Dear Bozeman... A Love Letter
I’m writing today to say, simply, I love you. No qualifiers, no “I love you, man (or bro, dude, pal, or friend).” I romantically and intimately love you. I know it’s not the cool thing these days, but it’s clear this is more than hooking up, more than netflix and chill (read: freeze). I know this feeling is real because I’ve learned to love your flaws, too. Your dark winter mornings that turn into dark winter afternoons just mean I can experience the nightlife and still get home by 7pm. The incredibly icy side streets bordered by obscenely high snow banks leading to uncontrolled intersections has made me a more religious person. The ever rising rent prices and property taxes just mean people realize how valuable you are. In all seriousness, getting to call Bozeman home makes me proud and feel incredibly fortunate.
What would this place be without the incredible landscape? Nestled in the heart of the Gallatin Valley means the Bridger Range and Hyalite Canyon give us all the best backyard in the world. The Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone Rivers create a paradise for animals and anglers alike. If you like hiking, there are endless trails inside the city and out. If you’re a skier, the backcountry surrounding southwest Montana can’t be beat; for in-bounds skiing Bridger Bowl is just down the road and Big Sky is a stunning 50 mile canyon drive away. Bozeman’s location let’s you charge hard or soak in the natural beauty from your front porch or favorite brewery.
Without amazing people, a place remains just that, a place. Space filled with interesting things to do for a time and then left without thought. Home happens when the people eclipse the location. The sense of community in Bozeman make it impossible to leave without a longing to return. Bozeman isn’t a city for me, it’s classmates, roommates, coworkers, acquaintances, and familiar faces that have woven together into easy friendships and lifelong relationships.
Bozeman has a natural relationship with Montana State University where the University supports the city as much as the city supports the school. Saturday’s during football season Bozeman is filled with Bobcat pride. The University brings in great guest speakers and hosts events open to the public. Montana State also connects Bozeman with the rest of this great state by bringing in curious minds from all reaches of Montana. Whether you’re at MSU currently, an alum, or just in Bozeman, strolling across campus on a clear day gives you views of the surrounding mountains and a taste of historic architecture before blending into the classic homes of the nearby downtown neighborhoods.
Since 1993 Montana Gift Corral has been extremely thankful to call 237 East Main Street in downtown Bozeman home. We have some of the best neighbors you could ask for in all directions. We’ve seen downtown grow and become the nucleus of culture and entertainment for Bozeman and Montana. We love that you can grab an inexpensive bite and craft pint and, with just a few more steps, find fine dining and expertly-mixed cocktails. The marquees of The Ellen and Rialto showcase how important the arts have always been to this community. Downtown Bozeman, under the glow of the Hotel Baxter’s neon lights, has gracefully carried the unique history of Montana into this new decade.
Ultimately, this letter falls woefully short of matching all of the love our amazing home of Bozeman has given us over the more than 25 years we’ve been in business.
Montana Gift Corral
Written by: Stephen McNeal