. . . in Kalamazoo! Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Things You Like About Where You Live. So, we need a little soundtrack here. Cheesy, yes. Predictable, sure. But absolutely necessary when you're talking about . . . Kalamazoo-zoo-zoo.
(This clip is long, I know. About half-way through, the song gives way to an aMAzing tap dance performance by the Nichols Brothers. Really good.)
So, here we go. Ten Things I Like About Kalamazoo.
1 -- You can't deny. . . it is a Cool Name! When I was a little girl, I used to "collect" names that were just plain fun to say -- Tallahassee; Cincinnati; Tuscaloosa; Saskatchewan; Mississippi; Chattanooga; Timbuktu; Walla Walla. I never had an inkling, though, that I would live in one of them! Around Michigan, Kalamazoo is often referred to as "K-Zoo" or KZ or "The Zoo." (Of note: there is no Zoo in Kalamazoo!)
2 -- Kalamazoo is Big Enough to have what I need in terms of resources, shopping, entertainment, and recreation. . . but Small Enough to be manageable, personal, accessible, and community-focused.
3 -- Kalamazoo is conveniently located near major cities. . . when I want "more."
4 -- Kalamazoo is a "college town" and home to two major higher education institutions: Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College. These two colleges add much to the community -- wonderful facilities, renowned speakers and lecturers, academic interest, and entertainment galore.
5 -- There is a rich community spirit in Kalamazoo. Sure, there are problems . . . but the community pulls together to try to solve those problems. . . and there is much pride in accomplishment and success.
6 -- I love living so close to Lake Michigan! It is said that here in Michigan, no one lives more than 80 miles from one of the Great Lakes. The nearest beach, for me, is at South Haven. . . about 30 miles from home.
7 -- I love living in a location that has four distinct seasons. Sure. . . winter can be brutal here, and it often hangs on far too long. . . but that makes spring and summer all the more delightful. Besides, there is nothing quite like fall in Michigan.
8 -- Kalamazoo is committed to the "eat local" movement. There is a large and vital Farmer's Market, several food co-ops, and some really fine restaurants committed to supporting local farmers.
9 -- Kalamazoo has a vibrant arts community -- from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts to the Gilmore Music Festival to several local theatre groups. There's always something going on!
10 -- And, lastly, I like living in Kalamazoo. . . because it's in Michigan. Yep, we're a beleaguered state. We've got a lot of problems. . . and, so far, we're short on leadership brave enough to suggest REAL solutions. But. Michigan is a wonderful place to be -- beautiful landscape, great people, lots of resources. And, shoot. . . it's shaped like a mitten! Isn't that a perfect place for a knitter to live!