What's special about your hometown?

I edited this post slightly because it was previously more of a competition, and I’d rather be more inclusive. Sometimes I think the town where I went to school couldn’t be more different from Taipei. It is beautiful, laid back and accepting of quirky individuality. Let me explain.

Arcata, California sits on the extreme northcoast of California. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with mountains, ocean and giant redwood forests all within easy bicycling distance. I’ve gone cross-country skiing and looked out at the ocean. I’ve gone backpacking for days and seen no people but several bears. I’ve gone ocean kayaking and seen whales.

It’s a university town, and one of the most popular majors is Wildlife Management. My best friend there is a professional bird watcher (that’s his job). A majority of our city councilors were members of the Green Party. Our former mayor was a lesbian, and I saw her naked at the river on a sunny Summer day. We’ve got several nude beaches, and I once saw a parade of topless women going through the center of town bearing signs saying things like, “Free the Breasts.”

Lots of odd activities take place in the center of town, on our beautiful Plaza where the whole community comes together. The Kinetic Sculpture Race is a three day race, with fantastic home-made vehicles that traverse roads, sand dunes, mud and water, fueled by alcohol and insanity, starting from the Plaza. There’s the All Species Parade, of crazy characters dressed up as. . . creatures, the Samba Parade with scantily clad dancers, the Oyster Festival, the Gay/Lesbian Day. On ordinary Saturdays there’s the Farmers Market, where folks drive in from the hills to sell pickup truck loads of produce to the locals who stroll, not drive, downtown to enjoy the sunshine on the Plaza and chat with neighbors.

Speaking of produce, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the County (Humboldt) is world renowned for its marijuana. We grow great stuff there, it’s commonly smoked by adults as well as kids, and no one considers it to be a hard drug as they do in Asia. We had a clinic openly dispensing medical marijuana for a while till it got bogged down in litigation. When a cop seized one man’s “medical marijuana” the guy sued to get it back and won.

People read books. . . not just about money, but about everything. We’ve got great bookstores and lots of good restaurants where one can eat giant breakfasts, drink endless coffees and linger with friends for hours before walking, not driving, home. We’ve got a great hot-tub place where one rents private rooms in a beautiful garden setting, not a cement tub in a barren room. One lawyer in town quit his practice to open a children’s interactive discovery museum. Another local lawyer took people on scuba diving trips to Thailand, eventually quit and now lives in Phuket.

I better stop, I’m feeling faint. How about you? What’s special about your hometown?

As a fellow Humboldt State grad I can certainly see where you’re coming from on this. True, Arcata about as far as you can get from life in Taipei, and in someways that’s what I like about living here…at least for me at this moment in my life.

That’s not intended as a slight on Arcata, I love the town and go back often to visit friends and unwind. However, for all its quirks and culture, it too can seem to be something of an island unto itself, cut off from the rest of the world.

My “home” is a small town called Ojai in southern California which is equally offbeat in its own way and certainly a world apart from Taiwan in nearly every way possible. I love the place (I’m heading back for a visit on Saturday) but I suspect I’m going to be climbing the walls by the second week.

You might be surprised what quirky diversions are right under your nose here. You may not have Finnish Sauna at Cafe Mokka, but the hot springs of Wulai and Yanminghsan aren’t half bad. :wink:

Hello Pangolin,

I hope you don’t mind that I edited after you posted. Though I haven’t been to Ojai, I gathered it too is little quirky. My brother built a couple of yurts there at the Ojai Foundation, where visitors include famous people who talk to dolphins and dabble in halucigenics. That is not intended as a slight either, but just recounting what I heard, and I’d love to visit some day.

Yes, Humboldt is cut off from the world. That is a large part of its charm (it is a 5 hour drive from the closest real city) and part of its curse. And that is why I finally had to get the hell out of there and fly to the opposite side of the world. But, it’s always tempting to return, at least for a visit.

Hometown: Lemoncove, California
Pop: 190
Special?: The best tasting citrus in the world.I can’t eat any Taiwan citrus because I have been spoiled. Tom Brokaw also called it one of the prettiest towns in America and I would have to agree.


Gainesville, Florida is my adopted hometown … it was voted the #1 place to live in the U.S. back in '96 or so. It really is a beautiful place to live, and so different from Taipei. It’s a pretty quiet university town (Go Gators!!!) apart from weekends during football season, lots of greenery, beautiful weather, clean air, very laid-back, relaxed, liberal atmosphere (sort of like an oasis in the middle of the redneck southern U.S.). There is great nightlife, lots of artsy-type events, great little cafes and bookstores, and TONS of good restaurants. Definitely a nice place to live! I miss it every day … this is the first time in my life that I’ve lived in a big city, and even after almost 2 years here, I still don’t think I’ll ever get used to it …

Dry Creek, South Carolina. What’s cool? Well, James Marion Sims was born only 10 minutes walk from my house. I used to take girls there for a drink or 2. After reading the memorial stone they came VERY impressed with me!


NOVEMBER 13, 1883

I assume you didn’t tell the girls that James Marion Sims performed painful experimental surgery on slave women and babies without their consent, because he “owned” them, and when they died he performed autopsies on them immediately. Other than that he sounds like a cool dude.


