980’s. I remember loving the ability to walk on the sidewalks into town, to the gas station to get candy, or to the park. In the park I could walk around, play frisbee or soccer, and have fun with other kids. In the winter, the town would set-up the park for ice skating. I had a lot of fun with my friends ice skating in the winter so close to my home. My family and I would walk to the pizza shop down the street from our house. We loved to have dinner or lunch there, or at the little diner on the corner. One thing I did not like about our town is that it was so close to the railroad tracks. The trains were very noisy and would wake me up at night when I was asleep. That was frustrating as I always had a hard time falling back asleep. I also did not like the fact that everyone knew everyone in this town. Everywhere you went you would see someone you knew. Sometimes this was nice, but other times you didn’t want to be bothered when you just wanted to run to the store to get groceries or get some gas at the gas station.

Edinburg

Saratoga County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — This town is in the Adirondack Mountains near the Great Sacandaga Lake. This town is literally a small town. There is only about 1,400 people in the whole town. The old school house still sits in Edinburg although a new school was built about 25 years ago or so. The class sizes in Edinburg are about 10 kids or so. Some of the big high lights in Edinburg is the annual tree lighting in the 4 corners of town. When I was younger it was so much fun, we decorated wooden ornaments that someone had made for us and then they were put on the tree, Santa came and the tree was lit. It was very simple and nice. Now it is blown up and way bigger than it needs to be, big raffles prizes, big gifts from santa, face painting, all kinds of food, horse drawn carriage rides. I do not go anymore. People bring their kids from other towns just for the gifts it is not just for our town anymore. One of the historical things about Edinburg is there is a store there that has a door for the the underground railroad in it that led to the tunnel. The kids from the school go and get to see it. Usually when they are in 4th grade. The town of Edinburg is named after Edinburgh Scotland, originally there was an H in the name. It was dropped several years ago. Another big get together for the town is the annual Edinburg Fire Department Chicken Bar B Cue. This is a great fundraiser for the fire department. They do not have a company come in and do it, they do it all themselves. Another thing about Edinburg is that it is by the Great Sacandaga Lake. There is boating, fishing, swmiming, all kinds of things to do on the lake. I grew up always at the beach. I do not live there anymore, the reason is that everyone knows everything about everyone and what they don’t know they make up. It is great for a kid. And if you are rich, but people aren’t always nice and they like to make other’s feel bad and talk really bad about other’s. Gossip is huge thing in Edinburg. By the way there are no traffic lights, alot of bars, nearest Walmart is 35-40 mins. away from the center of town. Would I move back, Never..

Lindenhurst

Suffolk County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — I grew up in Lindenhurst during the 2010’s, and though I am not native to it, I do consider it my hometown. A relatively uneventful place on the South Shore of Long Island, the town had a few brushes with notoriety. For example, it once hosted a political rally for a certain presidential candidate and received moderate media coverage. And then there was the time half the town was swept under water by a particularly powerful hurricane – again only to get us moderate media coverage. Still, Lindy remains a fascinating little gem. Like many other Long Island towns, it has an adorable little main street with shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It also has a good handful of beautiful parks, some beach-y, some with playgrounds, and others with relaxing fountains. I have many fond memories of walking the main thoroughfare after school with my friends or biking to town hall and throwing French fries for the seagulls. It’s a relatively small town, with a few elementary schools but only one middle school and one high school. Thus it has a tight-knit feel without feeling too closed in. It’s not a bad place to “be from” – everyone knows someone from Lindenhurst. We are a little bit in the middle of nowhere (if you can call any parts of Long Island “the middle of nowhere”, far-east parts of the island excluded), with most of the major malls and entertainment located in other towns. So with one or two exceptions, it’s fairly quiet. Even in just a few years, Lindenhurst has changed. The shops in the main street are the most noticeable difference. The theater took the place of the hair supply store (or was it the discount clothing store?) The café is no longer there, and the music store is half it’s size. The old pharmacy is still vacant, as are half the stores on the block where the ice cream place used to be. I don’t even know what happened to the comic shop. But there are signs of success there too – a new burger place and a busy new wing place, for example. In many ways Lindenhurst is a lot like any other Long Island town, yet its quiet beauty is home to all of its residents.

