Guys. I am so freaking excited about this: It’s finally the day of the first Tell Me About Your Town linkup! This monthly linkup is a way for us bloggers to share a little more about the places we all call home. This month, the topic is what you’re thankful for (about your town, not in general), and my very first co-host is my good bloggy friend and soul sister Rebecca Chapman! The rules, button and linkup is farther down this post, but first, my own list:
I’m especially thankful for this since we just came back from a weekend in Minneapolis. Driving in big city traffic completely freaks me out and I’m sure I was close to death or an accident many times. Traffic in Fargo is light and easy. Even our “rush hour” is NBD–it maybe adds an extra couple minutes to my commute (which is already short and easy). All our streets are in a very logical, orderly fashion and traffic lights make sense. It’s super duper easy to navigate anywhere, and while we have our fair share of jackholes on the road, for the most part, drivers are courteous. Driving in the city totally terrified me and I am SO glad to be back in Fargo traffic.
The people here are so nice. Have you heard of “Midwest nice” or “North Dakota nice?” It’s a thing, and it’s real. The sense of community we all (OK fine, we mostly) have, even for complete strangers, is awesome. People here will not hesitate to help another driver with car trouble, and with no fear of being mugged. We leave our doors unlocked. Every year we rally together and sandbag to protect our city from the river and it’s such a sense of pride for us to work side by side. We’re (mostly) good people here.
Plus, this is the city (well, technically Moorhead, MN is the city, but it’s literally right across the river, only minutes from Fargo) where I met my husband, his family and friends. I am incredibly thankful to have such solid people in my life.
I love that Fargo is a small city that feels like a big one, or maybe a big city that feels like a small one. Either way, I think it’s the perfect size. There’s plenty to do and see without being overwhelming. We have a vibrant arts and music scene, great restaurants, lots of local businesses, and a booming economy. The metro area (including Fargo, the city of West Fargo and Moorhead MN) has a rough population of 220,000, and still whenever I go to the store, I almost always see someone I know. It’s like Cheers up here. We wave and say hi, stop and chit chat about the weather and ask how your brother is doing. And our downtown is really something. It’s been revitalized to be kind of old-school and nostalgic, and the eight-block “downtown” stretch is full of hidden gems. But more on those in future posts:)
Fargo is booming. We’re having an oil boom, which you probs heard about, but even before that was big, North Dakota has been growing exponentially lately. The city of both Fargo and West Fargo has greatly expanded since I’ve been here (about 10 years now), and it continues to grow. We have tons of new businesses opening all the time (we just got our first Costco!), and it really is vibrant and exciting. We have three major colleges (Concordia College, NDSU and MSUM–go Dragons!) plus several tech schools. I have to thank my alma mater, MSUM, for making me feel so connected to this community in the first place. By working on the student paper, I had a reason to start caring about this place.
We have two major interstates crossing eachother, both just blocks from my apartment. We also have super low unemployment, an incredible housing market, great economy, and basically, everything is awesome here. Oh yeah, aside from the weather. We like to say that the cold keeps the riff raff out. It is frigid up here in the tundra in the winters, but it’s a part of life here that we put up with because everything else is so great. National magazines and websites consistently list North Dakota or Fargo as one of the top places to live in for quality of life.
Yes, I do mean the movie and TV show. It might be grossly unrealistic about what life is truly like here these days, but it did put us on the map at least. We don’t have many claims to fame up here, so we take what we can get. Our visitor’s center even has a woodchipper reproduction in it as a nod to the movie. About all else North Dakota has is Josh Duhamel, ESPN College Game Day (held here the last two years!), and records for worst weather in the country, best economy and highest rate of binge drinking. Truth. We drink a lot when there’s nothing else to do and you can only be outside 3 or 4 months out of the year. Oops.
What it holds for me
Fargo is my first adult home. I grew up in Indiana, which will always be my hometown, but Fargo is my home now. I moved here for college and never left, 10 years later. I’m pretty proud of the life I built here all on my own too. I have an amazing job (at a locally owned, family company at that!), sweet pets, an apartment I hope to be out of soon and into a real house and great friends. I have my own doctor, dentist, car dealer, etc., that I have seen enough times I can trust. This is where I made a life, and for that I will always be thankful. I think that Fargo still has a lot left for me too.
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This monthly linkup is to celebrate all the amazing places we all are from, to shine some light on the spots all over the country (or world!) us bloggers live. Our locations may not define us, but they certainly shed insight into who we are and how we live. Join me and my co-host on the third Tuesday of each month when we will have one specific topic related to your towns to guide you in writing about your city. So…tell me about your town!
To participate in this linkup, simply write your own post following our topic/prompt for the month and add your link (your actual post, not your homepage) to the linkup below. Include the linkup button (also below) or a link back in your post. Please follow me and my co-host and visit at least one other post from the linkup. You may write about the town you currently live in, the place you were born and raised, or any other place that feels like home to you. Share as many photos as you wish! Make me want to visit your town! Each linkup will go live at 12:05 a.m. Central on the third Tuesday of that month and will be open for one week.
Please join me again next month for the second installment of Tell Me About Your Town! The topic is your favorite local shops or boutiques (perfect for a Christmas gift spin!). My co-host will be the lovely Meagan from All The Joys. Mark your calendars, friends, and please join Meagan and I to tell us about the awesome shops in your town on December 16.