A Journal-World survey shows many people like Lawrence for its academic atmosphere.
It seems like such a simple answer.
But it's the one many people give when asked for the best reason to live in Lawrence: Kansas University.
KU was the top response given for that question in the Journal-World's Best of Lawrence survey.
More than 400 Journal-World readers took part in the second annual survey this fall, sharing their top picks on everything from restaurants to movie theaters to local music groups.
The top five answers the survey respondents gave for living in town included the people, the cultures, the small town atmosphere and Lawrence's downtown.
But KU was cited most often as the reason to live in Lawrence.
Having a university in the town where you live provides an academic atmosphere that most communities don't share, says Brenda Groskinsky, 25106 Chieftain Rd.
"It also brings sports-related activity, but I'd say academics is the main reason," Groskinsky said.
Groskinsky, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City, Kan., said her husband is a Kansas native who works for the U.S. Geological Survey in Lawrence. She said they compromised on staying in Lawrence because of the academic atmosphere offered by a university town.
"It provides a lot of resources for the school district. They have a better library system and there are lots of resources that are available through a university that you wouldn't normally get through any regular municipal public services," she said.
A college town such as Lawrence also brings in a lot of educated people, she said.
"University people tend to be a little more aware of world affairs and they bring in more cultural diversity to the community," Groskinsky said.
The following are people's comments that placed first in other categories under the heading "Around Town."
@briefhed:Best advice about Lawrence:
Avoid 23rd and Iowa streets.
@sc: "It's just hard to get in and out of the businesses there, and the lights are really way too long," said Jeff Miller, 448 Grandview Ter. No. 2, a chef at a local restaurant. "You can get stuck there for a long time. And it's not very scenic."
@briefhed:Best reason to go downtown:
@sc: "I think that when you have individually owned stores, the kinds of things that you get are more unique," said Suzanne Epperson, 117 Fla. "They are of better quality. I would like to see downtown Lawrence survive. It's important for me to shop downtown to support the individual businesses that we have and to keep the small town flavor. There are a lot of places in the country whose downtowns have died. There's an atmosphere about downtown. There's a community. It's what I like about the Lawrence."
@briefhed:Best place to eat a brown-bag lunch:
@sc: "I think South Park is beautiful. It's a real nice place to walk to. It's a real nice entrance to Lawrence from the south," said Patti Hackney, 1830 Barker. "I'm sorry we lost a lot of trees this summer, but it's still a real peaceful place."
@briefhed:Best bumper sticker:
My kid can beat up your honor roll student (or something similar)
@sc: "We had a little collaboration on that one," said Carol Broman, 1112 Somerset Cir. "My daughter had noticed that one. We kind of enjoyed it because it was a contrast to "My child is an honor roll student."
@briefhed:Best place to take out-of-towners:
@sc: "It's good to show them the university, the history museum and the art museum up there," said Ronald Dalquest, rural Lawrence. "It's a beautiful campus. We took a friend of my wife's from Montgomery, Ala., up there to show her the university on Friday."
@briefhed:Best romantic spot:
@sc: "I think I chose that spot because in visiting with friends, I found all of my female friends who have husbands who aren't romantic like to go there to get them to become romantic," said Nadine Hyde, 4105 Wimbledon, who has lived in Lawrence for six years.
@briefhed:Best day trip:
@sc: "There's a multitude of things you can do in Kansas City," said Brian McFall, 2720 Lockridge Dr. "One of the really nice things about Lawrence is you can be in Kansas City in an hour or so, whether it be to the Royals or to the Plaza or to a restaurant. There's a number of things. I guess being able to have the small town things here in Lawrence and the big city an hour a way makes it a good day trip."
@briefhed:Best road for biking:
Kansas River levee.
@sc: "It's real relaxing and I love looking at the river. It's real pretty scenery," said Marin Green, 2207 Ohio. "I start around the bridge and I head west. I just do it for fun during my free time."