Like many cities in this part of the country, Manhattan doesn’t get much attention. I was guilty of ignoring it for sure. Before visiting this region last fall, (which reminds me, I need to do that museum recap) I had only seen the highway exit leading to Manhattan rush by during a road trip to Denver, Colorado. If Kansas City is considered a “flyover” city, Manhattan is a “drive-by” city. However, much like my hometown, that perception is false and changing for good reason.
There’s great restaurants, local coffee and donuts, an awesome library, a used book store, and more events on campus than you could reasonably attend. There’s very little here that I’m missing and anything I can’t live without (Trader Joe’s, the impending IKEA) is just a short drive away.
Everyone seems friendly and welcoming and the campus gives off a fun, buzzy energy. Temporarily staying in a dorm apartment has provided an endless source of free entertainment. 🙂 I also spotted K-State alum Eric Stonestreet a couple of weeks ago (Yes, I waved. Yes, he waved back. Yes, I’m a dork.) so that’s a plus.
Another highlight is being near the Flint Hills. As I transition to living here full-time, I’m making lots of jaunts up and down I-70 and the surroundings are stunningly beautiful. During one recent trip to Kansas City, I watched the sun set over the hills from a scenic overlook. On the evening drive back to Manhattan, I briefly stopped on the side of the road to gaze at the dark night sky completely full of stars. You just can’t see stuff like that in the city.
Our first weekend here, The Roommate and I went to the biennial visitor’s day at the Konza Prairie, a tallgrass preserve jointly owned by Kansas State University and The Nature Conservancy housing a 3,400-acre biological research station. During the visitor’s day you could see bison, tour research stations via hayride, explore a former homestead, and learn about local plants, insects and animals. It was amazing!
So far, I’ve discovered many unexpected delights and I look forward to even more.