Friday, April 23, 2010

Small Town Life

If Independence, Kansas, is any guide, the idea that small towns or rural areas are behind the times is largely mythological.

I’m staying in the Apple Tree Inn. It has had wireless internet for the last five years, and it moves along smartly; certainly comparable to the speed I’m used to in Miami over AT&T DSL. Not only that, it’s free, as compared to the $10 a day that I paid when I was in Los Angeles in 2008.

Independence Community College, where the Inge Festival takes place, has free and unrestricted wifi throughout the academic buildings — I’m writing this from a carrel in the library — and it too moves along as fast as anything I’ve seen at any public facility in a big city. Now it may be that it’s fast because there aren’t as many people using it as in, say, Miami, but just the fact that ICC has it proves that you don’t need a Starbucks on the corner to keep up with the times.