The Sweet Spot

logosHaving grown up here, at times a disgruntled youth ready to leave for the glamor of the big city at my first opportunity, I’ve come to cherish Reno as, truly the biggest of the little cities.  Or maybe the littlest of the big cities, at this point?  To me, it occupies the sweet spot in terms of the best of big city and small town life.  When I travel to a big city, I enjoy the perks of a cosmopolitan life  great restaurants, bars, theater, and museums.  But then, a drive through little rural communities like Sierraville or Gerlach makes me long for a life like that is a simpler existence, largely free of the hassles and stresses of the modern world.  Then I come realize places both have their downsides.  Big cities have congestion, traffic, crime, and costs of living that make me cringe.  After about a week of that, I realize I couldn’t live like this.  And small towns?  Boring!  There’s nothing to do!  All your neighbors know your business!  You can’t get sushi or the latest movies on the big screen!    This schizophrenic view of places, weighing the good and the bad, indecisive to what wins over the other, brings me back to Reno.  We have a world class art museum and live theatre, major musical performances, restaurants on par with those in many big cities and decent sporting events, but we lack a real rush hour, serious crime problems, or parking that costs $4 an hour.  To appeal to the pastoral small town life, I run into neighbors at the store, bump into friends from high school, and can get to big open spaces with little effort.  Six degrees of separation?  Try two around here.  This sweet spot between big and small extends to our geography too, not just a mental place.  You want urban?  Come down to Midtown or downtown for a coffee, a concert, or a beer.  Country life?  Head south and find some wild horses, move to the North Valleys, or hit the foothills for a hike.    My view of Reno extends to its place in the world.   I have always embraced Reno as a footnote.  We don‰Ûªt have the claims to fame that major cities do  theres not much like New York‰Ûªs Times Square or San Francisco’ Great Earthquake.  We also don‰Ûªt have the anonymity of Pioche or Susanville to the rest of the world.  But there‰Ûªs always the little things, not always favorable, that put Reno as a blip on the world‰Ûªs radar‰Û_that D.B. Cooper stopped here, that Mary Ann from Gilligan‰Ûªs Island grew up here, that the world‰Ûªs longest cat lived here, that Sailor Jerry was born here.  Weird little things that aren‰Ûªt world-scale notable, but quirky little things ‰ÛÒ what I like to think of as the footnotes to the history of the world.  There it is again, that median right between the biggest and the smallest.  What I like to think of as the sweet spot.

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