What you can learn about my town from Wikipedia:

1. My town has the highest population density of any city in Ohio, comparable to Washington, D.C.

2. In 2007, 8.7% of the population of my town was foreign-born.

3. My town has three Catholic schools.

4. My town’s downtown district has been growing, even through the recession.

What you can learn about my town from walking around and talking to people:

1. My town is a town of FOODS. Restaurants, LEAF nights (multiple community-supported agriculture pickups and live music), community gardens, little European and Middle Eastern and Mexican groceries, and it’s home to Cleveland’s favorite chocolate shop.

2. Since the school district does not bus children in my town, the sidewalks in my town are full of kids on foot, on scooter, and on bike, twice a day. I like to walk in the same direction and feel one with the crowd. The crossing guard and I have become friends.

3. My town has a great park with a wonderful playground, right on the shore of Lake Erie. Jef and I like to climb on the rocks where the signs say we shouldn’t. It was in this park that it was first realized that we were a couple. Unfortunately, neither one of us were the person who realized it.

4. My town has a fabulous public library, and its own independent library system. The grand reading room isn’t much compared with the giant, marble-staircases-and-imposing-lions library in downtown Cleveland (I love it so much!), but for a town the size of mine, it’s beautiful enough to see the effort that has gone into making it a place to visit, learn, and stay.

5. My town has huge disparities in wealth. Generally, the further northwest you go, the higher the income. I live a bit west (towards the suburbs) but also a bit south (towards the city). Many young families live in the two-family rentals on my tree-lined street. I feel at home there.

6. My town is pretty good for walking and biking. Things are close together, and the buses run regularly. It’s hard to get yourself really thoroughly stranded. The cafe down the road is taking up a collection install bicycle parking in the street.

7. Taxes are higher in my town than in most towns nearby. But the people who live here generally love it here. That goes for people from all parts of town.

8. That includes me.