Why Fayetteville Rules (from an expat)

My husband and I relocated to Houston a year ago for his job. After a year here, I am still trying to figure this place out, find my niche and most importantly, find a good pizza place.

Let me be clear here, I don’t want to be one of those people who bashes her new home town, especially because it was our choice to move here. Nothing irked me more than living in Fayetteville and hearing some newbie to the area tell me how much Fayetteville sucked. I find this offensive and lazy. Sure it’s hard to meet new people and maybe Cincinnati was so much better but lay off the hating, OK?

New towns take some work. You need to try out a lot of sub-par restaurants before you find your new favorites, friends don’t magically show up on your doorstep with your favorite beer for the Razorback games, and memories are created by both the terrible and wonderful experiences.

I read the Flyer daily and damn near drive myself crazy with how much I think Fayetteville Rules.

Fayetteville, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

1. Impassioned locals – Of all of Northwest Arkansas, I can think of no other town (and I was raised in Rogers) whose citizens get so involved. Goat cheese sales on the square, noise ordinances, the smoking ban, Fayetteville High School, BBBBBBQ, the Mountain Inn, mayoral candidates, the safety of Dickson after dark, paid parking and so on. Fayetteville has an opinion and I love it. More importantly, the citizens act on it and passionately.

2. Characters – USA Network should do an advert about Fayetteville. When I moved away, I couldn’t believe how much I missed the characters. You know them, you’ve walked by them, and you’ve talked or debated or bitched about them. I’m talking about the punk rock church kids, the guy who played the sink in front of Common Grounds, the lady who would not get out of that tree, Adam Fire Cat and his hearse-driving pal Chester, and all those drum circle guys and gals providing a little rhythm to Dickson Street. Let’s not forget the mayor who will probably “like” this post, Bubba Hogg and the ever present Church of Buzzkill holding their signs up to all of us sinners on the weekend. My personal favorite sign is “The Party Ends in Hell.”

3. Dining – Yes, eating in Fayetteville (and a few other choice spots in NWA) is one of the things I miss the most. Like I said, I live in Houston with its eleventy billion restaurants, but trying to find a decent pizza place around here is laughable. Fayetteville is pizza rich. I’m convinced my fortune lies in the opening of a Tim’s, Damgoode, Cable Car, Gusano’s or Mellow Mushroom Houston. I miss my Bleu Moon Burger, my Chick’s plate, my Pesto Pasta and my Cheebacca. Big love to the Monte Ne Chicken Inn in Rogers for being the best family style anywhere.

4. The Fall – I will always remember a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine who was living in the Midwest at the time. I was walking to class, the weather was perfect, the first game of the season was approaching, the leaves were just starting to change, and a random student was playing his violin for all of us. We were on the phone and she was telling me she lived in Mordor, as I looked around I realized we lived in the Shire. Nerdy? Yes, but delightful all the same. Which brings me to…

5. Razorback football – Forget about it. This is the great love shared by Fayetteville. I challenge anyone who has moved away not to get a little nostalgic about Razorback game days. You can feel it in the air. I love walking down Maple to the stadium and seeing all that cardinal and white going in the same direction. Dads carrying daughters in tiny Razorback cheerleading uniforms. Tailgating in the pit. Boys getting in the front of the line as the Razorbacks make their way to the field. I love that the Greek system doozy up their houses. All the Hog gear on the cars, the marquees all over town and the game on TV or radio wherever you go. Thank you DirecTV for the GamePass so all of us expats can call the Hogs wherever we may have landed. P.S. This weirds people out big-time in other cities.

There is so much to love about Fayetteville and I know most of you have your own loves (and of course, the opposite). So I ask you – all of you lucky enough to still be in my beloved home – what do you love about Fayetteville?