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Residing in an area in upstate NY that is famous for landing in the Top 10 of most gloomy, frustrating, “worst ever” lists as of late, I feel obligated to carry the torch and be sort of a crusader. I mean, who writes this stuff anyway? Did my hometown piss off the gods of the Top 10 lists? I am but one of the many “minority” voices that want to remind those who live here of all of the good things, the good people and potential awesomeness that refuses to die but continues to germinate under a layer of factory soot, sedimentary silt, and sadness. I actually cringe when I hear rumor of a new list and hope to God we made it for something positive. For this reason, I felt motivated to create a Top 10 list of my own personal favorites in my home town. Of course, this is not in any order.

1-Festivals:The Speidie Fest, the JulyFest, Porchfest, First Friday Art Walks, Blues on the Bridge, Luma and many music festivals to name a few!
  2-Diverse ethnic groups and community celebrations. Everyone looks forward to the honey puffs at the Greek Festival and the great food at St. Anthony’s but the list goes on. Living here, I have grown up learning about many cultures.  

3-An awesome St. Patrick’s Day Parade sponsored by the AOH and all the festivities around town. We celebrate St. Patrick’s day twice in Broome County!

 4-Many community theater organizations. We have SRO Productions, EPAC, KNOW Theater, Därkhorse Drämatists, Theatron Productions and many more! So much talent! 

5- Wonderful local businesses that deliver quality services such as Tom’s Coffee and Gifts, the Cyber Cafe West, the Lost Dog Cafe and the Uncorked Chocolate and Wine Loft. A developing art, microbrewery and cuisine scene in downtown Binghamton. Take a stroll off the weathered path of chain stores and restaurants…..  

6- The Tri-Cities Opera. Always a cool experience when you take in a show at their opera space on Clinton St. and at the Forum.

7- Wegmans. No other explanation needed.

8- Two rivers that flow beautifully nearby. Our rivers have provided a lovely backdrop for picnics, special events and walks along the way. The rivers have also created major devastation but nonetheless, make this area our home.

9-If you are a closet sports fan like me, we have the AA affiliates for the NY Mets and AAA affiliates for the Ottawa Senators in addition to the Binghamton University sports and performances.

10- Most importantly, the wonderful, strong, survivor-spirited people that continue to stay here and deserve to hear words of hope and encouragement to make this a better place for the future.

I said I would write a Top 10, so I did. The outcome of this little exercise was interesting…. I realized that I could list so many more positive points. And here’s the challenge for you. Feeling bad about your hometown? Or where you are at in Life? Make a Top 10 list and see what you come up with…. You might be pleasantly surprised. And you might just inspire someone else to do the same.

I will provide a Top 10 list about living with Diabetes in my next blog. Yes, I believe there are even silver linings in this SweetLife.

Photo Credit to BingPop, SRO Productions, The Binghamton Press, the Cyber Cafe, and Riverview Media, LLC.

#BroomeCounty #ThinkPositive #Binghamton #Bingalings #NurtureTheHappy #TheGreaterBinghamtonArea #BingPop #future #optimist #T1D #T1Dlookslikeme #ILoveNY #BroomeCountyChamberofCommerce