Tonawanda

Erie County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — I am writing about the timeframe of the late 1990s. It was good and bad growing up in Tonawanda. It is a small city, 3 by 3 miles wide each way, and about 10,000-18,000 people living in it. Tonawanda is also known as stop sign city because it has so many stop signs through out the city. Growing up here as a kid was really fun. We were able to identify were our friends were based on what bikes were located outside a house. No one had to lock their doors at night, and mostly all the neighbors were friendly, and kids were able to play at their free will. My friends parents would call each other all the time about the things we were doing, or the things they saw us doing that we thought they had no idea about. Small town talk, so we were not able to get away with much. Even the police at the time were generally good people. If they caught us doing something bad, they wouldn’t arrest us, depending on the severity, they would give us a good talking to or take us home to our parents. We never got taken to the police station. Because the city was small, making friends was pretty easy. There were kids everywhere, and if we played sports, they usually divided up the teams based on the area that we lived in. So I was able to make friends that were in walking or bike riding distance from my house. My childhood friends were the best friends I ever had, and a lot of them I still engage with. I coach a couple of their kids in soccer, or some of my friends have kids around my kids age, and now they are friends.

Freeport

Nassau County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — Nassau county Freeport Ny is my hometown. 2018 is the current year of which im living in. Growing up in this city was both good and bad for me. I grew up being bullied for most of my life. i always felt that i was alone and had no one to really bond with. But just like darkness theres always light. Delvison that as the name of the friend i had that actually made me feel like im not alone. he was more outgoing then me but besides that it felt as if i was looking at a mirror. The bond we had as friends was so strong that nothing could ever break our friendship apart. we would go to the nautical mile and have a good time. we would also relax by the jones beach area which was filled with many beautiful people. Freeport is a both small and large city. at the moment i am still living there and still best friends with delvison. FAST FOWARD to my current time where i am now 22 years old and have more ambition and passion in my life. i actually also found a girlfriend that i love with all my heart and someone who also make me feel like im not alone. Freeport may seem intimidating but if theres one thing im certain of is that whereever theres darkness there is always light. Move foward and never look back. thats the path which i strive to follow. This is freeport the town in which i love and hate at the same time.

Southampton

Suffolk County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — I grew up in Southampton New York, having been raised there I learned a lot, the work ethic is high for young kids, most of them want to get out of the town for good. the town has great historical meaning, lots of old buildings, and lots of farms. growing up we spent our summers at the ocean or the bay, walking around the village, or exploring abandoned buildings. in the summer, Theres lots of tourists. this has its pros and its cons, Southampton is known for its night life, also its beaches, and its beauty. sadly, some of these tourists take it for granted. we often find our beaches littered on. I love the town I grew up but sometimes I wish that it wasn’t as materialistic as it is.

Buffalo

Erie County, New York (USA) — August 2018 —Buffalo was an extremely up-and-coming city as I was growing up in the early 2000’s. It certainly went through a revival period as efforts to improve infrastructure and businesses were in full swing. One thing I enjoy about this city is everyone’s Buffalo Pride. Even though we may not have the best sports teams, everyone in Buffalo is more than willing to come out for a Bills game we know we’ll lose, and enjoy every minute of it. Another thing I love about Buffalo is it’s unique traits/history. There are so many different foods and traditions no other city has. Although we are somewhat of a larger city, it is an extremely tight-knit community where everyone cares for the greater good of the city and the people in it. However, this comes with a catch: while Buffalonians love to boast about how amazing our city is, we are typically referring to only certain parts. Buffalo is still a very segregated place, especially downtown, and the need to better ourselves should not be overlooked. Additionally, the tight-knit community comes at a price of everyone knowing “who is who”, making one’s social standing incredibly important to be successful in this city. Reputation is an important aspect of Buffalo, which is why private Catholic schools are so prominent. Nevertheless, I have yet to be in a city that is quite like Buffalo, and I couldn’t be happier to call it my hometown.

White Plains

Westchester County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — I have moved in White Plains, Westchester, NY back in 2003, about fifteen years ago. Its a small, quiet and relatively safe to live. Since 2003 the city of WP has changed dramatically. Back then there wasn’t even a Starbuck shop in the center. Nowdays you can find almost any business shop that are also in Manhattan; such as pret a manger, Chipotle, H and M store and many other shops that gave the main street a pretty much energy that back then it lacked. So much has been done in a positive way, but still beleive there is a room for improvement. It is still a boring city comparing to other neighborhoods as Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn and this is the main issue about it. Besides Mark Zuckerberg, there is no other famous personalities that came out from the city. Hopefully in the future city will get more funds and invest in a right direction. Also, I wish the city of WP will go under gentrification and attract more young people and make it more liveable.

