What do you wish was more on Akronites’ radar? The planet. They should pay more attention to the environment. It’s cliché, but it’s the first thing that shocked me when I arrived. Everything is so far apart, and there are so many cars—and the public transportation system is really not that good. What is your favorite local cultural asset? Maybe it’s kind of dumb, but I like Walmart. We don’t have such huge stores in France. My roommate told me it’s open twenty-four hours, and that’s crazy to me.
When did you fall for Akron? I think that if I’m attached to Akron it is thanks to the people I met. A city can be the most wonderful in the world, but when you’re alone, it’s boring. Here, I meet people and discover the city at the same time—it’s very different from my French one. So every week I try to explore this town differently.
Where in Akron do you like to escape? Near South Hall there’s a big parking deck with a beautiful view. I like the sunrise, the sunshine, the sunset. Every time I can, I try to watch the sunset. You see a huge part of Akron with all the buildings and it’s really beautiful. I can’t explain why.
Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? I like Wendy’s because they make burgers like you’d make them at home—like mum’s burgers, you know? I know it’s fast food, but America is the dream.
How do you hope Akron will be different in five years? I’d like to have more stores in the middle of the city—like a city center—so you don’t have to take a car way out to the mall. It would bring a new life in to center of the city. Two days ago, I went downtown and the streets were empty. Everybody was in cars driving past. I didn’t meet a lot of walkers.
Name: Joseph Paolucci
Current neighborhood: North Hill
What do you wish was more on Akronites’ radar?
The Nightlight Cinema is a non-profit theater located on N High Street in downtown Akron. This little theater showcases wonderful films that you’ve never heard of, and classics that you love to re-watch. Its cozy seating and delightful atmosphere add greatly to the movie-going experience.
What is your favorite local cultural asset?
Being from North Hill, it would be a sin if I didn’t mention the spaghetti dinners hosted every Thursday night by the Italian Center on Tallmadge Avenue. This is a window into the Italian immigrant roots that North Hill has, not to mention some of the best pasta you’ll eat in your life!
When did you fall for Akron?
I think I really fell for Akron during my junior year of high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary. Though I’ve lived here my whole life, this was the first year that I had a car and a driver’s license to myself. I was able to explore the city and its treasures independently for the first time, and I fell in love with it.
Where in Akron do you like to escape?
The Metro Parks are some of my favorite places to get away from it all. From The Gorge to Sand Run, you can find some of the most beautiful scenery our state has to offer.
Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant?
Everyone should try Mr. Zub’s Deli because each time you go, the experience is different and wonderful. The food is spectacular and the atmosphere is unforgettable. Mr. Zub’s Deli serves up a true portion of the Akron experience and is a microcosm of the city.
How do you hope Akron will be different in 5 years?
I hope to see Akron continue in the direction of cultural, economic, and artistic growth in which it is currently headed. With such growth, however, I also hope that Akron maintains its current underdog and something-to-prove mentality. It’s what makes us, as Akronites, who we are.