The following is a guest post from Meredith Topalanchik with our PR agency, Cooper Katz.
One of my best friends and her family moved to Bentonville, Arkansas a few years ago. Since then, I have visited them a handful of times, including part of the recent holiday.
My friend and I are from the same hometown – a small town in Central Pennsylvania. We are “cut from the same cloth” as my grandmother would say and we have stayed close over the years. While my path led me to Manhattan where I have lived in the tri-state area and worked in public relations for nearly 15 years, hers brought her to Arkansas with her family including a husband, three beautiful children and most recently a new puppy.
Of course Bentonville is best known for the Walton family and Wal-Mart. This brick and mortar powerhouse has brought enormous expansion to the area and you can feel that energy as soon as you land at Northwest Arkansas airport.
Having worked with Coldwell banker now for going on seven years, supporting all different aspects of public relations and communications, I can’t help but perk up when I see a local Coldwell Banker office when we drive around the Bentonville area. I immediately chirp — “Hey look…Coldwell Banker!” And I remind my friend that I work with the company, which of course I know she already knows. Each time I visit, I notice Coldwell Banker Harris Mchaney & Faucette and the many yards signs and tons of new homes being built in the area. I love thinking about all of the families that will be moving into the homes and carving out their lives in this quaint part of Arkansas. I can literally see the American Dream taking place.
I also marvel at the size of my friend’s 5-bed 3-bathroom home, considering my Manhattan apartment could fit in her living room. But that’s a whole other blog post!
I spent this New Year’s watching my favorite city ring in 2014 as only New York City can, but this year, from the comfort of my friend’s couch in Bentonville. You might ask why would I swap the excitement of NYC on New Year’s for a quieter hamlet?
The reality is, I look forward to trading in skyscrapers for stargazing even if only for a short time. I can’t deny the calm that comes over me when I see a pasture full of cows or the wonder I feel when I can see actual constellations which have a chance to shine brighter against the dark night sky not having to compete with Times Square. Just like going back to my hometown in Pennsylvania, visiting the Northwest Arkansas area always allows me to tap back into an important part of myself and RECHARGE. After I’m sufficiently reenergized, I’m ready to plug back into the most supercharged city in the world.
On my way back today I experienced the common excited butterflies right before I land at La Guardia airport when I know that I’m almost home. The family sitting in front of me is excited to see NYC for the first, time, go to a Broadway show and take in the sights and sounds of my town now. Maybe they are looking for a recharge too.