I was surprised to see my blog mentioned on Greater Youngstown 2.0 this morning when I checked my blog feeds, especially since I'd been waiting tell anyone about it--who wants to be the one to tell everyone about your blog and then have only (what is it now?) 3 posts!
Though not prepared for it, this is exactly one of the reasons I am excited about moving to Youngstown tomorrow...
For many years, I have lived largely in cities so big that there is not a great sense of shared community (Houston, Austin, LA), or I have lived on the edge of society as a foreigner (Seoul, Kobe). I have always felt it important to be involved in your community, but only occasionally stepped forward. While in graduate school though, I did live in a smaller town (Columbia, MO), and participated more in the community, but obviously within a limited timeframe.
We have spent the summer while waiting to move into our new house in Youngstown with some kind and generous friends in Portland, OR. Portland has been my husband and my promised land for quite a while now--we have coveted the climate, the beauty, the progressive people, and their sense of community. I actually think what we really loved was carefree times visiting our friends. However, I've found spending the last month here that while there are many things to enjoy about this city, it still is a big city with so much going on that it would again become easy to get lost in the crowd, or do nothing and not be noticed.
Youngstown, on the other hand, seems to have a tight group of dedicated and dynamic people who have a vision of the city's future and are taking action to get there. They are well connected to each other and on the lookout for others who might pitch in. It is both small enough for me to have already had lunch with a local legislator (and end up on a local blog), but large enough to gain critical mass on amenities I would miss otherwise (except Indian food--where is the Indian food?). I love that people seem to be looking toward the future while valuing the city's past. It feels like very exciting time.
This is the kind of community I have been looking for; this is the kind of work I want to be a part of--and it is as much about realizing Youngstown's potential as it is about realizing my own.
Lady, get off your ass and go.