Columbia (2)

The Mall in Columbia, also known as the Columbia Mall, is the central shopping area for the city and the area around it. It has over two hundred specialty stores that include AMC Theatres, Main Event Entertainment, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. Among the restaurants are PF Chang’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and The Cheesecake Factory.

Columbia, like its better-known sister-city, the District of Columbia (Washington), is named for Christopher Columbus, the Italian seaman who discovered the American continents. His Italian name was Cristoforo Colombo which he changed to Cristobal Colón when he decided to become a Spaniard. So here I am, a linguist comfortable in both Italian and Spanish, living in a city named after a man who claimed both nationalities.

The enduring attribute of the city of Columbia is its quiet beauty. Everywhere you look you see trees and bushes in their natural state. When it snows, as it has recently, the landscape becomes a welter of white twigs, limbs, and branches, a silvered web fading into a blank background. At the height of summer, it is a study in possible shades of green.

It is my inestimable good fortune to reside here. As long as I have a choice, I’ll stay.

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