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Stateside: Small shining towns

Micki Maynard
Micki Maynard

The things one searches for in a big city may very well exist in one’s hometown.

In a recent article entitled, “In Praise of Smaller Cities,” Micki Maynard discussed the overlooked bounties of small American towns.

For Maynard, the benefits of living in a small town were not immediately apparent. In fact, it took living in numerous big cities to really see the practicality of having a lawn, a garden and a garage.

“I was like everybody else. I wanted to get out East,” said Maynard.

She continued to describe her realization process.

“My first big city was  Washington D.C. When I was 19, I was an intern in the White House. Every time I would come home I would see things at home that I was seeing in those big cities. It struck me that, either they were there and I overlooked them, or I was learning the skills that would make me more comfortable in a smaller city,” said Maynard.

This process of leaving and returning caused Maynard to compare where she was currently living to her hometown of Ann Arbor. The space and affordability of home, for Maynard, became increasingly appealing.

“I am interested in the local food movement. What I would find in the big cities was that I was paying a dollar more for things than I was back home in Michigan. The second thing was architecture. I started to look around the Midwest and would see some of the same architecture that I was seeing in New York City. I think we have a big-city prejudice that only the best in America can be found in our biggest cities. But we don’t take the time to look around and see those same people came around here,” said Maynard.

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