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Tertia!
So I'm from Eugene, Oregon which is actually v close to Ashland (just a few hours south of Eug) and although I am v partial to my native Oregon; Durbanville looks absolutely amazing.
1) Eugene is full of rich hippies who like to stick it to the man while driving gigantic SUV's.
2) Although the with the annoying hippies come fabulous organic markets and bakeries.
3) The best best best bakery is Sweet Life Patisserie where they sell a French Breakfast muffin that I would cheerfully strangle a stranger for.
5) Sweet Cheeks and King Estate Winery are all within five minutes drive of my work. V distracting. Not to mention about a dozen other wineries within 10 miles. And although I have had fantastic south african wine, Oregon can definitely hold her own.
6) And although I hate fish there is a place that sells the best smoked salmon in the universe. Can you get salmon over there?!
7) George Bush should never ever set foot in this town. ever. It's really for his own good.
8) If you are ever curious what the patchouli smells like...just fly over at 30K feet, don't worry you'll be able to smell it from the airplane.
9) Oregon is one of the more fabulous states in the union - forests, ocean, deserts and no sales tax all rolled into one.
Tag!

P.S. Julia had her twins! One of each! How fabulous!

I live in Washington, DC (pretty much).

1) Washington, DC is the capital of the US which means it is full of very official things going on all the time. Motorcades, helicopters everywhere, secret service, etc. This is exciting, but also makes us vulnerable and very security conscious. I lived only a mile from the pentagon on 9/11 and my windows blew in from the explosion. I love living here, but I will never forget the heavily armed national guard soldiers and hum-vees with anti-aircraft guns that were stationed on *every corner* of my neighborhood for the weeks following that.

2) As a generalization, DC is a very transient city. People come in to work on capitol hill or with the administration, or they transfer in for stints at the headquarters of the agency they work for, and then leave after a few years. With so many people moving in and out, it makes the place feel very different than other big cities where people make their homes.

3) There are amazing museums. The Smithsonian museums are all in DC, and they are all free. This is great, except that we residents are expected to tour the Air and Space Museum every time a guest comes to town. I think I've been there 50 times.

4) It took me a while to find, but the food in DC is amazing. Since all the embassies are here, it's a very international city, and there is every kind of food imaginable.

5) DC is very sharply divided between rich and poor. The city is divided into quadrants. Most of Northwest DC is rich and beautiful. The rest of the city is mostly poor and has a lot of crime (this is a generalization, of course, but a fair one).

6) Universities are everywhere in and around Washington. So many of the people who live here are very well educated, and the two factors give my part of the city very intellectual feel.

7) The shopping is great! There are high end shops, quirky stores, very upscale department stores, and little boutiques.

I'm from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

1) Boston is the home of the American Revolution and is filled with fabulous historic sites like Paul Revere's home, the battlefields at Lexington and Concord, the USS Constitution, etc.

2) Boston is the youngest city in the USA and probably one of the youngest in the world, primarily because we have so many colleges and universities including Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Brandeis, Boston University, Boston College, etc. It's student heaven here.

3) Boston is home to Newbury St, one of the worlds greatest shopping streets. It's equivalent to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, filled with fabulous shops and designer emporiums.

4) Boston has the BEST professional sports team of any city. The Boston Red Sox just won the 2007 World Series and the New England Patriots tonight finished a perfect season, winning 16 American football games, losing none! Our basketball team is on their way to the playoffs, too.

5) Although a big city, it's really a very small and walkable city. You can walk from one end of downtown to the waterfront easily. And not only is it walkable, but it also has amazingly rural areas within only a few miles of downtown. We live 6 miles from the city center and we have almost 2 acres of land and a big barn that used to hold horses and now holds junque. Fancy junk, that is!

6) Boston is right on the ocean and has some of the most beautiful and well-loved beaches in the country right in it's back yard. Plus, we have famous American vacation spots on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. This means that boating, surfing, and other ocean water sports are popular.

7) Although Boston's weather is nothing to ever crow about, having very hot and humid summers sometimes passing 100 degrees F, and very cold and snowy winters that can drop down below 0 F, we have great public parks and playground, are near top notch skiing resorts, and plenty of public pools for the hot summer. Plus, we have decent public transportation that makes the city easily traversed by subway, trolley, or buses.

8) Boston has the best hospitals in the country, and some of the best in the world. Children's Hospital in Boston is world reknowned and treats every child regardless of the parent's ability to pay.

9) Massachusetts is the ONLY state in the country that allows same-sex MARRIAGE (not civil unions, marriage) and is the most liberal state politically in the US. It's known as the People's Republic of MA for a reason. We're liberal, we're proud, and we hate George Bush.

I live on the North Side of Chicago.

1. I'm two blocks away from Lake Michigan, the world's fifth largest lake (surface area about the size of Croatia). No, you can't see the other side of the lake from here—the earth's curvature hides the opposite shore.

2. Chicago's Millennium Park wasn't finished until 2004. If you haven't been to Chicago since then, be sure to come when it's warm out (May-September). The Crown Fountain surprised its creator by becoming a huge tourist attraction. People bring their kids in swimsuits, and the kids (and a few daring adults) splash around in the water and line up to be drenched by a massive cascade of water every few minutes. It's the most democratic attraction in town—it's free, it's outdoors, and people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy it together.

3. Yes, the winters are cold, and it snows. We should be used to it by now, but it's customary to complain bitterly each year when winter returns and to pronounce oneself not ready for winter. Next thing you know, anything above the freezing point feels positively balmy, and when spring's warmth finally arrives, we're so grateful for its return. We don't take warmth for granted. At least, not until July, when we are sick to death of the heat and humidity and get to thinking that winter really isn't so bad, because you can always bundle up to keep warm.

4. I love the North Side because it's so diverse—whites, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, a handful of Native Americans, and a slew of foreign-born people. This means a great variety of restaurants—Chicago-style pizza, yes, but also Ethiopian, Costa Rican, Vietnamese, Indian, Polish, and more.

5. Most of the Chicago area's population lives in the suburbs (of the 8 million or so people in the area, just 3 million live in the city proper). We like being in the city so we can hop on a bus or train, grab a taxi, or walk to go downtown or to the zoo, museums, shopping, a baseball game, restaurants, the park, the beach, etc.