Hawthorne

Westchester County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 —Hawthorne is in Westchester County in the state of New York, located in the United States. I spent the late 80’s, all of the 90’s and early 2000’s in Hawthorne. I lived in Hawthorne with my mom, dad, and younger brother. It was a great place to live, but I’m glad I have moved on. It’s a very small town, so small it’s actually considered a hamlet, where everyone knows everyone. And that means everyone knows everyone’s business. This didn’t affect me as a child, but as an adult I wouldn’t be crazy about the busybodys. Now that I live elsewhere, I am very aware of the things I dislike about Hawthorne. It’s an older area, not many new houses or establishments. It has more hills than flat land. A lot has stayed the same over the past few decades. It’s not very commercialized, which some people may find charming. But it also lacks that small-town quaintness. It’s not really old, and not very new, just a boring in-between. It’s not special to me beyond the fact that it is where I grew up and made some of my most significant memories. There’s a sense of nostalgia when I go back and visit, but not a place I yearn to be.

Buffalo

Erie County, New York, USA (North America) – August 2018 —In the 2000s Buffalo is very similar to other cities in the country. We have access to good schools, employment and public transport. The weather is very sporadic in Buffalo. It can go very quickly from one extreme to the other. In the winter we usually get a lot of snow. Because of this sledding, skiing and snowboarding are popular hobbies for citizens here. Buffalo traffic is usually not too big of a concern. While there may some moderate backup and wait during rush hour for the most part you can usually get where you’re going without much to any delay. Buffalo has an average amount of crime and struggles with the same epidemics that plague other cities such as drug addiction. One of the disadvantages of living in Buffalo is that there is not a lot of unique or cultural business. We have a lot of big box stores and chain type establishments. Buffalo is very close to the Canadian border and a short drive to New York City so you can always travel a short distance to see more cultural things. Housing is affordable in Buffalo. Especially during the summer there are a lot of festivals and carnivals for you to go to. There are also a lot of public parks for children.

Manilus

Onondaga County, New York (USA) — August 2018 —  I live in Manlius, New York. Manlius is considered a suburb, about 15 minutes from the nearest “big” city of Syracuse. Most everyone that lives here is pretty well off. There are a lot of big houses and nice cars. I would consider myself more middle class, my house isn’t nearly as big as most of the houses here and my car isn’t nearly as nice. Sometimes it’s frustrating being surrounded by people who have substantially nicer things than me but our school district is one of the best in CNY. That’s why I moved here, so my kids could get a great education. We have quite a few traffic lights and 10+ shops, a really nice library and a brand new firehouse.

Albany

Albany County, New York (USA) — August 2018 —  I live in Albany, which is in Albany County in the United States. Its the capital of New York, its a big city, alot of people live here. I was born and raised in Albany, lived here my whole life. Theres the nys museum down in the empire state plaza. We also have the Egg, and Palace theater. Downtown is mostly State buildings, good places to eat and bars. Nightlife In albany is fun when you go downtown. The city itself is busy most of the time. I dont like how the crime rate went up in the last ten to fifteen years. It used to be nice, but now most of albany is bad. There has been nine homicides in albany this year already. The crime rate is high. Alot of drug related crime here as well. Growing up here it wasnt always like this though, there was always crime but not as much. Their also were alot nicer neighborhoods back then too. Their are nice parts of albany bar far more bad neighborhoods in albany. In all, Albany is a nice city if you stay in the nice parts of it. Lots to do, lots of historical building, parks, resturaunts, libraries, always something to do.

Lake View

Erie County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 — The town is pretty nice. Small, b ut the neighborhoods are growing. There aren’t many stores or restaurants in town, we need to go elsewhere for that, but it is filled with kind neighbors who are always there with a beer or wine, having fires in the yard, spending time together and helping each other with yard work or projects.

Dolgeville

Herkimer County, New York, USA (North America) — August 2018 – –Dolgeville, NY USA. It’s a small village in the Mohawk Valley. It’s nice that everything you need is within walking distance. There is a grocery store, two gas stations and it’s own school from grades prek to 12. It has it’s own police station. Has a very nice park, with baseball fields and football fields and a soccer field. It’s outside of two major cities. Dolgeville is a country village. A lot of farm land with farmers.

