Hometown Nostalgia: Idaho and Florida Edition
Written by Sylvie Krekow
In this latest installment of tales from homeville, we hear from two corners of the US: Idaho and Florida. Varsity rowing correspondent Sylvie Krekow writes from Sun Valley, and enviably tan correspondent Lily Icangelo reports from Lake Worth. As always, you’re more than welcome to send in your own dispatches via [email protected].
Sun Valley, Idaho
I’m from Idaho. Yes, we have internet. No, I do not live on a potato farm. I live in Sun Valley, the ski resort known for “America’s first chairlift!” but really, it’s just a small town full of beautiful mountains and aging trophy wives whose favorite things are Bogner and Botox (although my mother is a lovely woman and should not be included in this description). Because it’s a tourist town, around the holiday season there are many people around who drive excruciatingly slowly in oversized rental cars. They also clog the ski runs by attaching leashes to their children and holding onto them as they bomb down the green circle runs. I actually didn’t go skiing this break though, because it was so cold – on New Year’s Eve it was negative 18 degrees as I left my house. My parents made me pack 2 extra coats, gloves, and hats in the car with me before I left for a New Years party (“just in case the car breaks down and you have to wait for the police to come pick you up!”). For the record, I was going to a friend’s house 5 minutes away.
Lake Worth, Florida
I grew up in an area of the word where your grandparents most likely own a condo. Palm Beach County, Florida is famous for beautiful beaches, housing the elderly in the winter, and messing up the 2000 presidential election. But whereas visions of retirement communities and slow drivers might pop into your head when referring to places like Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, I see constant summertime weather, the Atlantic Ocean, and the quirky characters who make up my hometown.
I live in Lake Worth, an adorably eccentric little beach down that every year puts on a street painting festival, a gay pride parade, a reggae fest, and many other artsy/bohemian type events. Lake Worth holds a number of strange records, including the fact that it houses the largest population of Finnish people outside of the Scandinavian Peninsula. My town is also known for being incredibly gay friendly, a trait that many places in the south cannot claim as their own. Most of my neighbors are gay couples, our City Manager is an openly transgender woman, and the large number of rainbow flags that hang in the store windows of our downtown area warms my heart every time I come home. It is nice to live somewhere where you know that everyone is loved.
My parents never planned on staying in Florida. We moved here from Boston when I was 18 months old after my father was accepted into the law school at the University of Miami. My mother was livid about the move. As an artist she felt that Florida would be completely uninspiring to her work—devoid of any character or quirk. As it turned out, Florida was anything but lacking of quirk. Jon Stewart has called Florida “our silliest state” and as a Florida resident I must say that I completely agree with his statement. But there is nothing wrong with silly. I live for silly. Florida doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither do I, which is in my opinion the only way to live.