6. This isn't something to boast about, but the local city, county, and state governments are riddled with corruption. Not quite as bad as Louisiana and New Orleans, but pretty crooked. Reformers never get enough votes to win because the crooked types know how to hold onto their power.

7. The mayor, Richard Daley, is frightfully inarticulate and more or less corrupt. On the bright side, he's led the movement to replace rusty chain-link fences around the city's parks with wrought iron, plant trees and flowers in the medians of large roads, renovate beach houses, plant more trees in public areas, and do green things like planting a garden on the roof of City Hall to lower energy costs in the building as well as giving migrating birds and insects a place to party.

i live in hong kong.

1) although hong kong is no longer a british colony since being returned to the chinese in 1997, hong kong is not part of china. hong kong has a unique "one country, two systems". there is only one China, of which hong kong is part of, but we retain our own
capitalist economic and political systems, while the rest of China uses the "socialist" system.

2) hong kong consists of the mainland bit (which is attached by train and road to china) and 262 islands.

3) hong kong is the busiest port in the world, if you are judging by containers.

4) cantonese and english are the official languages; interestingly, the english speaking schools are teaching mandarin as the second language, in response to parental demand and the belief that cantonese is dying out.

5) the name hong kong translates in cantonese to heung gong or xianggang, meaning fragrant harbour. years ago that might have been true - but today the harbour is toxic, filled with waste and junk.

6) hong kong was "founded" in the year 1839 by british opium merchants who had been expelled from guangzhou (Canton). (The british used to pay their debts to the chinese merchants in canton not with money but with opium).

7)hong kong's old kai tak airport was world renowned for it's hairpin descent into hong kong which gave fliers birds eye views into flats and a heartstopping introduction into a thrilling city.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PCOcyt7BPI

check out this fantastic video


HONG KONG

1.Hong Kong is one of 263 islands of the territory, we don't have a capital city & no postcodes (making online shopping a pain sometimes).

2.Despite Hong Kong's reputation of being intensely urbanised, most of it remains undeveloped as the terrain is mostly hilly to mountainous.

3.We have the second lowest tax in the world - a mere 15% and all local calls from a landline are free!

4.Hong Kong has a fabulous public transport system including the world’s largest double-decker tram fleet in the world (only HK$2/ZAR1.7/US$0.26 a ride for any distance!) and a cheap taxi service.

5.Hong Kong is one of the safest places on earth. You can walk around half-naked, drunk as a skunk at 2am and not have a problem. Pickpockets can be a problem though.

6.You can eat every type of cuisine including a braai with boerewors at The Stoep on Lantau Island. You can eat cheap and expensively from HK$15 (US$2/ZAR13) for a bowl of noodles and shrimp wonton to HK$1000s.

7.We have 2 of the world's Top Ten tallest buildings (IFC 2 and Central Plaza).

SNAP Tess! They now get 14 facts from HK.

I live in Northeast Miami, just across Biscayne Bay from Miami Beach

1. We live right on Biscayne Bay, and take my coffee out to the deck and watch dolphins jump around in the water every morning.

2. When we first moved here five years ago (from Washington DC), we felt like we moved to a foreign country. There are many Europeans and South Americans in my neighborhood, walking down the street, we hear conversations in French, German and Spanish, and almost everyone we know speaks Spanish fluently. Almost all of my neighbors speak English with some kind of foreign accent. There are many parts of Miami where people do not speak English at all and all of the signs in the shop windows are in Spanish. Some of our Miami friends are amazed that we would move here before learning Spanish--while my husband is amazed that so many people move to the United States before learning English.

3. No one in Miami obeys the traffic laws or signals. No one knows how to use a turn signal, but they all know how to use their horns. You can drive twice the speed limit on our major interstate, I-95, without getting any attention from the police, but you will get pulled over for driving in the car pool lane solo.

4. The wealthy people in Miami are ridiculously rich and the poor are hideously poor. We are losing our middle class due to low wages and high property taxes. A plain small house in a safe neighborhood, nothing fancy, will cost at least $500,000. A decent, small (not new, nothing fancy) one bedroom condo in a safe neighborhood starts at $300,000. On the other hand, the new condo buildings and houses available for sale always come equipped with the latest in design and technology, and our old neighborhoods are full of unique charm that you would not find in any other city. If you can afford it, it's an incredibly hip place to live.

5. Miami is an old "pirate town" and still operates as one, the government is corrupt, developers are allowed to build whatever and where ever they want (our condo inventory is currently overbuilt for the next three years, and our skyline is filled with cranes building more), and anyone you meet could be out to "hustle" you. Almost everyone I know has had a contractor or workman take a deposit for a job and never come back to work. I like to say that Miami is a sunny place for shady people.

6. Miami has two seasons, hurricane season (June-November), when it rains every day from 3pm through the end of dinner, and we all watch the news bracing for the next big storm, and tourist season (December-May), when the weather is perfect, but the traffic might kill you, and you'll have to wait an hour to get a bagel at the local deli.

7. I don't know how people settled and lived in Miami before air conditioning, but they did. It must have been too hot for baby-making, because no one ever seems to be related to these first settlers. There are really no "old money" families in Miami, and anyone with money can break into the social scene without much problem. Nothing is ever too over-the-top "new money" for Miami--this is the complete opposite of Washington DC and many other major American cities that we have lived in.

I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about your cities, really interesting stuff! I keep wanting to move to every new city you describe. Love it!

I'm living in Bingen Germany. It is in the Rhein valley in an area noteworthy for its wine production. There are local wineries all over the place. Some of them you can go into and have something to eat and drink. Once a year the various wineries open their doors to let people come in for a look and a drink and there is an annual sparkling wine 'sekt' festival. So, you wouldn't be without some tasty booze if you came here.

The Rhein river runs through Bingen and along the vallies from here to St Goar - 30 kms away there are approximately 12 castles up on the hillsides of the Rhein. it is so pretty to see them at night as they have been lit up with orangey colour lighting so that you can see the castles very clearly as you drive by. Once a year they have a 'Rhein on fire' festival thing whereby they go down the Rhein from one castle then on to another and have firworks displays at each one - lasting for 15 to 20 mins at each castle - it is really great fireworks display with many different colours lighting up the sky. We only have to walk down to the river to see it and it is in the summer so we can sit on a rug or chair with something to eat and drink and watch it.

