This weeks topic by Sara was to talk about your hometown.
When I was in 3rd grade I wanted to move. While in class I spun the globe, closed my eyes and pointed my finger onto a city in Australia named “Alice Springs”. I thought, that’s where I’ll make my home. A few months later, after watching the opening to “Mork and Mindy”, I’d become fascinated with Boulder, Colorado, Jeeps, and the Mountains. I had in my 3rd grade record collection ‘John Denver’s Greatest Hits’ and for Christmas that year I got a pair of Denver Bronco pajamas. (Mom keeping everything as fair as she could, bless her heart!) I didn’t mind because I loved Colorado. It just all made perfect sense to me.
Always wanting to live somewhere else, to see other places, to have great adventures. Which did NOT include OMAHA in any way, shape, or form. To be honest, I do not have much feelings of fondness for my hometown so I had to google Omaha to see what others had to say to get a fresh look. It’s many people that have LEFT that have great things to say, I have lived in other cities when I was young, much larger than Omaha andseen everything they’d have to offer. It was very appealing to me. But at the time I was to young to stay gone for too long, without getting homesick. Not over Omaha itself, but I really missed my parents and family. So I’d always head back home. Happy to see them and be ‘home’.
I found a really great article about Omaha, published in 2007, in the New York Times, by Kurt Andersen, which opened my eyes to Omaha’s appeal. (Mind you, this does not include the Benson Boom including art and music, which has occurred since then.)
Since we do not have oceans, mountains, or other great outdoor nuances, we have a lot of time to create and be creative. That’s where Omaha has it’s most appeal, in my opinion, is in it’s creative culture (see NY Times article linked above). Music and art, what I live for. I’ve been to the Joslyn Art Museum multiple times, but how many times can you see the same things? Especially when you’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it’s a challenge to appreciate what Omaha has to offer.( I’ve lived here consecutively for 15 years.) We also have one of the BEST Zoo’s in the country, but how many times can one go to the zoo? Variety is the spice of life, haven’t youheard? This is where music and food come in. Music being my favorite of the two, you can always find live music in Omaha. Especially since the Benson Boom has occurred. (Thank God for Benson!) I once read that you could eat out every day for one year and not eat at the same place twice. It’s probably doubled since then.
While reading Andersen’s take on Omaha, it really seems that you have to leave here for ten years and come back to really appreciate the nuances of this ‘middle of nowhere’ city. Ahhem….sorry! I mean the “Heartland”.
I really have to thank the people that left to what I call ‘real’ cities, New York mainly, and brought back some culture with them. Otherwise we’d still be a mere cowtown. Which I had ‘slit my throat once’ when I was working for some very wealthy developers when they said at a meeting that Omaha is comparative to New York City and I laughed out loud and said “Omaha is nothing but a Cowtown!” Well, how could I help that???? Comparing Omaha to New York City? Giggle, giggle. Although in retrospect, it would have served me well to have kept my mouth shut, but it was a knee jerk reaction.
So there’s the music scene we are lucky to have. (for being in Omaha) And thanks to Brandon Miller of the Kris Lager Band, our first real outdoor camping and music festival, Hullabaloo. Great job, Mr. Miller!
Omaha also has many great restaurants. And we’re friendly. The traffic is nice, and so is the cost of real estate. It’s much slower here than larger cities, not just the traffic. We put our grocery carts back in the stalls. Could that be Omaha’s new tagline? Giggle, giggle. I really don’t miss the crazy traffic of the large cities. And when there is a traffic ‘jam’ in Omaha, I look about on the I-80 (we have just one) and see the people all angry wondering if they’d ever been in a REAL traffic jam, like in LA? Or even Kansas City for that matter! Then I giggle at them, and turn up the radio as I know it won’t be longer than a half an hour. (Most times less.)
Eventually, you have to come to peace wherever you are. As the years go by, I’ve learned to appreciate my hometown if only because there are WAY worse places to live than my hometown, sweet Omaha.
Let’s see what my comrades have to say about this topic!!!