I’ve probably lived in major metropolitan areas for too long because I always feel a little bit strange when I go to smaller towns in areas like the Midwest or the South, where it’s almost the norm to never see areas full of people walking and getting to places. Most people will drive, few people walk anywhere unless it’s from their car to a store front or office. Even in what was supposed to be the entertainment district by Riverfront Park in Montgomery, there were very few people on a Friday night. At 6pm on a Friday night in downtown Montgomery, we were the only two people walking its streets.
A friend of mine who is from Arkansas spent most of the last year in the Bay Area and has just come back to Little Rock. She said she also experienced a bit of a shock when she came back to Arkansas to wander around its streets and malls to find just a handful of people walking here and there. It became normal to her when she was living in the San Jose area to see hoards of people everywhere. But it wasn’t that normal before that.
The funniest thing about our visit to Montgomery was that the one time we saw a lot of people that entire weekend was actually at the Montgomery Center for the Performing Arts, where the center was divided into two sections: one half was a gun and hunting show; the other half was a five-hour-long evangelical Christian Sunday service. People were happily shuffling between the two and making conversation with everyone around them. Talk about a culture shock.