Bingen is quite a small city and around this area the crime rate is very low, in fact hardly anything at all ever happens. The people are very friendly too and they will say hello - guten tag etc when you walk past. A lot of people can speak English so there's rarely a problem although people older than 60 often don't unless they are very well educated. A lot don't like to speak it as they are a bit self conscious as to how it will sound.

The weather can get fairly cold in the winter - down to -6 or so with snow covering the ground usually 2 to 3 times a year. In the winter the temps can get very high and quite common to get into the 30's in mid summer with occasionally late 30's and even 40°C a few times.

Germany has many other European countries lying on its border and so is very close to Italy, France, switzerland and Holland to name a few. it only takes 5 or so hours to drive from here to Paris, similar to get to Amsterdam, and similar to Switzerland, about 8 to be in Italy etc etc. It takes only 1/2 hour to drive to Frankfurt and 1 hour to fly to London.

There always seems to be lots of activities going on in nearby cities too. Lots of events with lots of festivals in the summer and medieval markets whereby people dress in medieval costumes and set up medievil villages with reenactments of tournaments etc. In December there are the christmas markets which are fun too.

Anyway, that's probably not seven things but hopefully it may give some idea of the place.

I live in what is more of a town or village: Ames, Iowa.

1) We have a lot of agriculture. If you leave town in any direction, you will be in a farm field. There's a lot of corn, yes. :D

2) The USDA National Animal Disease Center is here in town. They keep some really nasty germs in those labs.

3) The population nearly doubles when the university is in session!

4) This is where the Republican straw-poll is held, so you can meet the candidates face to face.

5) There are tons of duplexes in town, so you often see opposing political signs in the same yard.

6) We have a really fabulous library that rates somewhere in the top of the nation. They have a lovely play area for the children, and we often check out videos and puzzles after playing to take home.

7) The Union Pacific Railroad runs through town and there are several trains a day. I just looked it up: 60-70 trains a day. Our Farmer's Market is in the old train station, and my son loves to watch the trains go by from there!

West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

1. Purdue University (http://www.purdue.edu) is located here, bringing students from every corner of the world. In fact, Purdue is home to more foreign students than any other American university. This brings a diversity to our city that you won't find in most Midwestern cities (and certainly not most Midwestern cities this size). I once had Japanese food with a group of friends from Japan, China, France, Pakistan, India, Canada, and the U.S.

2. West Lafayette is also home to the Purdue Research Park (http://www.prf.org) - a high tech incubator that has received awards for being the 'best research park in the US' (no, I don't know how many research parks there are in the US). It is home to over 100 high tech companies, and over 2,500 employees. Incidentally, my husband owns a business in the research park.

3. Famous former residents of Lafayette/West Lafayette include: Amelia Earhart, Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N Roses, Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon,

4. I live within spitting distance of the Wabash River, which lends its name to our Official State Song. No dolphins, though.

5. It's getting hard to come up with interesting things about my town. Um... We enjoy all four seasons of the year - hot (humid) summers, cold snowy winters, and temperate fall and spring. The leaves in the fall are especially beautiful.

6. Our local government isn't especially corrupt. Occasionally inept, but not corrupt. I guess the corrupt politicians flock to larger areas.

7. Corn is no longer supposed to be "knee high by the fourth of July." Due to hybridization, corn crops are already several feet high by July 4. Most of the corn and soy you see growing around here is not for (direct) human consumption, but rather is destined to feed livestock. Hybridization is a fancy word for genetic engineering on the part of large agribusiness so that they can continue to sell seed corn every year - the corn that is grown will not grow new plants. Much like a donkey, which is itself infertile, the corn that farmers grow is only meant for food. It won't grow properly if the kernels are used for seed. So the farmers must return to agribusiness the following year to purchase more seed, where generations ago they would've grown their own seed.

(I really don't know a thing about corn except what I've read, my husband works in aerospace and I do the bookkeeping for our company. But we have many farmers in the family. In fact, all our beef is grown by his uncle about 45 minutes from here.)

Hi from San Francisco California!

I am a San Francisco native and here are my 7 fun facts about my city and state:
1. San Francisco city limits measures only 47 square miles, or 7x7.
2. San Francisco was originally named Yerba Buena.
3. California is the world's 6th largest ecomony, but interestingly small businesses (fewer than ten employees and self-employed firms) make up 85 percent of the city's establishments. There is no WalMart in San Francisco county!
4.The City and County of San Francisco is a consolidated city-county, a status it has had since 1856. It is the only such consolidation in California. That means it is the only city in it's county - neat huh?
5. Another curious fact is that although California is home to many famous and prestigious universities and colleges, we are 14.5% below the national average for families with children living in a major urban city. This is mostly due to the high cost of living here.
6. Speaking of cost of living, the San Francisco median household income is aprox $57,833 and the median family income, at $67,809, is the third-highest for any large city in the nation. Umm, can some one tell my boss this please?
7. The famous Quake of 1906(and fire, which actually did most of the damage)would have measured 7.8 on today's richter scale. The actual numbers of dead are still unknown because shifty city politicians were so eager to rebuild they hid the real figures so people would return. In 2005 the original figure of 300 some people dead was revised to 3000+.

There you have it in a nutshell. I love my home town, even with it's problems and welcome anyone to come and visit!

Cow Pastureville (not the real name although it does have 12 letters), Appalachia

1. This is a very, very small town. 1300 people and there is a law limiting it to that.
2. It is the oldest lasting settlement in this state because it was an Indian settlement before white men ever got to this area (and of course ultimately killed them off in a bloodbath, after building their trust).
3. The town is so tiny that it takes 3 minutes or less to get through the whole thing. It has one 4 way stop.
4. We have a post office, a gift shop, a hardware store, and a gas station with a few necessities. There is a dentist a few days a week, but he is mean.
5. We are famous for our firework displays on the fourth of July (American Independence day). Last year I saw people staking out their territory 10 hours before the show.
6. Where I live is so rural that our power goes out with every storm, then we are the lowest priority to get it restored because we have such low population density. During the spring, summer, and fall it is pretty common for me to have at least 6 hours/month without power.
7. I'm ashamed to say I live in a town, really a county, with very little racial diversity. It's kind of an Appalachian thing but that doesn't make it right. In recent years we have had a number of Spanish speaking families move here, but that's about it. Not something to be proud of.

