Thursday, January 10, 2008

Walk Around Wheaton

Apartments at the Wheaton Metro Stop
Apartments at the Wheaton Metro Stop

After going to the gym today, I took a little walk around Wheaton. I think it's interesting that my hometown looks differently than any other hometown in America. Whenever I arrive in a new place, it somehow looks foreign. I may dismiss the place as looking rundown or unfriendly. I feel like an outsider. But I look at my hometown (which, indeed looks a little seedy and rundown), and I have this warm, welcoming feeling, because I'm part of its fabric.

I don't know every shop in town, but I've at sometime or another in the last 18 years, walked past every one of them. I know the cracks in Wheaton's sidewalks. I love the smell of the row of Peruvian chicken restaurants on Ennals St. I noticed a new Salvadorean restaurant today.

Town is changing, though. A row of townhouses went in on Amherst last year, and this year, dozens of apartments are being built over the Metro stop. Already, the construction is becoming part of Wheaton's "skyline." The town is dotted with Hispanic restaurants, pawnshops, and Latin banks.

It's my hometown, though, and I love it. Wheaton is the place where I feel right at home.