Last month marked the one year anniversary of me and my family living in Decatur. In that time I have made several discoveries and have had many treasured moments in which I have actually said to myself, "I love living here." There are many gems that cause me to stand a little taller and brag, but I have managed to whittle my list down to ten. Although this only one resident's opinion I would like to share them with you. I am sure a few of them make your top ten list as well.
10. Food- I am a foodie and this is a town for foodies. This year, Cakes & Ale was voted one of the top 50 restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit Magazine, the Pinewood Tippling opened to rave reviews, my drinks and dinner at Colbeh were phenomenal, Farm Burger cooks a mean cow and Revolution Donuts is... well words can't actually describe that den of sugar and dough. You will have to go there and taste the awesomeness for yourself. A sign should be hung at the city limits that says, "WATCH YOUR WAISTLINES."
9. Living Walls Decatur- Living Walls is street art initiative that has murals on several walls from the Decatur Square to Oakhurst. The pieces are the work local, national and international artists that seek to break the stereotype of what street art is. In July, the Living Walls Loves Decatur event was held in the square featuring visual and performing artists and was supported by proceeds from Iberian Pig, Colbeh Persian Kitchen, and Parker's on Ponce. Square Pub donated gift certificates for the evening’s festivities while Brick Store Pub gave a free meal to each artist involved. This city loves art and art loves this city.
8. Decatur High School- Part of the reason we moved to Decatur was the excellent reputation of the school system. That being said I am so impressed with the options that this school affords its students. By not only offering a top notch traditional curriculum through their International Baccalaureate program but also having training for careers in broadcast production, graphic and culinary arts they are able to challenge and support all students no matter what their life goals may be. We look forward to our son taking advantage of all that the school has to offer.
7. Decatur Farmers Market- Nazifa’s Bakery, King of Pops, and Zocalo Salsas are just a few of my favorite vendors from this twice weekly market. While we are lucky enough to have the large DeKalb Farmers Market right in our backyard, it is good to have small local food purveyors available to us also.
6. Biking- As fans of the biking city of Amsterdam, my husband and I greatly appreciate the work that the city has done to make our roads safer for all of those who travel by bike. Biking is a great way to commute, get a workout and see this beautiful city.
5. The Intown Ace Hardware - This is my first time as a homeowner. Coming from a one bedroom condo to having more rooms, more walls and more everything has not been easy. Luckily the Ace Hardware is right around the corner and the staff there knows what I am talking about even when I have no clue.
4. Staying Inde-catur- Shopping local is something I try to do as often as possible but it is always easy to buy from small business in Decatur and neighboring Avondale and Oakhurst neighborhoods. I am priviledged to live among others who value what these businesses do for our community. I believe Decatur can serve as an example to other cities that rely heavily on big box stores for commerce.
3. Decatur Hometown Heroes Awards- The greatest thing about the winners of this honorable distinction is that none of them do it for the accolades. They do it because they love their towns and the people that live there. The love compels them to give as they can in whatever way they do best. I am most proud to call these types of people my neighbors. And can only hope that one day I can give back as they have.
2. Books- The Decatur Book Festival, Little Shop of Stories, Eagle Eye Books, Books Again and Laureate Natasha Trethewey. Whether it is the independent bookstores, the nation's largest indie book festival, or this years U.S. Poet Laureate; this is a town of readers that makes my addiction to the printed word feel right at home.
1. Beer- I go on and on about my love of beer all of the time and the options in this town only serve as fuel for my hoppy fire. Beer Advocate Magazine ranks The Brick Store Pub the number two beer bar in the world. The beer menus of other restaurants contain bottles from next door, Wild Heaven, and from the other side of the world Hitachino Stout at Leon's all the way from Japan. If you need to take brew home look to Ale Yeah and The Beer Growler(Avondale) to quench your thirst.
There you have it. My glutenous food, beer and donut filled list of why I love living here. At last check I have not gained 50 pounds and I credit that to the nearly one mile distance from our home to The Brick Store Pub. It did not make the list but there are many benefits to a leisurely stroll through Decatur.