Tuesday, December 10, 2013

13 things to know when moving to Columbia

    Seems that for those folks moving to Columbia it can be somewhat of a culture shock.  A planned community has many characteristics and idiosyncrasies that can be confusing.  So I thought I would write a primer for those new residents.  Here are 13 helpful realities of our community.

1) Somehow we think it is cute to have weird street names.  Pity the poor folks who live on Possum Path and Sharp Antler.
2) We have the second highest median income for counties in the United States.  Don't be shocked at what little house you get for under $400,000.
3) Old time Columbians can be recognized  when they complain that nothing is the same since Mrs. Z's and Produce Galore disappeared.
4) We are a split community located between DC and Baltimore.  Half of us follow the Ravens and half follow the Redskins.  Same with subscribing to the Post or the Sun.  Mixed families subscribe to both.  Mixed football families are more complicated.
5) Our downtown doesn't have a "there" there.   We have a mall, a park and a nice little lake but we still are trying to figure out how to be more than a run of the mill suburb.
6) Choose Civility is our town's mantra.  Even our politicians are polite and many times like and work with each other.  Our politics range from liberal to moderate, even among our Republicans.
7) We are a good place to date if you want to marry a physicist or a social worker.  In fact many marriages here are between a physicist and a social worker.
8) Yes you can't paint your house a unique color.  The Architectural Committee police will find you.  Property values rule over individuality.
9) Because we don't like signs it may take you a while to find a gas station or a fast food joint.
10) No one in Columbia buys their gas here unless our car's gas light comes on.   And then we only get enough gas to get us to a Route 1 gas station.
11) If you have small kids the words "tot lot" will quickly be part of your everyday vocabulary.
12) We have a local "tax" called a CPRA "fee" that you can't deduct on taxes.  This fee funds the Columbia Association that may resemble a local government in the services it provides.  We don't have a mayor.
13) The boundaries of Columbia are very unclear.  You can live in Columbia proper but have an Ellicott City, Savage or Clarksville mailing address.  Given the property values in Clarksville it is only surprising that some of our neighborhoods in western Columbia haven't tried to change their name to East Clarksville.


1 comment:

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