Wednesday, October 7, 2015

5 Reasons That I Am (Sorta) Glad I Live in a Small Town; My Hometown...

Photo by Cindy Calzone
It's no secret... this area I live in, Western New York, is not my favorite place to be. I live in the same town I was born and raised in. Yes, I did move away for a while, spent one year in Buffalo for college (which is basically still the same area, only a hour or so from where I am currently), and also spent three years in Orlando, Florida. Ahhh, Florida! Now THAT is living! Beautiful warm temps all year round, a beautiful pool right out side my apartment, palm trees and beaches all around, plenty of jobs and things to do...I really could go on and on. But, I was still married back then, it was before I had my son...and my (then) husband had completed culinary school (one of the main reasons we went down there) and he had lost another job...we were financially strapped, so we came back to our hometown in 2008. Almost right away, I got pregnant with my beautiful son, Alexander, and so, we have been here ever since. After our divorce in 2013, I really can't even move if I wanted to....anyway, most of our family is here.......so I have come to terms with the fact that I won't be leaving Western New York anytime soon. It sucks. But, like any other bad situation, I could whine and complain about it, and be miserable...or...I can try to look at the positives, the plus side and the benefits of living in this small town...my hometown.

Photo by Cindy Calzone

Downtown Jamestown in winter; photo by Cindy Calzone
Ok, sure there are some good things about living here, on the outskirts of Jamestown, New York. Ever heard of it? If you are not from the immediate area, probably not. But as I mentioned, it's about 70 miles south of Buffalo. It's also about 40 miles from Erie, Pennsylvania. If you want to do some serious shopping, you have to travel to either of those bigger cities. Our winters are pretty harsh...cool temps, and thanks to lake effect snow from Lake Erie, we often get a lot of snow dumped on us. Guess what? I HATE the cold and the snow! So, for me this is not enjoyable! Oh. Wait. I am supposed to be talking about the positives, right? ooops. Ok, well, if you enjoy skiing, we have a few really nice ski resorts around us! (ok, see, trying to be positive here!) Alright, alright...I can do better than this! Let me get serious and list the 5 things that make me (sorta) glad I live in my small hometown...

Photo by Cindy Calzone

Photo by Cindy Calzone
1.) I know people here. Yes, sometimes this can be a negative, haha, but no no, I am focused on the positive part of this! I have spent the majority of my life here, and being a rather small town, I know a lot of people in the area. I can't go to the store without bumping into ten people I know. So, it is nice for social reasons, and networking. If you need a plumber or a mechanic, chances are you know a few personally, so you know who you can turn to and who you can trust. I also know a good amount of the local police departments because we went to high school together! It is kind of neat to live in a small town where you really do know a lot of people. Now, Jamestown is not so small that there are only a few hundred people and literally everyone knows everyone...I think the population of Jamestown is around 35,000, plus all the surrounding towns and villages, so it's not all that bad.

2.) Decent schools. My son, Alexander, who is now in 1st Grade, actually attends the same school both myself and his father went to. Many of the same teachers still teach there! The school is on the smaller side, with good teachers and good sized classrooms. I am not too familiar with schools in big cities, but from what I hear, I am glad my son attends and small school in a small town. There are no metal detectors, or police on the premises. I know crime can happen anywhere, unfortunately we have been made aware of this a lot in recent times, but for the most part, it's a safe school.

3.) Stuff to do. You won't find any skyscrapers here. No big huge shopping malls. No major theme parks either. But we do have things to do! We have beautiful Chautauqua Lake which offers boat rides, fishing and lakeside restaurants. We have some gorgeous parks, like Allegheny National Forest and State Park. There, you can picnic, go camping, hiking, and so on. During the summers, we have many festivals, car shows and live musical entertainment. We also have some museums. One thing Jamestown is known for is being the birthplace of Lucille Ball. So in her honor, we have the Lucy & Desi Museum downtown. We also have The Fenton History Museum, The Lucille M. Wright Air Museum, and The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. We also have the Chautauqua Institution, where each summer thousands attend shows, classes, seminars, and other events and activities. There is a beach, restaurants, shops, a spa and hotel. Several United States Presidents have stayed at this beautiful location, including Bill Clinton This is actually a really fun area to be in during the summer time!