What’s good about my hometown? It’s 5000 miles away.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]I assume you didn’t tell the girls that James Marion Sims performed painful experimental surgery on slave women and babies without their consent, because he “owned” them, and when they died he performed autopsies on them immediately. Other than that he sounds like a cool dude.


I tend to ignore personal sites set up by “activists” with an axe to grind.

Mother Theresa, if you hadn’t already told us you come from a town with a lesbian mayor, we probably would have figured it out on our own by now…

Nothing special about my hometown. A lotta rightwing conservative racist religous bigots who think the American way is the best way. Don’t miss that place at all. Asia’s the way to go, IMHO.

I hungout with a couple of Thai lesbians last year in Pattaya…now THERE’S a hometown! :laughing:

The village where I spent most of my childhood until I flew off to university in big bad London (I just couldn’t wait to get to the city, and made a beeline for Soho and the strip shows on my very first evening there … but I digress)… the village that will be immortally famed for the part it played in my formative years was Bromeswell, near Woodbridge, in Suffolk. It proudly possessed a Norman church, a telephone box, and a post-box, but no shop of any description. It almost had a pub, but strictly speaking that was just outside the village boundaries. It wasn’t half a good place to spend one’s childhood, especially down at the river at high tide on a sunny summer’s day or in the woods or on the common at any time of year. I didn’t appreciate it quite so much in my mid to late teens when the siren call of the city far outshrilled its sweet bucolic charms, but I now understand very clearly why my parents chose to live there.

Christchurch, New Zealand. The garden city. Clean, beautiful, pristine. A picture postcard paradise. A touch of England outside England.


Although it does have the highest percentage of prostitutes per head of population in New Zealand. :blush:

[quote=“Boss Hogg”]
Although it does have the highest percentage of prostitutes per head of population in New Zealand. :blush:[/quote]

I’m not going to touch that one! :laughing:

[quote=“blueface666”][quote=“Boss Hogg”]
Although it does have the highest percentage of prostitutes per head of population in New Zealand. :blush:[/quote]

I’m not going to touch that one! :laughing:[/quote]

NO, I do not speak from experience

Cable cars; mountains; two oceans and hundreds of beaches; zebras, ostriches, and great white sharks; Mediterranean climate and clean air; people of all shapes, colors and sizes–i could go on and on.

I quite like her in this mood.

What’s nice about my hometown? Well, it has a population of about 50,000 which makes it one of the biggest towns in my corn belt state which gives it both a small-town and city feel. You have to drive to get anywhere, but there is a bus system that covers the town pretty well. I used to usher at the opera house where I got to watch operas like Die Fleidermaus, Madame Butterfly, Hansel and Gretel, The Barber of Seville, and my favorite Aida. As a matter of fact, performing arts was a big thing in my home town and we had a performing arts center which holds various classes for the public and a summer day camp for kids. We have an international festival that has a spotlighted country each year like Ghana, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Norway, China, Papau New Guinea, and Greece to name a few and features dances, music, and foods from at least 30 different countries a year. The Greek Orthodox church in my hometown would hold a Greek Festival every year. We have a branch of university there (my rival school…grrr…) right across the street from my high school’s large campus so kids could just jump in their cars and drive from one campus to the other on the other side and take college-credit courses in the afternoons. They also offered lots of enrichment classes to the community. We also used to host the International Hot Air Balloon races. There are a few small film festivals and we have a major movie theatre with 15 screens as well as an arboreteum, a lake, and a small airport. My high school had a competitive swim team (which competed at the Y’s pool), lacross, golf, and winter guard in addition to the usual sports (like cross country and soccer) with a large gymnasium, a full track, and a football stadium (and I mean stadium) across town as well as over 30 different extracurricular clubs. And performing arts was a big part of my school. We had two plays, a musical, and a student-written series of short plays every year. A huge Thespians troupe (of which I was a member), award-winning forensics team, and five chorale groups: freshmen, show, girls, a capella, and cultural (which sang mostly Gospel)choirs. Our language clubs (French, Spanish, and German) took trips to francophonic Europe, Mexico, and Germany about every other year. My school was a mixture of both black and white students with Asians and Hispanics represented in decent numbers. There was a synagogue, two cathedrals, a Greek Orthodox church, and a church of Latter-Day Saints in town and one of the biggest mosques in the US just 20 minutes down the road along with the usual Christian denominations.

For a mainly working-class Midwestern town in the middle of a state that has one of the highest Klan memberships and one of lowest per capita incomes, my hometown was an oasis of culture, especially for its small size.

Now come on, Bossman. You’re not seriously trying to tell me that NZ sheep actually charge for their services? Glad I’m from Scotland. None of that nonsense there – catch her and she’s yours.

My hometown is special because it houses the biggest British military airport out of Britain: it’s noisy, annoying and expensive (due to the requirements when building a house) though recently I think the RAF has moved out more or less. Finally.
Well, without that my town would probably be dirt on the map, population is only a few thousand and there is nothing much though we do live close to the forest reserve (with the above mentioned airport sitting right in the middle of it) and the Dutch border. Cheese anyone? :slight_smile:

Then again it’s home and I do like to go back there, enjoying the country side instead of the big city life here in Taipei.