West Hempstead

Long Island, Nassau County, New York, USA (North America) – July 2018 — I live in a small suburb in Long island NY. There are many things to do out here, from horse back riding to playing pool, to archery. We have a decent school district and the crime rates are low. There is a mixed amount of races in the community but still more white people then anything else. We have 4 schools in the district, Malverne, West Hempstead, Hempstead, and Rockville Centre. There is a train that takes you right to NYC and great restaurants. We also have a basketball facility that is historic and known by many New Yorkers called ISLAND GARDENS.

Pawling

Dutchess County, New York, USA (North America) – July 2018 — Pawling is truly small town America. Located in Southern Dutchess County on the border of Putnam. The houses tend to be more spaced out but there is a mix of neighborhoods and farm land. The main road, route 22 has some commercial amenities like Hannofords, KFC, Dollar General, and Mavis. The Village of Pawling offers more local small businesses. It’s a great mix catering to all basic needs. Also it’s very easy to get to larger towns like Poughkeepsi NY or Danbury CT if you want to spend a day shopping in a mall. There is public transportation. The Dutchess County Bus system or Metro North’s Harlem line railroad. If you love being outdoors Pawling is a great place. Home of the great swamp, the Appalachian trail runs through it so much opportunity for great hikes for every skill level. There’s also a few different parks, and a golf course. The parks offer lake swiming, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts and great places to picnic. Thunder Ridge Mountain is a small ski resort that is right down the road. If outdoor exercise isn’t your thing there is a Gym available. The crime rate is very low, the public school district has excellent ratings and there is the option of Private School from Prek 8th grade (Mizzentop Day School) and then an all boys private school (Trinity Pawling). There are many community events. Every Saturday in the summer the Village hosts a farmers market. The fire department (there are three) does a parade carnival and firework event. There is often free live music at Lakeside Park. It’s a very close-knit community with a lot of History.

Buffalo

Erie County, New York, USA (North America) – July 2018 — Living in Buffalo, NY can be both enjoyable and challenging. When I first came here, I was a bit culture shocked and didn’t realize the large scale of the city. It takes getting used too, especially driving with so much traffic, construction, and deteriorating roads. There’s quite a lot to like though like the various places to visit and great food. The grocery stores are completely different than what I was used to prior to moving. They are better! There’s a lot of great properties surrounding the city but some less than nice areas within city limits. There’s a lot of crime in certain areas. I feel safe where I am though. We are known as the city of good neighbors because people help each other out. The one thing that is very challenging when living here though is the taxes. They are extremely high in everything from property tax to sales tax. The road conditions are bad and the winters can be brutal sometimes. All in all though, it’s enjoyable to live in Buffalo.

Middletown

Orange County, New York, USA (North America) – July 2018 —  I live in Middletown. It is a small city filled with all kinds of people. The people in my city especially my peers in high school we had so much pride in our sports teams it was unmatched. The adults were a great support also always at the games cheering us on. Enough about school in the city there are some poverty spots here in there but, all in all everyone has some money. There are a lot of familiar faces when you walk around town so its nice to catch up with people now and then. I love my city I was born and raised here, I struggle here, I have family close by I hope to one day make it out of Middletown and credit the city with their participation in my success.

Binghamton

Broome County, New York, USA (North America) – March 2018 — I live in Binghamton, a small town in upstate New York (zip code 13905). Binghamton is in Broome County and is famous for its notoriously unfriendly weather — has broken records for blizzards and snow storms this current Winter — and, of course, Binghamton University, a part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system which brings a lot of young people and activities to town. I love Binghamton. I was born here and grew up here (I am 33 years old) and have seen this city go through its best and worst times in recent memory. Growing up, this was a lively town. Rock and roll bands, important keynote speakers, politicians and even famous celebrities like Bob Dylan were a staple every once in a while. However, a lot has changed since IBM moved its headquarters from the area and resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and the displacement of thousands of working class families.

