I have lived in some BIG cities. The desire to do so has always been a part of who I am. Being born and raised in Baton Rouge did not satisfy that craving.
My first big move was to Houston. Sure, it was a big city, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. The traffic was miserable and—maybe because of proximity and similar culture—it wasn’t much different than living in Louisiana. While there, I took a vacation to San Diego. Eight weeks later, I moved there.
San Diego was everything I wanted. It was huge and sprawling, but each neighborhood felt like its own micro community. Throw in a nearly perfect climate and access to tons of vacation destinations within a short drive, and I was sold. (I also lived in NYC for six months only to discover I am NOT an East Coast kind of girl. West Coast forever!)
My move back to Baton Rouge was supposed to be temporary. That’s what I told myself at the time, anyway. I’d been gone six years, and boy had Baton Rouge changed. There was a new mall, the ever-present road construction opening up to disconnected spots in the city, and then there was Mid City.
I was immediately drawn to the growing and developing neighborhood. For me, it always felt like crossing into something so different than the rest of Baton Rouge. Don’t confuse “different” for “better.” There are other parts of the city I love too. But this place was different in a way that made me want to live there, shop there, visit the eclectic businesses tucked into spaces that others ignored.
Now, more than ten years later, I am thrilled at how far Mid City has come. It is a home to entrepreneurs, creatives, unique shops and restaurants that feel like home. Soon it will be more pedestrian and bike friendly. That, and other planned improvements, are more steps in the right direction.
I love Baton Rouge. I am proud of my home. Sure we’ve got problems, but what city doesn’t? The difference is we want to be better. And in areas like Mid City, we’re not sitting around wishing for it. We’re working to make it happen.