About Me and C-Locations

I love the bright lights and the boisterous noises of the big city. The endless food options. The shops and the shows. The hustle and bustle. The people. I also love the country, whether it’s the funky smells of the farm and territorial livestock or the quiet solitude that comes with being in the proverbial middle of nowhere. I stay in either type of location for too long, and I start to miss the other. I’m not the only one, either. To wit, my solution looks a lot like other people I know. I primarily live in the city and then try to get out of it whenever I can. I’ve also lived in the smallest of Midwestern towns and then driven into the city on multiple weekends each month.

But more than just bouncing back and forth like a mindless compulsion, I’ve endeavored to get the most of my time in both worlds. I don’t miss a chance to stargaze when I get out of the city. I scour the weekly newspaper for shows and festivals that are hidden gems. Whether it’s a long line in front of a box office or in the middle of a large crowd of people, I also don’t mind waiting several hours for the most popular and widely shared moments. One of the nice things about not living in New York City is that you don’t have to hate Times Square.

I’ve lived in a big metropolitan area, a medium-sized city, and a tiny college town. I’ve also lived in the suburbs, and I don’t care as much for suburbia. I’m not trying to be judgmental, and I admit it’s a slippery term that covers vastly different types of neighborhoods. Moreover, the suburbs are a great place to live for many people. Indeed, it’s not hard to understand the appeal of a safe, easy, and semi-remote location of like-minded individuals with a strong culture of being good neighbors. Unlike city folk visiting the countryside and country folk visiting the big city, you don’t need a lot of extra travel resources to visit someone in the suburbs. Compared to city skylines and natural landscapes, there are comparatively few pictures and travel tips on social media that feature quiet, suburban streets. Plus, suburbia doesn’t start with a “C”.

 

Some of My Favorite C-Locations

 

  • I mean, I love the mountain terrain in general, but while the peaks and summits get most of the headlines, I also love being on the canyon floor and looking up at sheer canyon walls and geological formations. Summits offer better solitude, but canyons have a natural coziness that makes me feel like God hired an interior designer. Or I guess it would still be an exterior designer.

 

  • C-Cities in the Midwest: They’re consistently underrated, almost without exception. And just sticking to the “C” theme, there’s so many of them.   Columbus has OSU, High Street, and a vibrant character throughout the city. Cincinnati and Cleveland both boast of world-class amusement parks, not to mention the distinctive water features of Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Chicago has so much going for it, I don’t even mind the extra dicey weather. Even Charleston, WV is perfectly situated to some of the most beautiful spots along the Ohio River Valley as well as the Appalachian Mountains. Further to the west, Cedar Rapids is one of Iowa’s secret treasures.

 

  • Coffee Shops and Coffee Drinkers. This is one of the things that city folk and country folk have in common and yet do very differently. Generally speaking, country folk can’t understand why you’d pay $4-$5 for a cup of coffee, no matter what fancy flavors, foams, and faux sugars you might put in it. City folk can’t understand how you could drink that looks and tastes a little like gasoline. And that’s why I love going to coffee shops, almost no matter where I am. Between the shop and the people in it, you can get a great snap shot of the local community.

 

So, yeah, my name is Liz and this is C-Locations. Nice to meet you.