Just to be clear that I don't hate everything about Roanoke I thought I would join in the "fun" Roanokers are having on Facebook of listing ten things, or more, of what they love about Roanoke. Since I have a blog I'm doing it here and it's not so much what I love about Roanoke as it is what I will miss about Roanoke. Naturally, I don't hate everybody in Roanoke and the folks I do like already know who they are so I'm not going to list their names. For some odd reason some of my "likes" of Roanoke are not on the list of others...
1. The mountains. The Roanoke valley is beautiful and not a day goes by that I'm not awestruck by the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately too many of them are now dotted with cell towers and antennas. I hope the locals appreciate what they have, and fight for them. Had I lived on any of those mountain tops I would have fought tooth and nail to keep those horrible structures off. Ah, well...people love their cellphones too much to put nature in front of convenience.
2. The greenways. Roanokers are quite fortunate to be blessed with the rivers and creeks that cut natural paths through the valley. I love the Roanoke River for its beauty, attracting all sorts of wildlife like herons and turtles, and especially for its calming effect on me when I stroll along it. Of course, I would never, ever eat a fish from there. The greenways were a marvelous idea to get us folks up and walking. And Lord knows, with all the all-you-can-eat buffets and sausage and gravy biscuits, Roanokers need to walk more! The greenways themselves are a real plus to the valley. Wish I could say the same for the some of the people who utilize them. Too many high-speed bikers, dog walkers who insist on having their dog walk on one side while they walk on the other and then do not even pick up their dog's crap, parents who use strollers and insist on walking down the middle of the greenway, and finally, people who walk three or four abreast and then get annoyed when you try to pass them, make biking or walking on the greenways a challenge.
3. The library system. I have had good experiences with pretty much every librarian in the system, except for one or two nasty ones at the South County branch. I especially love the Salem branch where they are quite knowledgeable, have the oddest/interesting selection of films, and are on top of new books. If they don't have something you want, they will order it for you. The Virginia Room in the main branch of Roanoke's library have a great staff and a huge collection of reference material you can't find anywhere else. Unfortunately I have stumped even them on a subject I am working on. The one drawback is that the local newspapers have not been catalogued and put on film for their entire collections so searching for something can be quite time consuming. The libraries also have a lot of free classes and events, many of which are worth going to.
4. The weather. I love the four seasons of Roanoke. Winters aren't all that bad either. And a day after it snows either the streets are clear or the sun is out melting it so I never have been snowbound.
5. The parking. I love that parking is never an issue. I like coming home at night and knowing there is a spot for my car. I like going out and knowing there pretty much is a spot wherever I go. Even downtown, with all the complaints about parking, is still a "dream" compared to other major cities, especially Brooklyn and Manhattan!
6. DMV. Yes, the DMV. Unless you have been to a DMV in Brooklyn or Manhattan you probably think I'm nuts. The DMV in Roanoke county, even on its most crowded day, is still a million times more convenient, cleaner, and faster than a DMV in NYC.
7. Ross Dress For Less. Again you probably are thinking, huh? But, as a plus-size woman I love Ross. They are the only store that has decent clothes at reasonable prices for someone like me. I also get a lot of my hair products, doggie treats, housewares, shoes, etc. there. New York City does not have one Ross Dress For Less...boo hiss!
8. Doctor's visits. Although I may be unhappy with a lot of the doctors themselves, at least getting to the office or hospital, is not a major pain in the ass. I can leave my house a couple of minutes before I have to be there and not have to add a hour or two like I do when I'm in New York.
9. The Mail. Yup, I love that I don't have to leave my house for the mailman to pick up my mail. And when I do have to go to the post office, the longest I've ever had to wait is like fifteen minutes.
10. Wasabi's. I've come to the conclusion that Wasabi's is probably the only restaurant I will miss based on just two things -- the spicy tuna sashimi and the Sumo Roll. That's it. I have been to every single sushi joint down here and in my opinion, they all suck, except for Wasabi. I'm sure I will find some good sushi restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan so I probably won't long for Wasabi's too much. Other than El Rodeo on Peter's Creek Road, because they have the cold sangria carafe waiting for me before I even sit down at the table, I could not come up with any other single restaurant that I will miss in Roanoke.
Well, that was easier than I thought. I actually did find ten things I will miss about Roanoke!