Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Lakewood Public Library and I Love My City

As bookish as I am, I've never really been a library person. I hate the idea of having to give my friends back. I get most of my paper books from used book stores, flea markets, and garage sales. Recently, in an attempt to squash some of my writer's procrastination, I decided to check out my local branch library. WOW! We have the coolest library I have ever seen.

I'm going to make a broad, sweeping, over-generalization, and say that Lakewood is the trendiest city in Ohio. Oberlin would come close if they didn't have those dry laws. Lakewood is a strange amalgam of hip, rich, liberal, poor, trendy, and eclectic. When they decided to update their library, they went all out. It's huge, beautiful, and full of art as well as books.

The entire layout is very open with a multitude of desks, cubicles, and computer consoles. It reminds me of a university library in that way. It is in fact at least twice as large as my university's library.

I plan to live in Lakewood for the rest of my life. It's an old city, full of old buildings (more than half of the houses in Lakewood were built before 1939) that people actually care about. There are no crumbling churches, or condemned mansions. The entire city has the camaraderie of a small town but the sophisticated air of a metropolis. At least 75% of the businesses on Detroit road are owned by individuals, not corporations, and I've never seen so many consignment shops and antique stores. People walk to and from the multitude of bars, raucously singing at 2am on Saturday morning. No one is afraid of being mugged, possibly because our large and friendly police presence deters potential thieves. In fact, the sidewalks of Lakewood are much busier at midnight than are the streets. For every car on the road, there are at least ten pedestrians. 

I love everything about this city and if I have my way, I will never leave... Okay, well the snow can get excessive... and being so close to Lake Erie, there are some massive spiders... but still. I <3 Lakewood.
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