When I travel, it is compulsary that people I meet on the road would ask the obligatory travel question: “Where are you from?” To which I would mumble, “Reno-Tahoe” as though I had suddenly taken residence at the airport. I always feel that by stammering “Tahoe” at the end would somehow elevate the image of my community, and with it, my own coolness factor.
When I moved here a decade ago from the big hustle and bustle of Manila, the culture shock was immense. I mean, what does one do around here? The casinos and the transients they attract make up for a less than attractive entertainment scene for my taste. We are on the map for a number of things already – the divorce capital at one point, the national bowling championships, rodeos. The problem is I do not identify with any of those.
But then the same time I was assimilating, the community was undergoing its own catharsis right before my very eyes, too. I was learning how to ski. The Reno farm-to-table dining scene is sprouting. I was hiking more miles in one summer than all my previous twenty-something years combined. The local grassroots movement is gaining momentum and is on the cusp of going viral. I invested in a mountain bike. Reno is showing up in Travel and Leisure lists, Esquire, and the New York Times.
It is rather special to witness a community go through such a drastic transfiguration in just a matter of years. And although I am not one of the masterminds behind this gentrification, I feel proud that I am part of it as a loyal patron. Just like the young, brilliant, educated, well-traveled, athletic, outdoorsy folks who live in our town, we do not identify with the casino scene. And this is my attempt to contribute to show off our version of Reno, to put us on the map for something RAD. Something GOOD.
Out here the sky is almost always infinitely blue, the mountains are everywhere, the air is crisp and fresh, the Truckee River is an amazing slice of nature right downtown, the local food and coffee is great, and people are uncomplicated.
This place is a stunning example of people – small business owners, farmers, artists - taking it upon themselves to demand and build a place that thrives on community, sharing, and making something beautiful where it did not exist before.
And that I can stand up behind.
My name is Trish and I’m from Reno, Nevada.
where to eat in reno
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