TYLER, TEXAS BY A LOCAL
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Today we are going to talk with Valentina Corino, blogger of Parole Sparse.
She is going to tell us about Tyler, Texas.
TYLER, TEXAS BY A LOCAL
Hi, Valentina! What city are you going to tell us about?
Hello everyone! First of all, let me thank Selene for the opportunity to introduce you to Tyler and my beloved Texas. I arrived here in 2013; 5 years have already passed! I must be honest, never in my mind would have thought that one day I would talk about the Texas talking about home. Instead, as soon as it arrived, it was love at first sight.
Is it the city where you are living right now?
In January 2013 I joined my (Italian) husband here in Tyler. He was already here since 2009. Tyler is a town of about 100,000 inhabitants, 200 kilometers east of Dallas. It is surrounded by greenery, in an area rich in woods and forests. A Texas far from the one most commonly found in the imagination of most: with more deserted landscapes, high oil wells (even if the wells there are eheheh) ….
How would you describe Tyler, Texas to someone who has never been there?
Tyler, is a “young” town, at least in the eyes of an Italian. Founded in the not too distant 1846, the year in which the independent republic of Texas joined the United States, owes its name to President John Tyler, who had been politically critical to the annexation.
In recent years, Tyler, but in general Texas, is having a positive period. The city is developing and growing. Certainly not having a historic center where you can walk, not being able to admire the artistic and architectural beauties we are used to in Italy is often a sacrifice. At the same time, however, being able to live this desire, almost frenzy, to grow, to evolve is exciting. The great Texas spaces give a great sense of freedom and fill with positive energy and desire to create.
However, we are in the famous “bible belt“, in a place where the culture of South merges with that of Texana. Where conservatives mix with people with great openness. Trying to understand, respecting things that are sometimes difficult to understand is not always easy, but the Texans are special, friendly as few others.
What is your favourite place in Tyler, Texas?
My favorite place is the Tyler junior college campus. The college I attended just arrived here. It is a beautiful green oasis in the city. It is a typical American campus with buildings connected by tree-lined avenues and green lawns where students stop to read a book, play frisbee or other things like that. But for me it is a place of the heart also because it gave me so much. Studying here was a challenge, which I did not think I would be able to overcome. Instead, in the spring of 2016 I had my diploma ceremony, typical American “like in the movies”, with touch and toga. Actually, I’m so tied to this place that they can not get rid of me and now I work here LOL
What is the one thing you think can’t be missed when you are visiting Tyler?
Tyler has a delightful little museum, Tyler Museum of Art. A small and collected exhibition space, which often offers high-level exhibitions. Like many other small Texan towns, Tyler has a vibrant artistic community. There are many artists, musicians who animate these small cities. Many cities have small art galleries that give space to these artists: they will amaze you! If you come to Tyler, go from the Main Street Gallery to downtown. Sometimes many think only of country music or things like that but if you happen to come here you will be amazed. Look for some places to listen to live music or if you happen to participate in festivals that organize in big cities like Austin.
If you come in the spring, do not miss out on a walk through the historic district, where you will see an explosion of color and scents with blooming azaleas in the gardens of the houses.
What is your favourite thing to do in Tyler when you have some time off?
In the city there are many parks full of greenery where you can pleasantly spend some time walking. I also like very much walking through the streets of the historic district; I confess sometimes trying to peek and steal some glimpse from the windows of the beautiful homes that are there.
But when it starts to get too hot to walk (or overcome laziness) I like to get in the car and drive aimlessly through the roads surrounding Tyler. Even without going too far, it is often possible to discover country roads that offer beautiful views.
What is your favourite restaurant?
I know it will seem trivial but the choice can only fall on a BBQ. Here at Tyler we have one of the best state BBQs, Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. I recommend their brisket, but they are famous for their ribs. Arrived in time, every day the meat is snapped up, because if it ends up there is only return the next day.
What’s your favourite place to have a beer or a cocktail?
The most famous beer in Texas is perhaps the Shiner, which you can easily find in any supermarket. In recent years, however, many small local producers have produced excellent craft beers, and in many towns you can taste these beers that are difficult to find elsewhere. At Tyler you can choose between True Vine Brewing Co and East Texas Brewing Company. Both places offer, as well as excellent beers, live music and often host local artists.
What do you recommend doing on a rainy day?
Well if it’s raining, get in the car and go to Fort Worth. Visit the Kimball Art Museum. It is not a boundless museum, but has a beautiful art collection and temporary exhibitions of great value.
What do you recommend doing for free in Tyler, Texas?
Tyler is known as “Rose City” or even as the “Rose Capital of America”. If you come you can not miss our beautiful rosetum, Tyler Rose Garden, the largest urban garden dedicated to roses throughout the United States: 500 and more varieties of roses and more than 30000 rose bushes.
Anything else you think we should know?
Tyler and East Texas are often out of the road classics on the road by which you visit this beautiful state. But add this stage to your trip! We are waiting for you!
Thank you Valentina for showing us Tyler, Texas through your eyes.
If you, readers, would like to keep in touch with Valentina here you have her social accounts! I am sure you are going to enjoy her beautiful blog and her stories about expat life!
This was Tyler, Texas by a local, if you liked it you will find more interviews on #USAByALocal every last day of the month!
If you’d like to tell about your city, your neighborhood or your State, please write to me filling the form at the contacts page or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be much than happy to have you on board!