Yay! 14 facts about San Francisco! Here goes the second 7:

1. Let's start with that pesky cost of living stuff....the median house price in San Francisco for a 3 bedroom house is $1,049,000 as of Nov. 07'. Yeah, I second Rachel, it aint cheap to live here!
2. In a really unfair generalization (but one I find to be true most of the time), natives from San Francisco hate people from Los Angeles, while natives of LA totally respect people from San Francisco. Make sense? Nope.
3. The Chinese fortune cookie was invented here in San Francisco by a Japanese family. I just love this lil fact.
4. In 1901, the city outlawed burials so the only remaining cemeteries are in the Presidio and Mission (and you can no longer be layed to rest there). There may be a lot o people here in San Fran, but they surely aren't dead ones. If you want to die, you have to go to Colma (a few miles south of SF.)
5. The San Francisco cable cars are the only moving National Historic Landmark in the country. They go a whopping 9 miles an hour and serve to almost 10 million people a year. Almost all tourists as locals use MUNI and BART.
6. Union Square is one of the top 4 shopping areas in the nation. A fact that sits in a special little place close to my heart.
7. San Francisco is the home to the ONLY cookie bush. OK so this may not be a real fact, but hey, I haven't seen one any other place!! (I talk about this on my blog for anyone who's totally confused.)


Ah - The Boerewors Gordyn... Good old Cape Town snobbery, eh? We lived in the Southern Suburbs... But there are divisions there too - I remember being asked (by a boyfriend's mother) if we lived "above or below the [railway] line". Special.

I wouldn't know which "hometown" to write about ... I grew up in California, left my heart in NYC, and am living for this year ONLY in the Washington, D.C. area before we move to San Francisco. Soooo, howz about I add a little to OTHER people's lists as I've visited some of their hometowns??

1. Ashland, Oregon: Is famous for it's spectacular theatre ... the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, specifically. It is among the oldest professional, non-profit theatres in the country and produces some of the finest productions you can see anywhere. Obviously, it specializes in Shakespeare (productions in the summer through early fall can be viewed in an amazing outdoor theatre), but also produces plays from all times and genres. I went with my English class in 9th grade and I swear the experience changed my life. A MUST see if you are in the area. (http://www.osfashland.org/index.aspx)

2. Hong Kong - One experience I'll never forget from this amazing City is the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. There are hundreds of birds in beautiful bamboo cages in this little market, where birds lovers come from all over to buy these amazing warblers. I never knew that birds could sing like this! Apparently the price of the bird is dependent on how well they can sing. (Thankfully, they are sold to LOOK at only, and not to eat ... 'cuz man did we see some crazy stuff in some other markets there ... like SNAKES.) I could have stayed there for hours.

3. San Francisco - I think one of the best parts about this City is that, while it is indeed a very urban place to live, it is absolutely surrounded by nature. There are Parks, beaches, trails to go running on, bike trails, you name it. I can not wait to move to this spectacularly beautiful place. (Hey Rachel ... shoot me a line if you'd like ... would love to connect with some "natives" before we move.)

4. Washington, D.C. - I hit the jackpot when some friends took me to DC's Eastern Market (http://easternmarketdc.com/) recently. This indoor/outdoor market shows off some of the area's best local produce, as well as some of the most amazing art and jewelry I've seen in a while. There's nothing like supporting your local farmer, and getting to eat some of the best produce you can get your hands on, imo.

Alright, that's only four, but I've written a book already and had fun doing it. This was a great idea. =)

Have been a "lurker" for a short time and have been tempted to comment only twice - to this post and the last one. Have a difficult eater of my own and LOVED reading everyone's (and I mean everyone - I read them all) comments on eating.

I live in Austin, Texas, and it is a truly beautiful city.

1) Austin is the capitol of Texas, with a beautiful capitol building. Several years ago, an extension was built, completely underground, and it has won national awards. It is amazing, with natural light throughout the extension, even inside the front part of individual offices.

2) Austin has two "lakes" in town, "Town Lake" and "Lake Austin", neither of which are truly lakes as most would define a lake. But runners, joggers, walkers, bikers, skaters, etc. can be found on the trail around Town Lake almost every day of the year. Likewise, you can see boats out on Lake Austin every month of the year, and many of the boats will be pulling skiiers 9-10 months of the year.

3) As you might guess from fact number 2, we have basically two seasons here - warm and incredibly hot. Okay, so there are a few weeks (although not consecutive by any means) when the temperature drops below 60, but only a very few. The downside of the weather is that it is 90 to 100+ degrees from May through October. The upside is that it is very often in the 70s in November through April.

4) The University of Texas, one of the two largest universities in Texas, is located in Austin, and has an enrollment of 50,000+ students. Many, many Austin residents really get into UT sports, particularly UT football. There are several other universities and colleges in town, which coupled with the state government (and the population that goes along with it, not necessarily our state government officials) makes it a very educated city. It is not uncommon for your waitperson at a restaurant to have at least a college degree, and sometimes more than one.

5) You can drive 15 minutes west of the city and be in beautiful hill country.

6) You can get fabulous barbeque and/or Mexican food throughout the city, which is most often quite inexpensive.

7) Austin has become a small technology center of sorts, though not as much of one as it hoped to become earlier in the decade. Nonetheless, thanks to the influx of Californians (no offense intended to your California readers), the cost of housing has increased dramatically over the last ten years, particularly in centrally-located neighborhoods.

8) I know I am about to go over by one, but it is probably that darn Texas pride (or would some say arrogance?). But Austin is known (partly because it calls itself this and partly because others do as well) as the "live music capitol of the world". You can get live music just about anywhere you go, often in even the most humble of restaurants.

Can you tell we're a little proud?! I agree with Rebekah - this has been very fun.

I sort of forgot to define a term in mine...Appalachia is a mountain chain with beautiful rolling mountains in the eastern part of the US. It remains very rural and the culture is rustic. In the area I grew up it is not totally rare for families to still use outhouses.

Hey Babybound,
I just wanted to say that as a native San Francisco, I don't hate Los Angelenos, but I do hate the Dodgers! Another little factoid is that the Giants and Dodgers baseball team's rivalry is probably why we "hate" each other so... I also push people off the Golden Gate if they call my home town Frisco!

I'm from Dayton, Ohio in the United States. I actually live in a suburb (outerlying city) of Dayton called Huber Heights. Originally I lived in Hurricane, West Virginia, but they have no jobs there and so I moved to the "big city". I've lived here for 5 years now so I'm officially a citizen of Ohio though lol.

