Reasons why Akron isn’t all that bad (OK fine — it might even be good)

Gas prices

They’re almost as low as Virginia!

Almost.

Decision-maker state in elections

That’s right. I now get to decide who the President of the U.S. is!

I have all the power, mwahahahaha

Well, me and 11.54 million other people….dang, so close.

Natural parks

Apparently there are a lot of them here. That’s what all my NEO friends keep telling me. (You notice how I’m already using the lingo? Yes, I want to smack myself, too. “NorthEastern Ohio” for the yinzers and y’allers out there. And whatever else the rest of the country says instead of y’all. Yinz guyz? No, that’s not right…)

Normal-sized merge lanes

Let me tell you something. Driving a 17-foot U-Haul out of Pittsburgh was a bit harrowing. I had to take the Bellevue/Emsworth north-bound ramp onto 279. It’s not quite as bad as that one Squirrel Hill on-ramp with the stop sign at the end of it, but for those of you not familiar, I believe it gives you roughly 50 feet to merge.

17 + 17 + ….oh crap.

Yeah, it’s like that.

Which leads me to my next point:

Holy crap, cheap parking

Someone just friended me on Yelp!, and recommended a restaurant with the caveat that it was downtown and parking is annoying downtown.

Wait, is it annoying because meters are $1/hour? Or because the lots are $2 FOR THE WHOLE DAY?

I’ll say it again: Holy crap.

(Minor aside: this is more due to the small-city/big-town aspect than the specifically Akron or Ohio aspect. But still.)

And not only is parking free on Sundays, like everywhere else in the country because meter maids need a break too, but it’s free on Saturdays! Saturdays!!

The flip-side to this small-city aspect is that they don’t have 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc streets, since, I assume, they never planned to be a large city. They have High St and Main St and Buchtel Ave and you have no idea which one comes after the other until you’ve gotten lost walking in roughly-rectangles and eventually just hold your GoogleMaps app out in front of you while you walked.

I did that, in case you were wondering. Reminded me of my first day of high school. *Painful flashbacks*

Life lesson: freshman/newcomers are easy to spot when they are carrying maps, or when they swerve across the road to turn right at the last minute because they were in the left lane and finally heard their GPS.

(Or because their wife was covering the GPS speaker with her thumb and at the last minute told them that they were supposed to turn right because she is easily distracted. Either one is equally plausible.)

I imagine the parking will get a lot more crowded once students are here though, since the University of Akron is basically all of downtown.

We live in the eye-of-the-storm for traffic

Right after our exit to get home on the interstate, the traffic gets really backed up going northbound. Going southbound, traffic gets really bad right around the downtown exits we take.

We get to coast in the middle!

The people are swell

So far I have gone to three Meetups (and we’ve only been here a week and a half!), and you just get swooped right into the group.

I also reached out to a group on Twitter to see what was around, and one person in particular gave me ideas for every one of my super disconnected hobbies (West African dance and Korean language, to name a couple). I was very impressed.

A women’s tech group just started here too, and the first meetup was this week, conveniently. You should check them out, because I am very excited about what is going to be happening with them! Akron Women In Tech (WIT!)

Everything is accessible!

Because it’s smaller, things are by nature closer together. Which means from our apartment in basically a suburb, we can walk to a Korean restaurant, two grocery stores, two car mechanics, a Goodwill, a rando thrift store, a Rita’s, a bike shop, and I’m sure lots of other random places we haven’t found yet.

Oh, and The Blue Door is in walking distance, too! Didn’t even plan that! Just drove right past it on one of our commutes downtown. That was a great day.

That’s all

Hopefully just for now!

Most of these are based on driving. Hm. It’s as if I had just moved from the U.S. mecca of terrible driving conditions, where you are basically a podracing Jedi.

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