Saturday, May 12, 2012
Summer in the (Iowa) City
Another Finals week has come to a close, and there was no better evidence than the droves of drunken students/graduates flocking in the streets of downtown Iowa City last night. It's a spectacle to see - as are many warm nights in this college town. My cynical eyes beheld stretch SUV limo monstrosities, mini-dresses paired with perilous high heels, middle aged parents of graduates looking very out of place, but happy, as they bar hop - and townies, trying to find a chill bar without being high-fived by multiple drunken strangers on the sidewalk. I get the whole symbiotic relationship this town has with the University and I don't wish it away. But as a long-time resident of this fair city (and as someone who has never played sandbags or been to a football game), I revel in the glory that is an Iowa City summer. So I am dedicating this post to my love affair with hot days and nights in this, the cultural capitol of Iowa.
The completely incomplete list of things I love about summers in Iowa City.
1. Free live music in the Ped Mall on Friday and Saturday nights. Even if you're not into the band playing, there's something about being downtown with the fountain splashing, eating street food, running into people you like but don't see often enough, and feeling that there really is a huge community here that doesn't involve thousands of transplanted students.
2. Laying in the sun in College Green Park, watching slackliners, listening to the swings creaking and basketballs rhythmically slapping the pavement. (I am interested in getting in on the yoga in the park that I've seen photos of on facebook. If someone reading is in on this, let me know when and i'll be there.)
3. Summer affords all us car-drivers ample street parking downtown.
4. You can walk up to any bar in town, sit down, and order a drink without having to scream. Then you can drink it without a bunch of drunk 21-year olds slamming into you like it's the Night at the Roxbury.
5. Barbeques, bonfires, and hanging out on porches. This sounds boring and midwestern, but with the right combination of people and intoxicants, this can lead to some of the greatest conversations of your life.
6. Farmers markets. Saturday mornings, Wednesday evenings. I love me some Amish-made baked goods. I could eat tomatoes like apples. And please, please, bring on the Iowa sweet corn.
7. Being a short drive from the honest-to-God country. So when you get sick of being a city slicker, you can hop in somebody's car and find yourself playing frisbee golf in the woods, swimming in some part of the lake, hiking some gorgeous trail or doing other things-that-shall-not-be-named under a pine tree.
8. Hiking in Hickory Hill park. I love that I can feel lost in the woods while in town.
9. Baseball at City Park. I ache like an old woman the next day, but it's a good hurt.
10. Parties on farms at the edge of town. I need to find more of those to go to, now that I think about it.
11. Biking along the river.
I'm sure if you're one of the three people reading this, you're likely also celebrating a bunch of these things. If you're planning on doing any of the above mentioned activities, gimme a holler because I'd sure love to tag along.
Now it's your turn. Leave me some comments. What tickles your fancy about summer in this metropolis?