Binghamton is what I like to think of as a recovering city, a bit like a tiny post-industrial Detroit as far as changes in the city’s culture, demographics and physical outlook that has been brought about by huge economical strains. Nice suburban homes have paved way for apartment projects, industries have been turned into prisons and some banks and schools have simply closed down and remained so for decades with no new businesses to replace them. It is not exactly a ghost town but it comes very close. A friend once told me that many locals here believe that Binghamton has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. While there is no proof for that, a trip here would lend a lot of credence to that belief. The thing that makes me proudest about Binghamton is its residents. Despite all the negative changes that have taken place, this largely remains a folksy suburban/rural American town at heart. The people here are kind, diverse and welcoming. Not to forget, also very hardworking. They give me hope that one day this city will turn things around and rediscover the verve and buoyancy that defined it decades ago. The industries may have left, but at its core, the heritage of Binghamton thrives.

Au Sable Forks

Clinton County, New York, USA (North America) – April 2018 —Au Sable Forks, NY is also known as “The Heart of the Adirondacks” and “The Gateway to the 1980 Olympic Games” Au Sable Forks is a small town that has all the charm of the small towns from the 1950s. The town received its name from the river which runs through it, The Ausable River. There are two branches of this river, and they meet here, in the middle of town right behind the grocery store. This spot is a world famous fly fishing destination. People travel here from all around the world to fish for trout in our river. The town is split between two counties, Essex and Clinton. You have to cross a bridge to get from one county to the other. We have a general store, gas station, bank, grocery store, liquor store, post office, restaurant and bar- so you really don’t ever need to leave. All of the streets are lined in wide sidewalks and while walking you will see many friendly locals. There is one public playground on the Clinton County side of town which was just remodeled last year and now boasts a wooden pirate ship with swings and slides! Another brand new playground was just put in this last summer across the river from our home with a zipline! There is also a walking trail dedicated to a young man who passed away, called Henrys Trail. There are playgrounds all along the quarter mile walking trail along with bear chainsaw sculptures and musical instruments. There are many local small farms as well here in town, and you can get everything from raw goats milk to freshly made pickles grown from cucumbers right here. This town is idyllic for a new family or someone just starting out as well because home prices are relatively low.

Syracuse

Onondaga County, New York, (North America) – March 2018 — Welcome to Syracuse, New York, an American crossroads town right in the middle of the state. We’re located about 5 hours north of New York City in the picturesque upstate region. Our little city offers a well-known collegiate university, mom and pop shops, and a revitalized downtown area with upscale restaurants, theatres, museums, and more. If you like winter sports, Syracuse is the place to be. We continually win the “Golden Snowball” year after year, for the most fallen snow in one season. New York has more mountain and ski resorts than any other state, all within driving distance from Syracuse. If you prefer summer, Syracuse boasts the largest State Fair in the United States that runs for 10 days in August and September. Fall offers gorgeous foliage through our mountainous Adirondack region that’s just a short 2-hour drive from Syracuse. Our city is little engine that could. Our people have changed this town from an industrial hub to a warm, inviting, forward-thinking city of the future.

Yonkers

Westchester County, New York, USA – March 2018 — I live in Yonkers, NY. It’s in Westchester County. I have no affection for this city. It has no character, nothing to brag about, no landmarks. There are too many people (250,000) too many concrete sidewalks and apartment buildings. Despite being just north of New York City, the people are provincial and mostly unimaginative. Too much traffic, too little parking, which is why I never go into the city center. There’s a beautiful library there, but terrible parking, so I use the smaller one closest to me instead. It has some interesting history, as it dates back to 1664, when the area and NYC were both owned by the Dutch. Yonkers is just north of the Bronx. It runs from the Bronx River west to the Hudson River, and is intersected by the Bronx River Parkway, Sprain Brook Parkway and Cross County Parkway. There’s no reason to stop here if you’re heading into Westchester from NYC.

Richmond

Ontario County, New York, USA (North America) – March 2018 — town is richmond, state is NY and country is america. Well for starters NY is a little expensive to live and raise a family you are broke all of the time .Also i do not enjoy traffic. What i like about NY is the convenience of having anything that u need close to your fingertips. Like food stores, clothes stores and schools also restaurants. If you do not know much about NY i suggest you come and visit here. There is alot of energy ,museums, broadway shows and people.You will definately like it. NY is very crowded at times traffic hardly moves getting on tunnels and bridges also the roads are very horrible they need about 3 years of work and so do bridges if you know what i mean. Stuff is way too expensive they have it like everyone is a tourist from the middle east or china. Although if you live in certain areas you will not even need an automobile you can take subways or a cab or buses.

