My husband and I reside in the great city some lovingly call “The Little Apple.” In all actuality, most call it Manhappenin’ or Manhappiness, but to outsiders, it’s the Little Apple, in reference, of course, to the Big Apple, Manhattan, New York. From the statistics I can find, Manhattan’s population is about 60-65,000 people. Manhattan, Kansas, that is. But this is the population only during 8 1/2 to 9 months out of the year because of the overwhelmingly presence of Kansas State University right in the heart of the city. Every year, about mid-May, 18-20,000 students migrate elsewhere for the summer or for good, leaving this small city a bit of a ghost town. For some, namely those trying to keep their businesses thriving, this migration is the pain in the booty. But for most, like myself, it’s a welcome treat.
I put in my four years at the great K-State, and never spent a summer here in town. I was always gallivanting across the world, experiencing it while I could. Last summer, however, because I had a full-time job for once and was engaged and planning a wedding, I stuck around town and loved experiencing the difference in environment. Here are a few examples of how summer differs from the rest of the year:
- Usually it takes me ten minutes to get to work, now it takes me three
- I don’t have any trouble finding a table at my favorite coffee shop, Bluestem Bistro
- There’s no waiting involved in getting a table at the wonderfully awesome So Long Saloon, to enjoy a pineapple beer and the Red Hot Chicken sandwich
- For those that like to walk, jog or take runs around City Park, you won’t be vying for room on the path with all those disgustingly in shape and fit college students
- Plans are made much easier with friends, as most are not swamped with projects, tests and keeping up with their jobs
- I can fall asleep with my windows open, as the sounds of Aggieville have dimmed from their usual chaos on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
All in all, summer offers a quieter, more laid back atmosphere here in the Little Apple. I wonder what summer is like in the Big Apple. . .