I'm from a small city burrowed deep in the Central Valley of Northern California. You can drive at least two hours in any given direction, and you'll eventually run into the beach, the mountains, the woods, or the hills. Some people call this city, "Mudville", others refer to it as "the 209", but if you happen to search for it on a map, you'll find it officially listed as Stockton.
Growing up in Stockton, CA was probably similar to growing up in any other suburban-type town. As a child, you went to school, you came home, you grabbed a snack, you did your homework, and then you begged your mom to let you play outside with the neighborhood kids. There wasn't much to do in my city, but there were quite a few things that made living here very memorable as I was growing up. I'll never forget the memorable trips to Golfland, where you could ride down watersides and play miniature golf at the same time, or visits to Hammerskate, where EVERYONE came from all over the city, on Friday and Saturday nights, just to eat Nachos and skate with that boy or girl they liked...the joys of being a child.
I'm an adult now, so it's obvious that many years have passed, and things have changed since then. However, I still try to find the good in my city. A lot of people have deemed Stockton as boring and uneventful, but I still find fulfillment in tasting intriguing dishes at the Asparagus Festival, as well as finding cheap deals at the local Flea Markets. When I'm in the mood for something a little less "adventurous", I stroll around the Waterfront of the cool, calm, San Joaquin River Delta, or catch a "matinee" showing at our local Downtown movie theatre.
Some things that never get old, though, is our vibrant love for culture. Thanks to the diversity of my Stockton, I get to experience foods from various countries. I know exactly where to go if I want a Mexican Torta, a Filipino Pancit noodle dish, or a Greek gyro, and while I'm at it, i can't forget the delicious fruit...