Madison, Wisconsin. A healthy, liberal and economically stable city. My parents were visiting this spring. My Dad said to me, "As soon as I got off the beltline, runners and walkers were everywhere. Just like you're always talking about in your blog."
Runners and bikers do rule the roads here. I wish I could do more to promote the city of Madison. It is continuously voted "best place to live." How are people missing this?
I feel like there is a certain level of sophistication that is necessary for people to "get Madison." Like, if you aren't well read, then you probably don't know anything about Madison. Whereas you probably don't know anything about Austin, then. Because they are supposed to be very similar.
Take the guy who I met in Montreal. An extremely wealthy businessman. How do I know he was very wealthy? Besides the fact that he told me what he does for a living, google works, people. (Why aren't more people taking advantage of this? Because so many Americans are lazy, that's why.) So Mr. Wealthy man from Buffalo, New York and I are talking. He is very smart. That's for sure. But he is not refined, so to speak. First, he tells me that he travels a ton for work, but has never left the continent. When I asked him why, (he obviously could afford a trip to Australia, if he wanted to,) he says, "I don't know." Ok - that is so weird. But ok. Then he asks in a condescending way, "What is there to do in Madison, Wisconsin?"
Where do I start? Concerts, outdoor films, an ironman, the USA Cycling 2010 Collegiate Road National Championships,skiing, boating, hiking, running, biking, great food, waterfront festivals, jazz concerts, umm... there is a University here and the country's largest farmer's market. So why does this guy not know that? Why don't more people know this?
It appears that if you don't move to large cities like Chicago or New York, you're not worthy. But I would much rather be living in my Madison condo down town, paying the exact same rent I was paying in 2003 living in Boston. And have money left over to enjoy my surroundings. Because there is actually a lot more that I enjoy in this little city than there was in Boston.
So I suppose the secret remains. This is one of the best cities to live in. Yesterday, I watched thousands of people walking by for Breast Cancer. And right now, I am heading out to ride the drive. Guess who else is going to attend the next Ride the Drive in this "small town?" Have you ever heard of Lance Armstrong?