Collegetown, U.S.A.: Getting to know Columbia

Monday, July 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:36 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Columbia’s new logo says the city is “too dynamic to fit into a short tagline.” Columbia is, in fact, more diverse, artsy, green and young than other cities its size. While much smaller than big brothers St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia still offers enough sizzle to keep big-city lovers satisfied.


Columbia boasts 23 baseball fields, 27 soccer fields — who says Americans are ignorant about soccer? — 35 tennis courts, 22 volleyball courts and 40 parks. Not the outdoors type? Then explore the 24 movie screens, 21 museums and art galleries, more than 100 churches, 372 restaurants and 15 shopping centers.


No matter how big it might feel though, Columbia remains a comfortably small part of mid-Missouri.


Here you are not the anonymous someone of the big metropolis crowds. The employee of your favorite coffee shop will know your face after three lattes. The person behind the deli counter will talk to you as a friend the second time you come around. And a month into your Columbia experience, you will know more people by name than after a year of big-city survival.


The feeling of being at home is here to stay. And even if you leave, you will still read the news about the Tigers, miss the warm Twilight Thursdays of June and September and look for the Ninth Street spirit.


After all, Columbia is more than a place. It’s a way of life for those who love life and the feeling of belonging somewhere.


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