4 Things I Love About Quincy, My New Town
It's been almost eight full months since I moved to Quincy. I have to admit, I was a bit worried. It was my fifth state in as many years (for various reasons), I didn't know anyone when I got here, and it just seemed daunting that I have to start over yet again. But it's been one of the most positive and fulfilling moves I've made in my entire life and there are several reasons for it.
1 - The People
You people are super nice. The last town I lived in was a tiny little out of the way town, and while I did manage to make a few friends there, there was kind of a "Who are you and why are you here, Outsider?!" kinda vibe. Quincy, though? I'm meeting people, I'm going out, I'm having fun, I'm doing things. Sure there are days where it's just "Meh, I'm staying home and playing Assassin's Creed." But I dig the friendliness of the area. It's very welcoming. A few personal anecdotes. First, I head to a Quincy Gems game (more on that below), my first game, I'm there with a few work colleagues, and there's just a great atmosphere. Everybody's chilling, having fun, chatting with whoever, bringing me, this dude they don't know, into their circle. It's good times. Second anecdote, A lot of times when you go to the grocery store, there's idle chit-chat with the checkout person, a little small talk to get you through the day. About a week ago, I'm at the store buying a Dragonfruit. It's delicious, but expensive, so it's a "Treat Yo'self" purchase. It piques the interest of the clerk. We have a solid conversation about Dragonfruit, and she writes it on her hand to remind herself to try some. Both of us could have stuck to the small talk, but she engaged a friendly conversation. Those two stories? That's the type of friendliness I experience on a regular basis here in Quincy. You're good people in this town.
2 - The Things To Do
I've spent most of my life in college towns, and a solid few hour to half-a-day drive from major cities. Major college towns have no shortage of things to do... during the school year. During the summer things can start to drag a bit, and you need to find a way to get to one of those major cities for some kind of special fun. Not In Quincy. There is always something going on. I love the weekly visits I get from the Quincy Fine Arts Society, giving me a heads up on cool new stuff going on that week. There are bands playing everywhere, there's some sort of celebration, you guys have your own baseball team, which as a baseball fan, I find to be the coolest thing ever. There's a lot of cool stuff going on in Quincy, from the museum to the raceway to the Oakley-Lindsay Center to the Library. And maybe I'm seeing it through the rose-colored "New guy in town" glasses, so I'm not as bored or unphased by it as a seasoned Quincy veteran would be, but I love that there's always something going on in Quincy. You could find yourself going for a walk over to downtown just because, and accidentally stumble into some fun activity (something I have done).
3 - The Scenery
I've lived in some beautiful parts of the country. The untamed wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior, the rolling hills of eastern Kansas, that magic area of Southern California where desert meets mountains meets urban sprawl. I won't lie to you and say that Quincy tops them all, and this is the most beautiful place I've ever lived. It's not. The UP is simply amazing, it's tough to beat. However, the banks of the Mississippi River is not a place I would have thought of if someone said "Top 10 Best Scenic Locations in the Midwest," yet it is a constant surprise how beautiful the views are along the river. On a nice, bright afternoon, when the colors of the water and the trees and the sky are all popping, to catching the sun fall below the horizon at dusk. The drive up around Quincy Bay on Co Rd 523. It's a nice drive, easy to lose track of time on it. I finally went on a dinner cruise out of Hannibal last month, so some great sites in the area.
4 - The Sense of Community
This is the sum of the parts that are items one through three. Like I said, I've lived in some college towns over the years. One has recently started carving out its own identity, so it's no longer "That's where NMU is!" It has more going for it than just the university. Another town hasn't figured that out and their identity is so entwined with the university, I doubt it would be able to survive without it. I say that because Quincy is absent a major university (no disrespect to QU, but Kansas State, it is not). And Quincy has grown and thrived and exists and is its own unique entity not tied to anything but itself. It's an admirable trait in a town. I know for you guys who have grown up here, you're rolling your eyes thinking, "Yeah... duh." But for me, from that outsider's perspective, given my experiences in the towns I've grown up in, it feels like an anomaly, and a very good one at that. There's a great sense of community in Quincy and I'm glad I was able to come here and you've made me feel right at home.
Now if you'll excuse me, my workday's almost done so I'm gonna home and play some Assassin's Creed. What?! It's the pirate one. The best one. I did stuff yesterday. I'm doing stuff later this week. That earns me some indoor time.