Facts from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huber_Heights%2C_Ohio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton%2C_Ohio

1. Around 40,000 people in the city. It kind of blends in with a few other cities so the number comes from the census.

2. There is an average mix of people here. Mostly white population in the north, African American in the South. I'm noticing quite a few Spanish and Phillipino families recently as well.

3. The school system is average, but there are 1 or 2 places above average that everyone wants into.

4. This is a good place to live if you are middle class such as myself. I'd say our salary range when you put my husband and I together is mid 50's and we live comfortably on that without extras like, oh vacation and such. But it's doable.

5. Number 4 being said it is a good family town. There are 8 schools that I know of for our town alone and a number of daycares.

6. As for businesses, there are alot of shopping centers, a YMCA, Numerous Doctor offices, and restaurants.

7. There are two colleges nearby and alot of trade schools as well.

8. We used to have the four seasons here, but last year or so it's been HOT MUGGY SUMMER, few nice days, COLD WINTER. I miss fall and spring.

Dayton is not a great place to live since most of the houses are falling apart and it's ghetto. You'd get a great picture of reading the Wikipedia link I posted. i'm not a great writer. Don't you all want to come live with me now?!?! ;)
I think in a few years we're going to move to Arizona. Or Hong Kong ;)

Will second Rachel's comment about "Frisco"! Same thing for calling California, "Cali" (except in that ridiculous old rap song from the 90's). NO ONE who has lived here for any amount of time ever calls it that. Ever.

Since no one's piped up for New York, I thought I'd give it a whirl. (Hi! I read you quite often, but very rarely comment!)

1) I actually live in Brooklyn, which is one of the five boroughs of New York City. The others are the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

2) The definition of middle-class in NYC is not the definition of middle-class in the rest of the United States by any sane standard--and the prices of real estate reflect that. Here, a living wage is $17 or $18/hour. Middle class makes about $100K a year. Upper middle class is well into the $200K range. The insanely rich from all over the world can often be found here.

3) However, this means that there are fantastic restaurants and grocery stores and shopping.

4) Government workers are required to live within the boundaries of NYC--except for cops and firefighters. They can live further out.

5) Talking about real estate and housing costs is a way of life here. It's very common to be asked how much you pay per month for your apartment if you rent.

6) There are very few independent bookstores here--which, when I moved here five years ago, I found very odd. I still find it odd.

7) The mayor, Mike Bloomberg, is a billionaire. Throughout his tenure, he has refused a salary, and makes instead $1 a year. I don't know if he gets his taxes taken out of his $1.

7 Facts about The Bronx, New York

1. One of 5 New York City Boroughs...Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx

2. The Bronx is the only NYC borough that has a freshwater river running through it. The Bronx River.

3. Housing choices are ABOUND. There are High Rise Apartment Complexes, Multi family homes, small private homes and Large Upscale homes. Even some Mansions.

4. The largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, The Bronx Zoo. Home to many endangered species the Bronx Zoo was also one of the first zoos in North America to move animals from cages to more naturalistic environments.

5. The Botanical Gardens, a 250 acre Museum of Plants. Also a National Historic Landmark.

6. American Writer Edgar Allan Poe spent the last few years of his life in a small cottage in the Bronx. The cottage now sits 450 feet from it's original location and is open to the public for tours.

7. Two of the largest parks in NYC Pelham Bay Park and Van Courtland park are in the Bronx. Pelham Bay Park includes a large man made beach called Orchard Beach.

Okay, here it goes. Seven facts about Westville, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.

1) Westville is a suburb outside the coastal city of Durban. It was a quiet, leafy place when we moved here ten years ago but has become increasingly developed. But it is still one of the lushest places in the area. We have a nature conservancy below our property and a huge indigenous park 100 metres down the road.

2)It is very community oriented. We have sports fields, local swimming pools, good libraries, Catholic, Anglican and Baptist Churches. But every house has a fence around it. I have never seen a house with an open lawn onto the road.

3)KwaZulu Natal means "place of the Zulus". There is a Zulu Monarch in KZN, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, although he has no political power. The Zulu culture is an amazing one and I am currently studying the language at university.

4) KZN is a sportsman’s dream! We have three important races each year. The Comrades Marathon, the Midmar Mile (swimming) and the Duzi Canoe Marathon are the most well known.

5) KZN is one of the top holiday destinations in South Africa. Every year thousands flock to our beaches. Going to the beach in the week around New Year is a no go because you wouldn’t be able to get to the water! Sadly though, every year we have hundreds of children who lose their parents and many people who drown.

6) In June this year I had the wonderful experience of being able to fall in love with my country again. We traveled from Durban all the way down to Cape Town. Weaving in land and back to the coast. It took us three weeks but I will never forget the landscapes and the amazing people.

7) South Africa is mad about sports. Rugby, cricket, soccer, you name it! Our rugby team won the rugby world cup this year and we have been on a high ever since.

You may notice that I haven’t mentioned anything negative about SA. It is only because I don’t have it in my heart to. We have so many problems and I read about them in the paper everyday. I enjoy the opportunity to just praise my beautiful country.

7 Facts About Kohler Wisconsin

1. It's very small. About 2,000 people live here. People are very helpful and kind to each other.

2. We have one school that houses 4K-12. The younger grades do have higher class sizes now, but they usually do not have more than 22 kids. Older students often times help out in the younger grades during free periods.

3. Traditions. Graduation is one of the biggest. It is a whole week of events. Including a traditional may pole dance. Fourth of July is held in the "bowl" (It is the sledding hill also) and a band plays until the fireworks start at dusk.

4. Kohler houses the operations of Kohler Company. They make toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and other similar products. They brought up the term bubbler. A drinking fountain for most.

5. Popular destination for out of towner's which includes the American Club Resort, Kohler Water Spa, Fine Restaurants/Shopping, and very popular golf course. http://www.destinationkohler.com/hotel/tac/tac_index.html

6. A mix between new houses and older houses. The houses on my block were built between the 1920's and 1930's they have a lot of character. Since Kohler is a planned community there is a lot of green space around the Village.

7. Crime is very minimal. The police car passes by our house at least 5 times a day it seems. I've never felt threaten living here.

