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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Getting to Know You

I grew up in Richmond. My family relocated here when I was an infant. As a youth, I undervalued my hometown and longed to escape it. I could share embarrassing, restless preteen poetry of a midwestern, angst-filled flavour, but we will forego that and spare you the pains! In the last decade I have been blessed to travel to either side of the American coast lines, paying homage to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. I've seen the Space Needle in the sleek streets of Seattle, Washington, the bucolic beauty in small towns of New York and Connecticut. There was also quite a bit of road in between! Now I feel I have a more balanced view on the best and worst points of our Rose City. I appreciate it more for what its worth. I won't scorn my hometown any longer. I'll claim it. Visiting large cities opened my eyes much like the country mouse in Aesop's tale "The City Mouse and The Country Mouse". My Beach Boy fantasies of a golden California are tempered with real life experience. Like any other geographic locations it is blessed by certain scenery and plagued by its eyesores. There are many cities on the map that lack many of Richmond's assets. The very least compliment I can pay my own hometown is that I can afford to live here. We ARE lucky; we ARE Richmond.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Barabasi of Northeastern University tracked over 100,000 people through their mobile phones to learn about human travel patterns[1]. It was discovered that most people are creatures of habit, 83% of the people tracked barely diverged more than 22 miles from their homes[2]. Additionally, people seem to hit the same spots on the map in their set daily routines. Let's set ethical questions concerning mobile phone tracking research aside (their information was scrambled and anonymous, Barabasi assures us), and simply remark that I am certain to be of that majority.  Home, grocery store and an occasional bite out is my personal travel pattern! After living in the Richmond area for more than 20 years, there is much within my town I have not explored. How many other residents are creatures of habit who return to their work, home and favoured haunts over and over again?

Now that I am here for the time being and not romantically fantasizing an escape, I hope to discover more about the city in which I live. According to the Richmond, Indiana wikipedia page, Richmond covers 24.08 square miles[3]. If I tour every inch of that I will have ventured out just enough from the average bubble to escape being lumped into the majority of people deemed boring by John Schwartz of the NY Times. Along my way I hope to discover and share the riches hiding in the open all around us. Maybe we can inspire each other to be a bit more adventurous. Where is your absolute favourite Richmond spot and why? Be it a bar stool in a local pub, a quiet spot by Clear Creek or a great bench for people watching- do share!


Your Local Gal 
  1. Cellphone Tracking Study Shows We’re Creatures of Habit
  2. Mobile revealed, People, creatures of habit, confirms a large experiment
  3. Richmond, Indiana - From Wikipedia

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