Monday, January 3, 2011

My Hometown - one of America's Coolest Small Towns

 If any of you in my family haven't seen this you might find this article below surprising and interesting.  I grew up in Newtown, PA.  I never thought it was all that interesting or special when I was a kid.  It was just where I grew up, where my friends were.  I return there every Christmas to visit my family but rarely go downtown because it's packed at Christmastime.   I still think it's a pretty town.  The main street (State Street) is lined with old stone buildings and houses, some of which have become quaint shops or restaurants.  It's a very wealthy town.  I Googled it today after reading that it was in the running for America's coolest small town.  The median household income is $81,000.00.  The average household income in the US is around $50,000.00. 

The way this article defines "Coolest Town" is this:
How do we define 'Coolest Small Town'?
The town must have a population under 10,000—we're talking small towns, not big cities. It's also got to be on the upswing, a place that's beginning to draw attention—and new residents—because of the quality of life, arts and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature. And cool doesn't mean quaint. We want towns with an edge, so think avant-garde galleries, not country stores.

I don't know who researches or writes these articles.  While I think Newtown is a pretty cool town, I don't think the author who wrote this has spent much time there because of some of the things he wrote.  He says that Amish horse and buggies frequent the town.  Hmmm, I don't remember that in my childhood or on any recent visit to Newtown.  He also says it hasn't changed much.  Maybe the main street hasn't changed much but there sure are a lot of chain stores and fast food places around that didn't used to be there when I was growing up.  It is much more developed and very busy.  I remember when I worked as a hairdresser back in the 80's my boss and I were walking to get lunch.  He said to me, "can you walk down the street without knowing anyone?", because there were several people who I made conversation with (whom I knew) on our 3 or 4 block walk.  I doubt that happens with my parents anymore.  Maybe I'm wrong. 

Next year when I go back for Christmas I'm going to go downtown and walk the main Street and hopefully go to the Japanese restaurant that is mentioned.  I think I'm probably missing out on something that I've been taking for granted all these years. 

I once was reading a magazine in my dentist's office and saw that Bucks County (where Newtown is) is a very popular place for New York City residents to buy vacation homes.  A place to get away.  I felt proud for some reason, like I had anything to do with it being such a beautiful place. 

You can vote for your favorite cool town of the 20 nominees so I may just have to place mine for Newtown since I've never been to any of the other towns they named.  Maybe one of the others listed is your hometown.

The Nominees for America's Coolestbr/Small Towns - Budget Travel

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