7 Facts about Boskruin, Johannesburg, SA:

1. Boskriun Koppie is one of the few remaining "green lungs" left in the northern part of the Johannesburg area. With indigenous trees hundreds of years old, the vegetation is rich and beautiful. Over 144 different species of birds and small animals (including hedgehogs, tortoises, and mongooses) have made this their home. Dassies can often be seen basking in the sun on top of the picturesque natural outcrop of ancient granitic rocks.

2. The koppie area is owned by the Dutch Reformed Church. The Koppie has been sectioned into two parts, a preservation area and a conservation area. The preservation area has been donated to the council and is protected from any future development. The conservation area, however, is still owned by the church and has since been rezoned from "Agricultural" to "Residential" and is due to be sold and developed. There are plans to demolish the lower part of the koppie, which is the most dense and lush, to develop 23 luxury houses.

3. Boskruin has 3 retirement villiages ;)

4. The White Horse Inn (well known club and haunt of days gone by) was situated in Boskruin and is now the Boskruin Shopping Centre

5. Boskruin Tennis Club was founded in 1993. It started from humble beginnings and now boasts six floodlit courts and over 200 members. It is affiliated to the South African Tennis Association and the Gauteng Central Tennis Association.

6. Boskruin is home to Cantaloop Alley - for the best cocktails in town!

7. Um? I live there with my hubby and beautiful hounds Saffy & Jazzy (could not come up with the last one *wink* )

I live in Hertford, England.

1. Hertford is the county town of Hertfordshire, there is a population of approx 25,000 and we are about 20 miles north of Central London. Despite our proximity to ethnically diverse London, the population here is mainly white.

2. Hertford is an ancient town and its existence has been documented as far back as the year 673. It is also mentioned in the Doomsday Book.

3. The English Parliament relocated to Hertford Castle during the Great Plague in 1563. The Castle has housed many royal guests, including Queen Elizabeth I. There are also connections with the Knights Templar as many were imprisoned in the Castle. It is rumoured that secret passageways still exist underneath Hertford!

4. The last person in England to be condemned to death for being a witch was convicted at Hertford Assizes in the early 1700's.

5. Despite seeing a lot of growth over the last few years, Hertford is still a pretty country town. We have a lot of rivers around us, including the Lee Navigation, which is a popular route for barges, and plenty of countryside. We also have 2 train lines, which go directly into Central London, making it popular with commuters.

6. The commuters with their London salaries mean that house prices are among the most expensive in the country, which is not so great if you don’t earn a London salary! Accommodation ranges from tiny studio flats to grand country residences.

7. We have loads of pubs and restaurants - over 60. In fact, I have a pub right across the road from my house - very handy! There are also quite a lot of beauty salons & hairdressers, 5 supermarkets, lots of lovely independent shops selling all sorts, and 10 schools.

Aaah, Tertia, I too live in Durbanville, and I totally agree with all you wrote! Even though I am not a born local (ex-JHB *gasp*), I really do feel like I am home. It is DEE-VINE here!

Nicola

ok so i'll jump on too. I live on a farm near Correctionville Iowa USA.
1. No there is not a correctional facility here. Our town size is @ 600
2. Farming is big here. My DH farms raising corn, soybeans and cattle. I worked in a city 40 miles from here where most people work if they want to do more then line jobs and make more. I now stay home with the kids.
3. Yes the caucuses are here in Iowa and I'm really looking forward to it. Politics are big to some and nothing to others.
4. Crime is minimal here
5. ummmm...this is harder then i thought b/c I live in such a rural area. It's snowy and cold usually nov-march (if we're lucky) The summers can get very hot and humid
6. We really aren't as socially behind as some like to think/say we are. I read where someone said she met ladies who still sew their own clothes....goll thanks for painting such a picture. Maybe sew buttons on or patch coveralls but really sew?? (i do not sew buttons i have a sweet neighbor lady that does that for me:))
7. We do have a variety of cultures even here in our small community. With packing plants with in 40 miles each direction that brings in a variety of cultures.
I think that's all i can come up with. The cities near us would probably spark much more interesting facts but since a farm is what i live on i'll speak from that aspect.

Greetings from Shaker Heights, Ohio, one of the oldest suburbs in the US. With approximately 29,000 residents, we are an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, on the east side—that is, the better side ;)

1. Incorporated in 1912, Shaker Heights was named for the North Union Community of the United Society of Believers, aka Shakers (so named for the appearance that the worshipers "shook" during religious dance—one of the many evangelical religions arising in the late 19th century US; unfortunately, since they believed in celibacy, the religion died out rather quickly) and the Heights part comes from the sharp rise in elevation east of Cleveland.

2. The land was bought by brothers M.J. and O.P. Van Sweringen who envisioned the first garden-styled suburb in Ohio for the site. We are the only suburb in Cleveland with a rapid transit system leading downtown.

3. Shaker Heights is known for its stringent building codes and zoning laws; approximately seventy percent of the city of Shaker Heights is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Building restrictions by the Van Sweringens required that there were no two identical homes in Shaker, leading to a fascinating blend of Colonial, Tudor, and Greek Revival styles. Neighborhoods were developed with multi-family houses (typically 2-3 families) designed to appear from the exterior as single-family homes. This allowed lower-income families to buy a home in Shaker Heights.

3. Shaker Heights was originally developed with significant covenants restricting property ownership and rental to white Christians, however in the mid-20th century it became an early proponent of integration. Currently the city supports continued integration efforts, with low-interest loans available for whites moving into predominantly black neighborhoods and vice versa.

4. Currently the racial makeup of the city is 60% White, 34% African American, 3% Asian, 2% from two or more races, and less than 1% each Pacific Islander, Native American, or other. Hispanic or Latino of any race were approximately 1% of the population.

5. Shaker Heights has traditionally been considered one of the best school districts in the country, rated in the top 10 consistently since the 1950s—but then again, our taxes are also the highest in Ohio.

6. Famous Shaker natives include actors Paul Newman, Molly Shannon, and Fred Willard.

7. And, finally, the two most beautiful little girls in the world, my daughters, live in Shaker Heights. ;)

I live in Bristow, Virginia. It's in Northern Va and considered to be part of the Washington DC suburbs- and getting closer every day.

1. We have all 4 seasons! Beautiful moist spring days, humid hot summer, gorgeous crisp colorful falls and a bit of snow in winter. We get a taste of everything weather wise but nothing extreme. The Blue Ridge mountains buffer us to the west.

