Yep, it's that time again. That time of year I sit in my office, hands slightly elevated over my keyboard, struggling to keep the blood flowing in the right directions, trying to ward off the frigid Wisconsin temps (it doesn't help that I have the worst circulation known to man!). Yes, it's that time of year I feel the need (half-jokingly) to remind myself why I moved back to Madison WI five years ago in the first place. The answer is, of course, because I thought it would be a great place to buy a house, raise a family and start a business. But a part of me assumed anyone views their hometown that way. At the time I was making my decison, I remembered all the great things about growing up in Madison: its parks, its wonderful lakes, its vibrant downtown, and, having just moved from Hong Kong at the time, I welcomed the distinct seasons and the marking of the passage of time in Wisconsin. That dramatic color and change of scenery was tremendously appealing after the monotony of year-'round heat and humidity.
But somehow those memories aren't cutting it for me right now - it's really freezing sitting here! (Despite going to great lengths, it remains a struggle to heat the second floor of this old house!) And then I suddenly remember the whopping 128 awards that Madison has won since 1994. One hundred and twenty eight awards, folks! That's right. It seems that it is not an exaggeration to say that Madison WI has won every award known to man that a city can possibly win. I mean is anyone out there aware of another city that has won so many awards?! I've even heard residents complain about it ("heck, we don't want everybody moving here, for crying out loud!"). Anyway, if you're researching Madison or trying to figure out if you should move here, you won't have time to read all the articles about Madison's many awards. But it's worth reiterating what's so great about Madison - especially this time of year. Especially if you're not taking advantage of the season and the area's skating, skiing, ice-fishing or sledding. So I've put together a quick summary of the main categories in which Madison has won all these awards. (To see the full list - complete with links to all the publications that bestowed the awards over the years - click here, and note that, although there are a few missing links, many of these awards pre-date the publications' advent on the Internet!).
Okay, here goes! (drawing a huge breath...)
Madison is known for...the nation's smartest city, having the nation's best teeth, a best place for families, for doing outdoor activities, for finding bargains, for being live-able, for the education of your child, for being great for dogs, for women doing business, as a college town, for startups, for income growth, for being green, for the arts, for family trips, for organic food, for walking, for children's museums, for being LGBT-friendly, for road biking, for bird-watching, for being brainy, for its scenic views, for its hiking trails, for its public schools, for being vegetarian-friendly, for being romantic, as a hotspot for high tech, for living the athletic life, for its biotech, for being gay-friendly, for its gardens, for being healthy when pregnant, for being creative, for being entrepreneurial, for having a great game-day atmosphere, for being nature-friendly, for its quality of life-quotient, for being the nation's best small city, for being child-friendly, for being a best designer city, for its healthy men, for being friendly, as a city that inspires, for great campus music, for creativity, for reasonable hotel rates, for being environmentally friendly, as a retirement destination, for being mannerly, for "having it all", for being wired, for being enlightened, for being safe, for its Farmer's Market, for being a great place for 20-somethings, as a canoe town, and as a travel getaway.
Whew! (exhaling forcefully...)
Well, there you have it. Hey, I feel warmer already! The list strikes me as hugely supportive of the wide diversity of lifestyles, philosophies, tastes and preferences representative of Madison and its residents. And I guess I find that refreshing and appealing, regardless how many - or how often - various magazines and award committees keep telling us that! So if you or someone you know is thinking about moving to Madison WI or the Greater Madison Area, be sure to visit Lake & City Homes to search for Madison WI homes...homes that fit your lifestyle!
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Jolenta Averill, Principal
Lake & City Homes Realty