In the past 3.5 weeks, this is what I’ve learned about Weirton:
*I live “up the hill.” Apparently there is one hill in town and you either live up the hill or down the hill. Living “up the hill” is supposedly a good thing… when I tell people that I live “up the hill,” I hear, “ooooh, it’s nice up there!” ummm, okay. I guess. I haven’t yet figured out what’s so undesirable about living down the hill… but when I find out, I’ll let you know. Since I live “up the hill,” I’m suddenly very grateful for my 4-wheel drive vehicle (I’ve spent the past 3 years wondering WHY I needed a 4×4, and now I know!).
*There are two Krogers (grocery stores) in Weirton. One is near the highway, where the “nice,” newer shopping/restaurant area appears to be… in that area, you’ll also find a Wal-Mart, Big K, several dollar stores, Blockbuster, Ponderosa, and McDonald’s, among other things thrown in various shopping centers. The OTHER Kroger is downtown on Main Street… also known around town as “The Ghetto Kroger.” I’m serious. That’s what people call it. Nick took me to the Ghetto Kroger for my first grocery shopping experience a couple of weeks ago… now, I had SEEN the nice, new Kroger across town the day before, and when he pulled into the parking lot of the Ghetto Kroger, I looked at him like “are you kidding me? you want me to SHOP in there? for food?? that we’re going to EAT??” Yep, it’s a pretty scary place. I can say that I’ve experienced the Ghetto Kroger, and I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon.
*All of the main roads in Weirton appear to go in a big circle. The hill that I live on appears to be at the “top” of this circle. This means it’s virtually impossible to get lost in this town (at least it is if you live “up the hill”). Driving around in circles is fun. Trust me, I know.
*There are two playgrounds in Weirton. I found both of them a few days ago… it was a happy day! Both playgrounds are located next to the two community pools in town, too. How convenient. I’m making mental notes, just in case the weather ever warms up enough to use a playground or a pool (I’m seriously doubting that second one!).
*There is a bar on every corner in Weirton. I’m not exaggerating, I swear… EVERY corner. We have Big Al’s, Memories, Legends, Pirate’s Cove, The Oasis, Carmen’s Fireside, etc, etc. They’re everywhere… but the funny thing is… at any given time, you’ll only find one or two cars at each place. I’m thinking it would make more sense to build one, big, nice club in town… and if everyone went to the same place, there would actually be other people there to socialize with. Imagine that!
*I also learned (from the man across the street) that any restaurant/bar in town that has “cafe” on the sign after its name is a gambling spot… with video poker machines or something like that. Apparently these are super-duper popular in this neck o’ the woods, and that’s why there’s a bar, or cafe, on every corner. Huh. Interesting. Making a mental note to stay away from the cafes…
I’m sure I’ve probably learned more than that in 3.5 weeks, but I’m drawing a blank now…
Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way around town, learning the lingo (up the hill, Ghetto Kroger, cafe, etc.), and adjusting to my new place in the world. I can’t say it feels anything like “home” yet, but maybe in time… anything’s possible, I suppose!