Reno’s small town advantages — and drawbacks

In Reno, want to run into someone you haven’t seen in awhile — or someone you want to impress?  Put on ratty sweats and run to the post office  or the grocery store.  It works for me every time.

Looking good? Wearing a new outfit? Hair and makeup perfect (or as perfect as it ever gets?)  You won’t see anyone you know.  Anonymity will be preserved. Do that enough and get lulled into thinking no one will see you in sweats.  Wrong!

I lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for six years. I never saw anyone I knew at the grocery store — not even the checkout clerks.  I didn’t really expect to, though.  I was single, didn’t shop as much and didn’t notice. The difference in the size and transient nature of the Washington, D.C., metro area played a huge part, too.

Reno – Sparks is large enough to offer many city amenities including great restaurants, live shows & concerts,  art museums and such, yet small enough to quickly become connected and noticed.

At the Steve Martin/Steep Canyon Ranger concert Friday night at the Grand Sierra Resort, we ran into a soccer mom I hadn’t seen in a year. A gentleman I’d met at the last Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) breakfast/networking event ended up sitting next to us.  Random. Targeted. So Reno.

Reno-Sparks offers interconnection that larger areas just don’t. The socio-economic lines blur here too.   Anyone familiar with the Six Degrees of Separation game about Kevin Bacon should know living in Reno means three degrees of separation — MAX.

If you grew  up here — or married to someone who grew up here as I did, connections are even closer.  

Skiing at Mt. Rose or teaching skiing at Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program, you may meet a firefighter and a corporate vp at either spot, and the two are likely to be friends. Whatever activity you pursue chances are, eventually, you will find you know people in common or share other activities.   

 That’s a good thing.  Just be prepared and expect to get noticed, especially  if you’re wearing those those old, oh-so-comfortable, ratty sweats.

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