Had a relatively productive day today: finished most of my study abroad app for next Spring (First Choice: Brazil, Second Choice: Ecuador)! Meant to go on to do my Portuguese paper on Tropicalia/Os Mutantes, but one of the questions on the study abroad app distracted me: Describe your hometown. I answered the question sufficiently, but the 200 words I was allocated didn't really do it justice. So of course I decided to write a blog post about it!
Media, Pennsylvania. Everybody's Hometown. First Fair Trade Town in the US. I always miss you when I'm gone, but I never realize just how much I had missed you until I see you again.
First of all, the town is adorable! Cute little twin houses (most of the time each twin is painted in different a different color scheme and has a different type of fencing, or something of that sort...I LOVE IT. Took time in a cookie-cutter housing development to realize how wonderful mismatched houses are), tree-lined streets, compact cars with pro-peace, Quakerly bumper stickers...that one former parking sign warning of the sign-eating tree:
I'm too lazy to rotate it...so sue me. You get the idea.
Of course, there are the places that remeind me of my childhood. My elementary school, and the field across the street, which features a mural that we all painted in art class one day. My drawing is clearly the best: it's a little, out of proportion person, in between two dogs that are much better-drawn than anything I could've done in the second grade. I like to take people to it so they can laugh at me. I remember the playground and the street between the playground and the field, and how much I hated recess. I still don't know if I actually didn't like playing out side (Cause I do now...) or I just didn't like the fact that every other year my best friend, who was in a grade below me, wasn't in the same recess and I had to find new people to play with, knowing I'd abandon them the next year for the little kids. And the street corner outside the Catholic grade school, where I met my current BFF (Half of her name is etched in the mortar on the ground, and I just wikipedia'd "mortar" to make sure I was using the right word)...and the Wawa where one gets delicious hoagies and the Rita's water ice where I used to aspire to work when I was little. And the Media theater, where I saw tons of musicals (and where I'm seeting RENT in May, front row center) and once attended acting camp. And the ice cream shop, and the places where the toy store and the water ice shop used to be, and...And the trolley that's usually running through town (right now it's being restored and there are shuttle buses running in its place...lame), which I was always afraid of being run over by, and the Coffee Club, where I used to go watch the Puppet Master (can't even begin to explain her...eccentric woman with coke-bottle glasses who lip-synched with a figurine that looks exactly like her), and where I completed my study abroad app, and...And here's a video of her I found!
And there are so many weird little places. Sure, you have the theater and boutiques and restaurants. Then you have the coffee shops, many of which serve fair trade coffee thanks to us being a fair trade town and all. Then you have the Veteran's museum underneath Trader Joe's (the whole place used to be an armory). I finally visited earlier this week with a friend. I could tell not many people came there; the guy working there seemed really excited to see us and tell us all he knew about each war and all the equipment. Which was a lot. But he knew so much that he got an avowed pacifist like me to be entirely enthralled by all of it. And the Delco Institute of Science, which when I first went in seemed totally out of place in Media, but I love that it's there (lots of taxidermy and preserved butterflies and stuff).
And in warm weather, there are street fairs and live music and weird theme nights. That just make everyone want to come out and show how much they love the town. I really couldn't live anywhere without some sense of community, somewhere without sidewalks (without them it feels like residents don't want people walking around and talking to eachother), without a mainstreet, or without character. I'm all for exploring new places and moving around, but if I end up living around here later on in life, I wouldn't pick anywhere else. Wherever I end up in the future, right now, it's good to be home!