When people hear “Missouri”, they usually think of soybean fields and pickup trucks in the middle of a small farming community. For those who prefer an urban life over camouflage jackets and cowboy boots, Columbia provides a nice taste of both. The enchanting brick buildings and beatnik shops downtown provide an outlet for sophomore Piper Page to release her inner city girl.
“Downtown is special to me because it’s different from the rest of Columbia,” Page said. “Whereas Columbia itself is changing and moving quickly, downtown as always seemed to just be there.”
Page has always been fond of the ambiance of downtown. The unchanging cental with restaurants on every corner and boutiques with posh signs are reassuring constants she loves to see.
“I want to come back from college and see the town I know,” Page said. “The business of the life down there comforts me.”
Another reason Page treasures downtown is for its generally liberal sentiments and loud opinions. Page remembers one time that she and her friends were walking on Stephen’s College campus. When they decided to get something to eat at Jimmy John’s, there was a Black Lives Matter protest going on outside.
“Two of my friends went out to join them and I guess this memory is so prominent in my memory because the scene of fifty people or more united about that topic,” Page said. “Even if that’s not that many [people], it was a pleasure to see that kind of thing happen. It was like it was straight out of a movie scene.”
Between the protests and the coffee shops, Page found herself a perfect place in the middle of Missouri.
“My favorite place to go downtown is probably any of the campuses or that little alley with the lights hanging above because it’s just so cute and photogenic,” Page said. “And of course, as any good citizen of Columbia should love — Hot Box [Cookies], because Hot Box.”