Monday, August 27, 2007

Me and My Soapbox

I'm not saying that Eugene is the best place on earth or the only place for me or really anything like that. What I am saying is that I've quit fighting it. I don't know...the winters just don't seem as long as they used to be; the days not as short; the rain, somehow, not as wet. Yes, I know: Global Warming. But there's more to it than that. Like Verlon Thompson, I ain't been everywhere yet, but I've seen enough to know that, all things considered, Eugene is pretty darn liveable.

If you wanted to live a pedestrian lifestyle, you could. You like outdoorsy things? That's cool. If you want to see live theater, there are more than a half dozen venues. Art? More than twice as many galleries. Live music? More than three times as many stages and something somewhere every night of the week. Crime is low, pedaling is easy, coffee is good, parks are clean, bathrooms are free, kids are welcome, there's a university, a baseball team and...oh...the trees!

Sure, The Willamette spills its banks once in a while and the ground trembles about every two or three years; they say that the Cascades are still an active volcano range and of course we should always know what to do in the event of tsunami but - basically - we don't have any tornados. There is no hurricane season. We're not expected to fall into the Pacific. The weather fluctuates all the way from 30 degrees clear up to 100 during the seasonal cycle.

We have box stores, strip malls, food chains and the google-o-plex like everywhere else. BUT(!) You could do all of your shopping, eating and big screen viewing in local establishments if you wanted. I refuse to beat the diversity drum, but you can find a little bit of everything located between Portland, Medford, Florence and Bend.


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