Tom and I moved to Madison from Chicago about seven years ago. For as close as we had been before heading up here, we actually knew little about the city. Sure, we had heard the jokes about the "People's Republic of Madison" and "77 square miles surrounded by reality." But one visit to see how strikingly beautiful, fun and vibrant the city is turned out to be all we needed to know that we wanted to move here.
We quickly figured out once here that the local population has some interesting traits. The locals are really friendly. They are (no surprise) liberal and progressive thinkers (perhaps to a fault sometimes). People here, for the most part, are very active and healthy compared to the rest of the state (and country). And people here seem to be pretty smart.
On that last point, the numbers back it up.
(Reuters) - Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States and New York is the financial hub but Madison, Wisconsin gets the highest marks as the most educated American city.
The midwestern metropolis, which Men's Health magazine described as the city "where the average household has more degrees than a thermometer" edged past Plano, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina to score the highest grades in magazine's ranking of the 100 cities with the best educated population.
"It is all about education there," said David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health and editorial director of Women's Health, about Madison.
At times, people in other parts of the state -- and even our own governor -- complain about Madison and deride its citizens... often without the ability to back up their criticism. Reminds me of how the jocks and stoners made fun of the geeks in high school. Then, as now, I'm happy to be on the side of the geeks.
Well done, people of Madison!