Spend five minutes trawling through the posts and comments on any of the Orange-based community Facebook pages and you’ll be left with the overriding impression this is a city in dire need.
We need another police station. We need more parking. We need more options for entertainment.
Invariably, someone will lodge a remark about how much better things are in Sydney and, in some regards, it’s easy to look at what our state capital boasts and wonder why we’re “missing out”.
But when you step back and take a look around, Orange is actually a pretty good place to live.
Most people would be able to find a home within their budget without having to sell a kidney, and even though the summers can be stinkers and the winters bitter, there’s those few months of spring and autumn that are absolute magic.
Sydney doesn’t get four seasons, it’s just cool and smoggy then humid and smoggy, with the occasional burning of the mountains to vary the colour of the sky.
Yes, they’ve got an extensive public transport system, but many ignore it, which defies belief. Who’d willingly brave the gridlock on Parramatta Road if they didn’t have to?
“But what about the great restaurants?” some cry. Do you mean the expensive hipster ones that serve cauliflower, chickpea and almond fritters (seriously) alongside deconstructed mochas? Or the ones that serve Orange produce up at greatly inflated prices?
I’m sure the $69 steak is delicious, but it probably tastes just as good when served at one of the many fine restaurants in the 2800 area.
Sure, we’re unlikely to see too many international acts visit town, and theatre fans still need to go to the big smoke if they want to see Anthony Warlow on stage in The Wizard of Oz, but we still get some great performers visiting our humble Orange Civic Theatre, which says nothing of the Orange Theatre Company’s outstanding productions.
While the parking can be a bit of a hassle at times, you can usually find somewhere to stow the car within a block of your destination.
And yes, there are crooks about causing trouble, but at least we don’t have the big gang problems of the major cities.
Maybe it’s time some of us realised the grass is greener on this side of the Blue Mountains.