2. We are close to DC so we can easily take advantage of all the museums, culture, shows, etc. without living in the city.

3. We are also next to Manassas, VA which has some of the richest American Civil war history. Virginia was with the south and the state to our north, Maryland, was with the north so many battles took place in and around these areas. History buff love it!

4. We have a very diverse population- race, religion, languages,politics. A lot of military and government workers. Politics are part of daily life but you are just as likely to have a republican(conservative) living on one side of you and a democrat(liberal) on the other. I also know plenty of people who could care less and have never even voted(not many of those grew up around here though- I think politics are in your blood if you were born here:).

5. As close as we are to a metropolitan city we are also close to mountains, national forests, rural farm areas and horse country.

6. Northern VA and DC have a great music scene. You can find small clubs, large arenas and everything in between. And many genre's too. It seems as if everyone passes through and plays somewhere near here.

7. My favorite and least favorite things about Bristow are sort of the same. This is such a busy area- lots going on, places to eat, shop, work, play. People are always on the go(and with DC traffic the go-ing can take forever). I love having easy access to everything but at the same time this is where I see the need for people to take a breath and slow down. It will not ruin your children's lives if they aren't in every club/team/activity plus going to a birthday party every freaking weekend! I see so much overscheduling in part because soooo much is available in this area. This is when I miss living in an area with more of a small town community feel.

I live in Silver Lake, which is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA.

1. Silver Lake is named for the Silver Lake Reservoir, which is one of the few bodies of water (besides the ocean) in Los Angeles. The reservoir could be considered to be kind of ugly since it is made of concrete and is surrounded by a tall fence, but that doesn't stop people from using the bike and walking paths around it. When the sun sets, the reservoir becomes quite pretty.

2. Silver Lake is home to a diverse group of artists, musicians, writers, actors, a substantial gay population, Latino immigrants and like-minded liberal counter-culture types. Anti-Bush protests are frequent and well-attended in this neighborhood.

3. The neighborhood I live in is filled with old Craftsman homes (turn of the century Arts and Crafts style) and is located in the tail end of the Hollywood Hills. There are tons of trees and flowers and everyone walks their dogs and actually says hi when you pass by them.

4. The climate here in Los Angeles is very similar to your climate there in S.A. We have chilly (but not truly cold) wet winters, and long dry temperate summers. It is probably in the 70s (F) almost any day of the year. If you ask anyone why they live here, the weather will certainly be on their list of reasons.

5. Silver Lake is bordered to the East by Echo Park and to the West by Los Feliz. Los Feliz is the more cultured older brother to Silver Lake, while Echo Park is the less gentrified younger brother. The three neighborhoods could generally be clumped together as one area.

6. Silver Lake is right next to Griffith Park, which is a huge, amazing public park in the hills. You can drive into the hills and have no idea you're in a major city, because there are all forms of wild life and it's very beautiful. Sadly, last May a large portion of the park burned in a wild fire and now some of the hills are bare and brown.

7. The famous Sunset Boulevard is the main street that goes through Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park and there is a stretch of hip shops and restaurants called Sunset Junction, where Santa Monica Boulevard ends at Sunset. Every August, there is a huge street fair that brings huge nationally known bands to play in the neighborhood. You can see the Hollywood sign directly above Sunset.

8. I love living in Silver Lake because it's not as polished and materialistic as other areas of Los Angeles and is filled with creative people. Most of my friends live here and I love not having to leave the neighborhood except to go to work.

7 things about Macon GA

1) Macon has more Yoshino cherry blossom trees than any other city in the world (yes, it's true-more than any Japanese city or our nation's capital), and hosts an annual cherry blossom festival each spring in March.

2) Another Macon claim to fame is the birthplace of the musical genre, Southern Rock. As the headquarters of the legendary Capricorn Records, Macon was the home to many famous bands, the most famous of which was the Allman Brothers Band.

3) Macon is home to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

4) The first Christian Baptism in the "New World" occurred in what is now Macon in 1540 by Catholic priests accompanying Hernando deSoto during exploration of the southeastern US.

5) Macon is the home of Wesleyan College, a private women's college - the first in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

6) Prior to the arrival of the first Europeans, Macon was home to the Creek Indians and their pre-historic ancestors who were mound builders, known as the Mississippians. Hundreds of mounds can be found in Macon and the surrounding area that are possibly as old as 10,000 years (on both private and public land) but some of the most magnificent examples found in the eastern US are located within the Ocmulgee National Monument, US federal park.

7) Macon boasts many beautiful, old, antebellum homes, as Macon was spared Sherman's "scorched earth" march to Savannah and the sea during the U.S. War Between the States. The Union troups turned east just scant miles north of the city.

This is really fun - don't know when I've been able to recount so much about my hometown; would love to talk about the whole state of Georgia!

I will chime in as another New Yorker. I live in Manhattan. Manhattanites think themselves superior to the other boroughs, so this is going to be a bit cheeky.

1. If you live and own a home in Manhattan with two or more kids in private school and own a weekend home and take vacations you must make at least 1m or you couldn't do any of the above. So we tend to work a lot - or your husband does. In my case, we both work but my husband does most of our heavy lifting.

2. You can get anthying and everything delivered. Groceries, dry cleaning, dog food, pharmacy, food of any kind.

3. My car's servicing happens without supervision. I call Mercedes and they pick up the car from the garage and return it without my involvement.

4. If you live in a full service building you need not lock your door. My family is on vacation as I type this on my I phone and our apartment is unlocked. I don't have a set of keys.

5. Tipping is crucial! Garage attenants, doormen etc. Christmas is very costly.

6. School costs 30,000 + each so the kid's better learn fast.

7. Central Park is fabulous and is the best backyard in the world. And I have lived on the west coast and Midwest and in Central Europe so I am speaking with some authority.

8. You didn't ask for 8 but New Yorkers are known for their arrogance and their sense of humor.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

I live in Kiama,New South Wales,Australia but am originally from Boskruin JHB (and I am in no way affiliated with the other person who wrote aboute Boskruin so "hi" to them if they read this!!!")

1.Kiama is 90 minutes South of Sydney on the Australian East Coast.

2.Kiama means (roughly) "where the sea amkes a noise" and was named as such because of the blowhole which is a huge tourist attraction here.

