It’s strange to see me call anywhere outside of Houston, “my town”, but since we’ve been here a year, I should probably start claiming it. I got the idea from here and like her, I’ll list the bad first so I can end on the good.
Growing up so close to Houston, I was used to having pretty much whatever I wanted within minutes (well, depending on traffic) of me. Here, there aren’t many options for shopping or entertainment. There’s a small mall and a couple of shopping centers and that’s it. Call me spoiled but I like a lot of choice.
There’s a great deal of poverty here, which is unfortunate. Close to the Army post is the infamous “Victory Drive” which has more establishments on it that are off limits to soldiers than aren’t. Based on what I’ve been told, it’s nickname is “VD” Drive for the “working girls” that hang out there (hung out? I haven’t seen any since I’ve been here). Happily, a number of real estate developers have started to buy up property and the area is on it’s way to turning around. In the time we’ve been here, several by-the-hour motels have been torn down and a couple of restaurants have been built in their places.
It’s smack dab in the heart of SEC country. We’re within a fairly short drive of Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. I am a Big 12 girl, through and through (formerly Southwest Conference) and get sick to death of hearing about what a “powerhouse” the SEC is. Gag me with a friggin’ spoon. I’ll take any conference over the SEC any day.
And now the good…
I LOVE that I can get all the way across town in less than 20 minutes. Like I said, I grew up in a Houston suburb…I am familiar with traffic. Ryan’s old job was 25 miles from our house, his commute to work took him an hour while his commute home took over an hour and a half. Believe it or not, he joined the Army to get away from the stress. I seriously dig living in a relatively small town.
This is not your typical “Army” town. A lot of Army towns depend solely upon the post to exist, as a result there are a larger number than usual of pawn shops, surplus stores and payday loan places. Luckily, there are several corporations that are based here such as Aflac and TSys so the city doesn’t depend on the existence of the Army post for its well-being. It makes a HUGE difference in the quality of life here.