While I can’t wait to be free from severe allergies, fiery temperatures, and Republicans, I’m starting to feel a little nostalgic about all of the things I’m going to miss when I pack up and move to the East Coast in a couple of weeks. So for all you current, former, and soon-to-be locals, here’s a little ode to what I’m going to miss most about Bryan/College Station.
Side note: all of this stuff is awesome, and even though I won’t be able to do it/have it/experience it/eat it for a while, I would definitely recommend you do so.
25. The College Station Target, and the many days and nights I’ve spent browsing its endless, wonderful offerings. There are probably a million of these fabulous megastores in the Boston area, but the local Target is my happy place and will always have my heart.
24. The best-kept secrets in B/CS: a local punk scene, a growing LGBT community, organizations for progressive and Democratic politics, a 90’s-style ‘zine published for and by “the other side of Bryan/College Station”, and all kinds of other awesome groups and interests you wouldn’t expect to find in this town.
23. Wearing flip-flops everywhere and looking completely socially acceptable because it’s hot and they’re far better than Chacos.
22. Picking up 50-cent Cherry Danishes from HEB before school. Seriously, you guys, these things have the power to make the crappiest of mornings instantly amazing.
21. Also, Shipley Do-Nuts. If you think Krispy Kreme is better, you are wrong.
20. $4.50 movie tickets. You tend to take them for granted until you’re expected to pay $8.00 to see the latest fighting robot extravaganza.
19. Blue Baker. I love Panera as much as the next girl, but Blue Baker takes the (cup)cake any day.
18. Speaking of cupcakes….Cake Junkie. That is all.
17. The surprising and constantly changing variety of people. Bryan-College Station isn’t exactly a hub for diversity, but considering the fact that it’s a small town in central Texas, the population is wonderfully diverse. There are people from all backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, races and places living, working and going to school in this community. The people-watching is excellent if you know where to go (see #4).
16. Overlooking the inevitable sketchiness of Dairy Queen in order to indulge in a cookie dough Blizzard.
15. Bunking down in my house with books and snacks all weekend to avoid game day madness.
14. Actually braving game day madness.
13. Watching the Texas sunset from the Indian Lakes…uh…lake. Swim at your own risk.
12. Believe it or not, the shopping. I’ve grown to know my favorite local boutiques (and the College Station Goodwill, of course) inside and out, and I’ll actually miss spending my paychecks on their fabulous wares.
11. Finding incredible gems at the antique stores in Downtown Bryan. First Fridays in Downtown Bryan. My favorite restaurants in Downtown Bryan. Romantic walks through the Christmas lights in Downtown Bryan. Art shows and concerts in Downtown Bryan. Okay…Downtown Bryan in general.
10. Those supercool and totally uncharacteristic events that only come around once in a blue moon. And no, I’m not talking about those terrible rap shows with that one guy who had a verse in that one Kendrick Lamar song. Examples include: The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Theatre Company (around Halloween), the Red Wasp Film Festival (in the fall), the Downtown Bryan Street and Art Fair (in the spring), and screenings of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Palace Theater (Valentine’s Day).
9. All of the incredible local Italian restaurants that make Olive Garden look like fast food.
8. Salsa Saturday at The Village Café. And the Happy Bee sandwich at The Village Café. And the apple/orange juice at The Village Café. Oh, and the art and music at The Village Café….basically everything that is The Village Café.
7. The general friendliness of people in B/CS. I really don’t believe that Northerners are rude and snippy by nature – I’ve met some of the world’s nicest people on my trips to New York, but it’ll be hard to find so many polite, personable, and welcoming people in any other community.
6. Brison Park, my favorite green space in town. I also really like Wolf Pen and Lick Creek. Bryan/College Station isn’t exactly known for its parks, but I have so many random and beautiful memories in these places. They’re also great for jogging, picnicking, and meeting friendly dogs.
5. The pizza at Café Eccell. And Mr. G’s. And Antonio’s. And Double Dave’s. You know, they say Boston’s pizza is even better than New York’s, but no amount of greasy cheese can replace my local favorites.
4. Studying, working, people-watching, and catching up with friends at Sweet Eugene’s. I’m sure there are plenty of great coffee shops up north, but nothing beats the crowd, cheap donuts and Chai lattes at Sweet’s.
3. All of the awesome day trips you can take from Bryan/College Station, and the feeling of excitement and anticipation when you cross the city limits on your way to Austin, Houston, the Gulf Coast, or one of the many quaint and quirky small towns in between. And most of all, the fact that no matter where you went or how much fun you had, it always feels so nice to be back in B/CS.
2. Freebirds. Enough said.
1. How devoted and loyal many of the people in B/CS are to this community. It’s not the easiest place to love, and no one outside of Bryan/College Station (Aggie alums and fans notwithstanding) even remotely cares about our little dot on the map. But for whatever reason, there are so many people who truly love and breathe life into this town. It’s inspiring, and I imagine, almost impossible to find anywhere else.