Thursday, May 15, 2014

Loving Fullerton

The upcoming LOVE FULLERTON event has inspired me to think about the reasons why I personally love Fullerton. While May 17 will surely be a day of kindness and giving, it’s a reminder that this day of community should be a year round movement. It’s fairly simple really, to be kind and care for those around you, particularly when you love where you live.

With that, I will give you my very unofficial Top 10 Fantastic Things About Fullerton, in no particular order. 1. The food. Fullerton is a foodie’s paradise. In my head, I’m a West Coast Contessa, and admittedly, Fullerton is not the Hamptons, but we do have gourmet restaurants and specialty stores catering to all palates. We boast established and expanding restaurateurs and those just beginning, knowing the demographics of a city that loves independently owned eateries. I’ll never forgive Frati Gelato for moving to Napa, but am grateful for the extra pounds I sentimentally sport thanks to their fine dessert.

2. The people. Fullerton is a town of givers and doers. The sheer number of service organizations that exist just to lend a helping hand is humbling. Nearly every weekend there is a fundraiser happening somewhere to support the arts, education, humanity, or conservation. This town is full of people with big hearts. Members of the community genuinely care about its future. They voice their opinions when opposed to an issue and rejoice with favorable news. The community is committed to keeping Fullerton a great place to live, work, and play.

3. The parks. I’d be remiss not to mention the recreational green space our city offers. Fullerton’s parks and recreational trails are to be envied--approximately 26 miles of them. The trails offer something for equestrians, joggers, mountain bikers, walkers, hikers, and stroller brigades. Fullerton’s trails are famous among the outdoors crowd, with biking clubs meeting to enjoy the famous Fullerton Loop, or MOMS groups planning weekly outings at one of more than 50 parks. If I sound like Leslie Knope, it’s because I love her and I love our parks.

4. The housing. The housing in Fullerton is one of the main attractors for property owners and investors. Most famous are the vintage homes, surrounding the downtown. Charming Spanish bungalows and craftsman homes dating from the early 1900s make for great starter homes and investment properties. Further into the hills you can find sprawling ranches with horse property, and for those that are seeking an urban vibe, live/work spaces near the Transportation Center downtown. The city is continuing to see development too, with new condos and townhomes selling in the south. Fullerton is diverse, desirable, and offers something for everyone.

5. The education. Fullerton is known as “The Education Community,” with five colleges and universities as well as top-notch public and private institutions. The Fullerton Public Library offers programming for babies through seniors. Education is paramount in the city, and it’s evident that residents continue to want learn.

6. The shopping. It’s a no-brainer to support the local economy, and Fullerton’s retail stores offer unique gifts, apparel, and accessories. Vintage stores dot the downtown, as well as hip designer boutiques. You can even find something for that person who has everything.

7. The history. Fullertonians love their history and preservation. Walking any number of vintage neighborhoods, you’ll find local landmark homes. The Fullerton Public Library has a top-notch local history room where homeowners can seek out stories of their home’s past, as well as research any number of events from years gone by. Fullerton Heritage, a volunteer non-profit organization, champions preservation efforts, including the recent restoration of the Amerige Brothers Realty Office.

8. The nightlife. Let me be clear, “nightlife” in the context of my life means from 6-9 p.m. Many moons ago, I left the house at 9 p.m. to begin an evening on the town. Yet, Fullerton has options for even the grandest of grandmas. While there is a young crowd whose nights span two days, even those of us with human accessories can enjoy an evening out, complete with libations and adult conversations. The monthly Artwalk is a family-friendly affair, as well as the downtown Farmers Market which runs April-October. Both offer wine, and the latter beer, so if you don’t stay up until 2 a.m./have a 3 a.m. human alarm clock, you too can still enjoy the evening!

9. The diversity.Fullerton’s population mimics much of the United States-it’s citizens come from a variety of cultures and bring that influence to schools, businesses, and neighborhoods. Cultures learn from one another and ultimately create a unifying bond among residents.

10. The events. This community loves its Independence Day festival, New Year’s Eve celebration, and honoring our veterans. The summer concert series at the Sports Complex is anticipated year long, and packed even on the hottest of nights. The previously mentioned Farmers Market brings the community together each week for socializing and camaraderie. Fullerton embodies the family-friendly atmosphere Fullerton is known for, and remind neighbors why they love living in this city.

No city is perfect, and certainly there are improvements to be made (ahem, parking), but most commonly you’ll hear visitors and residents alike declare how small-town the city feels, though it spans just over 22 square miles. And while the Love Fullerton event will draw out many help improve and beautify parts of the city, the concept should never end. We cannot expect a Utopia, but we can remember in the most heated situations that our common concern is where we call home-Fullerton.

Full disclosure: I did previously work at the Chamber of Commerce, I currently serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission, but the Barefoot Contessa does not know who I am...yet.

1 comment:

andrea said...

Why do I love Fullerton? It is home to one of my favorite friends, Erin H.