Monday, March 18, 2013

Big City? It's all perspective

When we would vacation in Wyoming, Laramie seemed like such a 'small town'.  The slow pace, the limited array of shopping locations, the scant variety of dining - small town living for sure.  The fact you could drive from one end of town to the other in under 15 minutes - quite literally - was also a clue.

Especially compared to Cincinnati, Ohio where we could find just about any chain restaurant imaginable, shopping galore, gas stations and drug stores on every corner.  It took a good hour to 'cross town'.

Of course, Cincinnati had nothin' on New York City. When we traveled there for a job interview for Techno-genius, I was aghast as the difference in pace. There were no cookie cutter dining establishments, but WOW, talk about diversity.  Stores, food establishments, hotels, taxis EVERYWHERE.  Now THAT was 'big city living'.

The biggest difference noted was the proximity of everything.  In New York, buildings were practically on top of each other - edge to edge of the geographical space it embodies.  Cincinnati had a bit more space between things, but still you could practically reach out and touch someone from your front porch. Laramie had a bit more space.  Houses and other buildings were close knit - in town - but the outskirts were much more spacious, with ranchlands and prairies.

Now that we live in Centennial, Wyoming, our perspective has changed yet again.

Laramie now feels much bigger.  We know it's not a 'big city' by definition, but living in a true small town where the population barely pushes 270; where we have 1 convenient store w/two gas pumps; 3 restaurants - 2 of which are only open on weekends; 3 hotel like establishments; and NO drug stores, grocery stores, or even a doctor's office makes Laramie feel like a metropolis.

If you want to get across town in Centennial, it might take you 5 minutes by car. That's if you are coming from outside the city limits - in one of the 'suburbs'.  You have to take a 10 minute walk to ask your neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar.  That's country living at it's best.

A friend commented on missing the slower pace of Cody, Wyoming and how he disliked the 'big city' feel of Laramie.  When he first proclaimed this, Techno-genius and I laughed.  Laramie, big city? Did the two words coincide?

Now, a couple months later, living in the more secluded mountains of Centennial, we get it.  We too are starting to view Laramie as a metropolitan hot spot.

'Downtown' Centennial.  The whole town in one shot.
Ok, so maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but the point is, it's all perspective.  When you live in a big city, most everything else seems 'small town' to you.  Conversely, when you live in podunkville (yeah, I know that's not a real word), even a 'small town' seems like large livin' in your eyes.

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