There are two types of people in Gainesville: people who love Midtown, and people who love Downtown. The two are often mutually exclusive. (Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone who appreciates both — but don’t count on it.) For those interested in distinguishing between the two, there are some very easy ways to spot the fans of Midtown and the fans of Downtown.
Now, most college students are Midtown people. Being located so close to campus, the restaurants, bars and shops mainly cater to college students. From Gale Lemerand Drive to 13th Street, Midtown’s where it’s at for your average University of Florida student. Plus, if a student lives in Murphree Area they can just walk out of their dorm and down to Mid.
If you know someone who intentionally lived off campus, or someone who’s a permanent resident of Gainesville, then they’re more likely to be Downtown people. Downtown residency can be more expensive, so it’s a commitment. Plus, Downtown is more spread out so there’s more housing and more things to do. From 13th Street to Main Street, there’s more room between them and campus–or them and other students.
Anyone you know in Gainesville under the age of 21 is probably more of a fan of Midtown. Midtown isn’t as strict about carding until you try to order a drink.
However, if you’re over 21, then you love Downtown. Downtown cards at the door and usually upcharges entrance fees if you’re under 21. Only adults can appreciate a drink without being surrounded by pesky kids.
But let’s be real, if you like to party then you’re going to Mid. Almost everything’s cheaper in Midtown because the businesses know that their target demographic is college students. You can find food and alcohol for a fraction of what’d it cost Downtown. That’s why you see so many college students in Midtown throughout the day and stumbling around throughout the night.
Midtown people usher in the weekend Thursday nights with BOGO sake bombs at Tatu and end every night with a slice from Italian Gator Pizza all while staying on budget. Plus, most of the time, the bars and restaurants in Mid will host events in conjunction with clubs and organizations from UF. Just ask anyone in line for the Rowdy Reptile and they’ll usually say they’re there with their sorority or fraternity.
Downtown people on the other hand are willing to pay more for quality. Whether that means a quality show at the Hippodrome or a quality meal at Daily Green. No matter where you go Downtown, it’s most likely going to be more expensive. Downtown people won’t hesitate to inform you of their purchases’ worthy origins, content or effects.
That being said, Downtown people are also first to tell you what’s hip because they obviously know quality and are way ahead of the trends. They know what music to listen to, what’s the best new Thai place and what microbrew you should be drinking. Ask a Downtown person for a recommendation of any kind, especially coffee, and they won’t hesitate to hook you up.
The only thing Midtown people are worried about is whether they have a drink in their hand or if their song is playing. They can’t really tell you much after that because they’ve probably already forgotten.
Downtown people are more demure and easily mistaken as introverts. Regardless if they are, they’re really just trying to play it cool. They keep to themselves, unless they have information, typically random or useless, they could contribute to your conversation. Then, they recede back to the wall. They want to be at the party but they act like they don’t, and they won’t tell you otherwise.
But, if you hear someone loud and pulling you to your feet, then they’re a Midtown person. And they could be anyone you know, anyone down for a good time.
Unless they specifically start telling you about how particular, niche or how much of a ‘weirdo’ they are. Then they’re definitely Downtown people. These are the people who go downtown to take artistic mural photos and post them on Instagram with one-word captions or quotes from Rumi.
Contrarily, Midtown people usually take group photos and post them once a week with captions like “It’s litty in Middy.”
By now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, this is so accurate,” or you’re a bit confused. Either way, now you know a bit more about Gainesville and your fellow UF student. Next time you’re with your friends make it a fun game to see who’s more Midtown or Downtown, but don’t expect them to say both.
Comment below and on social media if you’re a Midtown person, a Downtown person or both!