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Couple: Covington is as Close to Magic as You Can Get

The following op-ed is written by Cole Imperi, who lives in Mainstrasse Village with her husband, Victor.
 
Victor and I are both receiving a neighborhood leadership award from the Center for Great Neighborhoods, an organization that has directly impacted our lives through our house as well as through the community initiatives that they are behind. Victor and I both feel gratitude towards CGN for what they have done and are continuing to do and we wanted to express the pride we have for our home.
 
My life has become more vibrant than ever before, and that, I owe to this special place in the world called Covington, KY.
 
Both my husband and I were very intentional about choosing to move to Mainstrasse Village. We first saw our house when it was an absolute terror and waited two years to be able to buy it and move in while the City of Covington and Center For Great Neighborhoods completed the rehab work on our home, which is now a very happy and vibrant place.
 
There are few places in the world that I think I could really feel a part of like I do in Covington. I have what would be considered by some to be a weird job working in both death care and yoga. The thing about Covington is that I have met more people here with way cooler jobs and aspirations than I have. I have seen more projects and accessible opportunities for growth than anywhere else I have lived. If I want to talk to my mayor, I can. If I want to help polish up a playground, I can. If I want to go to Left Bank Coffeehouse to work for a few hours, I can, but I won't get any work done because I'll see a constant stream of friends and acquaintances walk in the door.
 
I know that many Covington residents have been here their whole lives and don't necessarily see what I see as a transplant. Covington is about as close to magic as you can get. If you don't believe in magic, at the very least you might agree that Covington is interesting. I have collected quite a few stories in my eighteen months as a resident already... I have seen some shit!
 
We have an amazing culture here. We are not flamboyant. We are intentional and we have great self-awareness. How many times have I seen unrelated things sprout up separately only to come together as if it were perfectly planned? I have lost count. We do not have a rigid structure, our edges are fuzzy in a good way and we are beautiful because of it. These are some of the gifts of a living, moving, breathing, changing culture. We have found and filled our own space. We are Covington. I am Covington.
 
I have been very lucky in my life so far to have been able to travel, study, live, work and spend time in other parts of the country and the world. 
 
And, I intend to build my life here in Covington over a lifetime.
 
I would like to encourage more expression of pride in this city. You live in Covington. You are Covington. We have a lot to be proud of. Your pride will inspire others, and soon we will all find ourselves with even more to be proud of. 
 
At the very least, consider this: 
There is no perfect city, no perfect place. But there is the place you already are. Each of us has a responsibility and an opportunity to make Covington what it can be. 
 
My husband has always said that nobody ends up in Covington by accident, and I have to agree. Everyone has a place here. 
 

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Photo: Cole & Victor Imperi (by Lauren Wolf/provided)