Architect Eric Wittman decided to share a piece of his mind about the city now that he’s leaving it after spending almost all of his life in the Wichita area.
He wrote a list of 49 things he hates about Wichita for a blog he writes that usually gets about 35 or 40 views per item, mostly from friends.
“It was just basically a goodbye letter to them,” Wittman says.
Instead, the list drew widespread attention and, at last count, has about 18,000 views.
“I was like, holy cow,” Wittman says.
The list actually details all the things Wittman loves about Wichita, but he presents each number through hate – and uncapitalized letters.
i hate that the arena is two blocks from my apartment.
i hate the rise in craft breweries around town creating their own nighttime nodes for people to meet and interact all the while enjoying something local in their glass.
i hate the hard working people at the chamber of commerce and downtown development corporation who are helping wichita’s city core be what it should be.
“It was kind of me being a little – not vengeful or spiteful …,” Wittman says.
He was trying to be a little something, though.
“So many people say, ‘I hate Wichita because of this.’ … ‘I hate Wichita because it’s boring.’
“I kind of wanted to turn that back on people that diss Wichita.”
So he wrote:
i hate that for the past 10 years i’ve had an apartment in old town allowing me to walk to work everyday, rain or shine, making our town feel just that more urban.
i hate the the donut whole and tanya’s soup kitchen and how they completely changed that little area of town.
i hate that we have a river flowing through our city that only wichitans pronounce correctly.
He ended the blog post by saying:
why do i hate all these things?
because each and every single one of them make it incredibly difficult to leave this city.
Wittman not only was unprepared for how many people would see his post, but he says he couldn’t believe what they said in response, either.
“Someone wrote me and said they were on a bus traveling in the Middle East thinking about Wichita … and shed a tear,” he says. “That really blew my mind.”
He says lots of “people were telling me they were reading it and getting choked up. I really didn’t mean it for that.”
Wittman says the movie “10 Things I Hate About You” served as a bit of inspiration, too.
This week, the former SPT Architecture architect, who was with Shelden Architecture before that, is moving to Portland, Maine, because his fiancee got a job there.
He says it’s her dream to go to the northeast.
“And my dream is to be with her.”
Wittman says he’s excited about the move but is “extremely sad to leave,” as the final line of his blog post shows.
i love you wichita and i’m going to miss you terribly.