3.Kiama has 6 amazingly beautiful beaches (many popular surf spots)

4. Kiama's population is about 20000

5.Kiama has a rich heritage based on dairy farming and quarrying

6.The Kiama Area covers 259 Sq KM

7.We have only one set of traffic lights in our whole town and none in the actual town centre.

http://kiama.wazmac.com/welcome.html

This is very late, but just in case you are still reading old comments.

I live in Melbourne, Australia and here are some facts about my city.

1. Melbourne is the second biggest city in Australia with a population of 3.7 million and is the capitol of the state of Victoria within Australia. (Australia has 7 states and 2 territories).
2. Melbourne is known for being a sports mad city - although unfortunately I don't share the local obsession.
3. Melbourne is a very multi-cultural city, with migrants from Britain, Europe, India, the Middle East, Asia and more recently Africa. Maybe as a result of migration Melbourne is an easy-going, relaxed and tolerant city.
4. Melbourne has fantastic food with great cafes,bars,restaurants, and terrific fresh food. Melbourne is also close to some great wineries with lots of small local vineyards.
5. Melbourne is a safe city, with good shopping and has great beaches within a short drive.
6. In winter you can go skiing about 3 hrs drive from Melbourne.
7. Within Australia, Melbourne is known for having 4 seasons in one day, with changeable weather. Weather patterns seemed to have noticeably changed in my lifetime. We have Increasingly hot and dry summers with more days of extreme heat. We are expecting 42 deg celsius tomorrow (approx 106 deg fahrenheit)). We also have long-standing drought , with now permanent water restrictions.

I hail from Seattle, Washington (USA)... here goes...

1. Seattle is a large coastal city and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. There are approximately 595,000 people living within the Seattle city limits, but the metropolitan area (which consists of unincorporated areas just outside city limits, and cities: Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett) bring the population up to around 4 million.

2. Seattle has been home to many over the last 4 thousand years or so, but European settlers arrived only in the mid 19th century. The earliest known European settlers were Arthur Denny and his 'Denny Party'. The first settlements were called 'New York Alki' and 'Duwamps'. It was Doc Maynard who suggested that the city be renamed Seattle to honor Chief Sealth, the chief of the two indigenous tribes (Suquamish and Duwamish) in the area. (New York Alki was later renamed "Alki" and "Duwamps" now known as 'Seattle'.) Many of our streets in Seattle bear the names of the early settlers... Denny, Boren, Yesler, Terry, Bell, Holgate... and the list goes on. Some of our biggest tour attractions are named in homage to the early settlers... Pioneer Square, Doc Maynard's Bar, etc.

3. The joke is that there is a starbucks on every corner in Seattle. The truth is that Seattle is so big that there is no way a Starbucks could be on every corner... HOWEVER, it is quite common in the downtown area to walk by two in one block's distance. And while it may not be a Starbucks on every corner... good luck driving more than a mile without passing either a local coffee stand, a Tully's, or a Seattle's Best Coffee store. The coffee stands here are EVERYWHERE. Not that I am complaining ;) The local stands are more prevalent the further you get away from the inner cities and continue out into neighborhoods. Their prices are often much cheaper and sometimes the coffee is a heck of a lot better too! Right now it costs more to get a small mocha at Starbucks than a happy meal at Mcdonalds. RIDICULOUS! Starbucks still resides in the Pike Place Market where it was founded in 1971.

4. Seattle is thought of as the birthplace of grunge music. Many 'grunge' bands have come out of our city... including: Nirvana, Pear Jam, Soundgarden,and Mudhoney. Other notable musicians from our area include Alice in Chains, and Jimi Hendrix, Duff McKagan, Nikki Sixx, and Quincy Jones.

5. Seattle (and much of the coastal area of Washington state are thought of as being mostly liberal in terms of politics. The further inland you go, the more rural the areas tend to be, and the more republican the people seem to be. (Though they haven't all gone to the dark side!)

6. Transportation in Seattle is a pain in the ass. We are dominated by Autombiles... no real transit system other than our buses exist... There is a train that runs north and south from Tacoma to Seattle (and possibly a bit furher north... I'm not sure) and they are working fast and furiously to get a mass transit system up and running by 2009... it will run along and above the land, over the freeways and will (supposedly) be farther reaching than the current train is now. We also have a ferry system for those who live across the sound on the islands that border the Pacific Ocean.

7. Seattle ranks 2nd in our country for the population of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. Right behind San Francisco. 12.9 percent of citizens polled identify as being either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. (This surprises me actually, considering the hateful comments you can hear on any given day by total strangers.)

8. We have several indian reservations around the Seattle metropolitan area that are booming casinos. The most notable are the Tulalip and Muckleshoot Casinos, but also the Quinalt, Clearwater and Swinomish just to name a few.

This is horribly late, but I haven't had a chance to check in, and wanted to fly the flag for France:

1) I live in Toulouse, also known as "La Ville Rose" (pink city). Many of the buildings are constructed of old terracotta bricks, so at sunset the city literally glows pink.
2) Toulouse hosts the headquarters of Airbus, so is where the Concorde and A380, amongst many other planes, was partially designed and constructed. This makes it an extremely international city (probably the most international French city other than Paris). In my son's school there are English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Australian, American, Korean and Indian children, to name a few nationalities!
3) The river Garonne flows through Toulouse, which rises in the Spanish Pyrenees. It is said to have a Spanish personality as it is so rocky and capricious in nature!
4) Toulouse is in the middle of numerous excellent wine growing areas, including the Gaillac region. Red wine is of world-class quality and cheap!!
5) Occitane is the ancient language of the area, and road signs are still given in French and Occitane.
6)Toulouse has an enviable geographic position, being mid-way between the Atlantic and Med coasts, and an hour and a half from the ski stations of the high Pyrenees.
7) The pace of life is Mediterranean, therefore much slower than northern Europe. This drove me mad initially, but now I love it and can't imagine leaving!

I was lucky enough to spend 4 days in Toulouse recently and loved it!! I love Boston, too, and so many of the other places mentioned here, which are all fascinating to read about. Plus, Tertia, I'm in awe of what an international following you have! You rock, all of you, everywhere (the comments to my Monday column in the Tidings are usually along the lines of "you are a shitty mother and a stupid writer. Why do I read this dribble? Does someone really pay you to write bullshit like this?" ... Love, Jennifer M.

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