Sometime in late 2001 I logged on to Find Your Spot, a web site that helps you figure out where you should live. After answering a ton of questions I was given a list of 40 cities that I should consider. My number one spot was a town called Frederick, Maryland.
Since I was living in Jersey and looking for communities within a reasonable commute of Manhattan I had no reason to move to Maryland, especially a town I had never heard of, so I rolled my eyes, closed out of the site and moved on. A few months later when my husband’s New York office was closing and we’d needed to either move to Long Island or Bethesda, I remembered that town in western Maryland and started to investigate.
Six months later we were settled in Frederick. We’ve been in love ever since.
It really is our spot. I’m shocked that a web site could be this accurate. I get the small town, “everybody knows everybody” atmosphere yet I’m less than an hour from both Baltimore and DC if I need an urban fix. But since downtown Frederick is host to an expanding array of cafea, boutiques, antique stores and restaurants I don’t feel the need to go urban as often anymore.
What I like the most about this town is their attention to community and how smart the community is to take advantage of that. The public library is always packed with lots to do. The promenade will start to host it’s monthly happy hours soon. The first Saturday of every month is a themed event designed to lure folks downtown to shop and eat.
If I don’t want to walk to town, I can walk to Baker Park, a 35 acre spread that houses walking and bike paths, Culler Lake, Carroll Creek and is the primary destination for many of Celebrate Frederick’s free summer events like the concert series, family theatre, and outdoor movies.
Art is also big in Frederick. Known for it’s clustered spires and early 18 century architecture, you can find various trompe l’oel murals along Market Street amidst the art galleries and antique shops. However Frederick’s famous Community Bridge has become a huge tourist attraction as well. Artist William Cochran took a plain concrete bridge and over five years turned into a beautiful “stone bridge”. He made it a public art project by asking the residents of Frederick to tell him what symbols represented the spirit of community. He then took these symbols and painted “stone carvings” on the bridge. Word spread and folks from all over the world submitted ideas for this project.
It’s no wonder that Frederick was a Great American Main Street winner back in 2005.
If you head to my flikr page on my side bar you can see my photos of Frederick, although I found this site online with a ton of really, wonderful pics. With the exception of the minor league ballpark, I can walk to any destination shown which is probably what I love the most about living here.
If you ever get the chance to visit, stop by and say hi.