Wantagh (Town of Hempstead)

Nassau County, New York, USA – February 2018 — I grew up in Wantagh , New York. That is located on what is commonly referred to as Mid Island on the Long Island region of New York. Wantagh is on the South Shore of the Island. I was born in 1961. I lived there from 1969 to 1983. My fondest memories of growing up as a teenager in Wantagh was the proximity to the Beach. Wantagh is located only a few miles from the beach. My house was near Wantagh Park. That area had an entrance to a bicycle trail. That trail paralleled the Wantagh State Parkway and provided a safe trail to the beach. I and my friends bicycled to the beach almost every weekend. In addition to bicycle riding, inline skates were becoming popular. We started inline skating to the beach which really was a workout. We often stopped at some of the bridge areas to look at the many people on the boats that were out for fun or fishing. Sometimes there was a concert and we would go at night to the Jones Beach theater. The beach was really long from the boardwalk area to the water. Most weekends all of my friends would find an area on the beach, set out large blankets and towels and spend the day. I was truly lucky to live near the beach.

Henrietta

Monroe County, New York, USA – February 2018 — I grew up in a suburb of Rochester, New York known as Henrietta, during the 1960’s. My family had lived in the area for some time, and [content moderated to remove information that might identify the writer] Our home sat on the banks of the Genesee river on Shore Drive. We swam, water skied, and canoed during the beautiful sunny summers. Dad taught me how to fish. Before the river got too polluted, my dad said you could make three casts, and one of those would yield a fish. You could eat the fish back then, too.

Times were different in the 1960’s. Mom kicked us out of the house in the morning, and we roamed until lunch, then she pushed us out again until dinner. No video games. Us neighborhood kids built forts in the woods, and hung out at the Bi-rite Market on Jefferson Road, penny candy being a popular treat during school vacation.

One summer the river flooded. Dad seethed, because the officials refused to release the water from the Mt. Morris dam. Rumor had it that some barrels of toxic waste got lost, and the officials needed to find them before opening the dam. Who knows? However, our house remained dry, because of our high banks. My aunt lived one street over though, and the officials drove us in the back of a high truck down my aunt’s road so she could retrieve some belongings, the water lapping three quarters up the wheel wells. Her house ended up being fine, because it was slightly elevated, and she kept the basement sump pump running.

The fall colors dazzled, with reds, yellows and oranges. Every fall, dad took a day off from his job as manager of [content moderated to remove information that might identify writer].  We leaf peeped and winery hopped among the Bristol hills to the south. Dad would let me take a little sip of wine when the wine tasting lady wasn’t looking. Winters dragged on my parents, though, with copious amounts of shoveling, until the driveway was nothing but a tunnel through snow eight feet high. Only the top of the lamppost showed. As a kid, I loved it. We donned our snowsuits and played all day. We made snowmen, tunneled forts through drifts, and hurled snowballs at each other, until our hands were numb. Mom forced us kids to come in and warm our hands over a pot of boiling water, shaking them until they were no longer white. In those days, I walked a half mile to the bus stop on the corner of Valley View Drive and Jefferson Road, always thankful when the warm bus finally arrived. I remained in the area until 2016, when I decided to escape the snow for my retirement. However, Henrietta remains vivid in my memory.

Buffalo

Erie County, New York, USA – January 2018 — I grew up in Buffalo, Ny in the 1960’s. I first moved away in 1985 but came back 5 years later as my husband started college there. Growing up in the city was amazing. We had corner stores all over and I remember all the neighborhood bars that my father would go to. Winter was yucky but the summers splendid. When I was younger, we’d play on the porch Barbies or walk around the block where it was a dead end and little traffic to roller skate. My parents were always paranoid about us [content moderated; information that might identify writer removed], so evening was spent indoors, safely. I still have the family home and visit with my children each year. My grand daughter comes as well. Parents have passed but my Aunt lives in the house now where we still stay.

Buffalo has changed so much. It’s up and coming because of the younger people wanting the old again. Old buildings have been revamped into apartment and the home values have finally began to rise. The last few years visiting in the summer have been great. My husband is from California and didn’t like Buffalo in the 90’s when he was going to school. There was nothing to do but now the downtown is really a downtown where there are concerts in the summer and ice skating in the winter among other things. So yeah, lots of change but I still wouldn’t pass up the old ways where life in the city was simpler.