This shouldn’t be the first thought that enters my mind when someone tells me they weren’t born and raised here but it is. I live in a culturally enriched town with several universities, tons of delicious restaurants and bakeries along with unique shops and boutiques and a pretty eventful social calendar.
This isn’t a Miranda Lambert song, we have more than one stop light and not everyone is married by 22. But it is a small town and if you end up in the police blotter people will know. Bergdorf’s and Barney’s are easily 100 miles away but we have a Macy’s (really it’s just a Macy’s sign concealing a Kaufmann’s but it’s a start). For some reason my little town I was born and raised in and eventually returned to is the bane of existence for most. It makes people unhappy, they “can’t wait to get out.” I assure you it isn’t the town that’s terrible…
As a high school senior, I wanted nothing more than to leave and o get the hell away from this town. To drive far away and never look back. I was entranced by big city life! It was romantic and exciting! Manhattan was where I was destined to work and live! Chicago or Philadelphia would do, as long as I had skyscrapers, high fashion and subways. As a senior in college, I applied everywhere in the tristate area. I didn’t get the jobs in the big city; I just got three job offers at home. At the time, I was frustrated, angry, upset, but in the end, it works out the way it’s supposed to.
It always does.
People get stuck in a rut and go to the same places, do the same things. We find ourselves in the same bar every weekend with the same people. It just seems that there is nothing to do but that’s how we perceive it. There are so many great things to do in my North Eastern Pennsylvania town.
Cause I don’t want to get stuck in here
When I am thirty-four just talking about high school years
The Rocket Summer, though it seems, did not write about Wyoming Valley West high school. Granted, there are many, let’s say, terrible people (for the sake of the article) within a 10 mile radius of me, with small mind mentality and hatred running through their blood. There are people who are twice my age and act 10 years younger than me that go to a club on a Thursday night where the tagline is “18 to party 21 to drink”. But these people are everywhere. Your life is what you make of it. Surround yourself with culture and art and the love of others and I promise you, there will always be a sense of fulfillment.
It wasn’t until my best friend from college met a guy locally and moved (from Providence, RI) to what really is a small town 40 minutes from my doorstep. She saw my mundane world in a new light. She was experiencing things for the first time and was enjoying herself. We try to do dinner dates and I find myself wanting to show her different places. Yes, we can go to Rivergrille because it’s convenient or we can try the hundreds of other restaurants that I have never heard of or been to.
I love to shop local and support the blue collared businesses that make up our streets. I have been visiting Scranton more and more and just adore the downtown. This past weekend Scranton held Arts on the Square and there was so much local talent showcasing their work. There were things to do that broke up the mundane but it’s not always as easy as going to a Broadway show in Manhattan or the opening of a new club. Instead of bashing we should help build up NEPA.
The Wyoming Valley is comically known for a bar and a church on every corner and ethnic food (meaning homemade pierogis). Many once described it as a wonderful place to raise a family but a stigma now sits on the very streets that raised me. People say how the crime and corruption have taken over like it’s a scene out of Batman but honestly we just need to see the beauty in this little town.
So this is where I come to you, I want to feature local talent and businesses on my blog. I want to show people all that my Valley has to offer. From the history to the modern day culture there is so much to see and do. We have so much talent, people think that big cities are filled of excitement and adventure but so is my hometown. So comment, share and get the word out there! I want to know the best places to shop, where to eat the most delicious foods and the hidden gems of NEPA!