The Chautauqua Belle on Chautauqua Lake; Photo by Cindy Calzone

Photo by Cindy Calzone

a little tubing on Chautauqua Lake
4.) My family is close. As I mentioned, most of my family lives here. And for my son, his father and their family too. There are some family members who I wish were closer, including my one and only sister, who lives in Tennessee...but it at least makes for a nice vacation destination when we go visit her! But most everyone else in right here...and family is important, so I'm glad that my son gets to be raised in a place where his parents, grandparents, and other family are all near by. Now a days family can often be so spread out, so I am grateful that we have many relatives close.

5.) Small town lifestyle. I know if we were living in a large city such as L.A. or NYC, life would be a lot different. More hectic, more stressful, more demanding. I kind of enjoy our small town lifestyle. No huge traffic jams and long commutes. No big city pollution. No high murder rates. For the most part, we can live a low-key, low-stress life. We can drive through the country and see farms, dirt roads, and lots of nature. We can visit friends who live on nearby farms and pet the animals, feed the goats and horses. Life just feels a bit slower and more relaxed when you are in a small town. It's more quiet. And while it sometimes can seem boring, I think I'd rather raise my son here than in a big city. It's not perfect, but it's home. It feels homey.

Photo by Cindy Calzone

Photo by Cindy Calzone (my son, Alexander)
I guess what I'm trying to realize is that it's not so bad here. No matter where you live, there will be positives and negatives. The bottom line is to make the most of where ever you are. That is my plan for living here for the next "x" amount of years. I chose to focus on the good parts of living here!

Photo by Cindy Calzone (my son, Alexander)


Do you like where you live? Are you a big city person, or do you like being out in the country? Are you happy with where you live? What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your area? Please share your thoughts and feelings!


Our Local Attractions;
http://ciweb.org/
http://www.lucy-desi.com/
http://www.fentonhistorycenter.org/
http://rtpi.org/
http://visitanf.com/
http://www.bemuspointcasino.com/
http://www.italianfisherman.com/
http://269belle.com/

 

13 comments:

  1. Yes, small towns have their charm! I live in a small town, but we have a very touristy city right next to us (Niagara Falls), and a larger(ish) city on the other side. So, we get the best of both worlds. I love that I can escape to my less-chaotic town, but trips to the mall or things to do aren't too far away.

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  2. Having family close by is definitely a big plus to living in a small town. :)

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  3. I think living in a small town would be nice. Sometimes I can do without a lot of people around me.

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  4. Nice post and lovely pics! I was raised in a large metro area, Vancouver BC. I have lived in a smaller city , across the pond from Seattle...I miss the big city lights, I don't care for small town life, but many do...thanks for sharing. I would love to visit New York..so beautiful...!

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  5. I have to agree! I love living near my family. It's so cool that your son attends the same school you and your husband attended!

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  6. Evertime I'm sitting in Dallas traffic I realize how much I miss my small hometown!

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  7. Your town looks so beautiful. Although small, it looks like a dream and I think most ppl would love to live in a small town.

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  8. Great post! I am married to a military man so I don't have the option to live forever in my hometown. I call where ever we are home!

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  9. It actually sounds pretty amazing! I used to live in Manhattan, and now we're in the suburbs and I appreciate the reduced stress that comes from a less congested, less hectic environment. Your photos are gorgeous too!

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  10. Great post and pictures!!! Gratitude and love for your roots is all over this one. I love that...AND now I want to come over :D

    Thanks!!
    Cami
    bycamixoxo.blogspot.com

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  11. It actually looks quite beautiful!!! You and CourtneyLynne are scaring me though. I just moved to Ottawa, ONT. and everyone including both of you make the winters sound like a death sentence. Hopefully, I will survive ;) Did you two meet each other before moving to/ back to W. NY or did you meet after?

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  12. I've been to Jamestown! You're a little under 4 hours west of me in NY. The winters are brutal, but I love them! I also love living in a small town in NY :) I am most definitely a country person! Happy to meet another NY blogger!

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  13. I lived in a small town in college and HATED it. I'm a city girl born and raised. :)
    xo, Caitlin
    And Possibly Dinosaurs

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