Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I miss thee, Iowa City

Last week, I mentioned in my post what I miss about college, that I also really needed to write a post on, the things I miss about Iowa City.  Now some may argue that these two lists are about the same thing, but I say they aren't.  It also so happens that I lived in Iowa City while I wasn't attending classes on several occasions: 2 summers and after I graduated.  So here's a list of things I miss about Iowa City that are somewhat unrelated to what I miss about college.
  1. Pedestrians - I walked everywhere when I lived in Iowa City.  Half an hour to work, to class, to downtown, to friends, to the grocery store, it didn't matter, I could walk there.And I did.  It was very pedestrian-friendly as well, with many crosswalks, less cars honking at you when you are walking, and pedestrian bridges. 
  2. Bicycle-friendly - Bike lanes, bike paths, and bike racks were abundant.  Students road to class and employees rode to work.  Car drivers were much more aware of bicycles on the road and were used to watching out for them.  It was probably a lot less likely to get hit by a car there as compared to where I live now.  There was even a place called The Bike Library that took in old bikes and fixed them up then rented them out to people.  What a great recycling idea!
  3. Public Transportation - Following right along with my other too alternative transportation perks is the public transportation system or the buses.  Not the Cambus, those things were never on time.  The Iowa City Transit was much better and it went further.  Sure it costs a few cents but it went a lot of places.  Much more practical than driving your car and paying for parking.
  4. Hippies - Okay maybe not exactly the hippies but the fact that it was okay to be a little bit different there.  It was less about fitting in and more about embracing your on style and personality.  I'll admit I did see a lot of Ugg (ugh!) boots and Northface jackets but I saw a lot of other things too.  
  5. Restaurants - Oh the food, how I loved thee.  It's not that there is not good food where I live now it's just a matter of comfort.  I still think about the next time I will be back in Iowa City and the places I will be eating like Oasis and there awesome hummus and falafel, Sushi Kicchin and the cheap, yet delicious and fast sushi, Mesa and the crazy combination of pizza ingredients, and CVS where I would get dinner a lot (okay I don't miss that at all but I seriously would buy food there all the time and go back to the engineering building and eat it).  It was also awesome, and not so awesome at the same time, that many of the terribly unhealthy food places stayed open until 2 am.
  6. Bars - Well, not really the bars themselves but the drink specials and having a favorite bar.  It was so much fun going to Piano Lounge on Thursday and drinking half-price martinis.  Or hitting up Mondo's Saloon on Wednesday for dinner and half-price margaritas.  Or Sam's Pizza on Wednesday for a deep dish pizza and karaoke!  One thing I don't miss though is paying cover.  What a rip off! Unless live music is included what's the point?
  7. Football - I think I already mentioned this is in my college post too, but it's worth mentioning again because it's that great here.  The whole community gets involved with football games not just the college.  Iowa City bleeds black and gold.
  8. Hills - Okay this one is a little out there. But I am getting sick of looking at the same flat landscape around here.  When I needed to do a hill workout during my half marathon training, I had to run on the treadmill because there are no hills around here. I certainly complained about running and walking up the hills in Iowa City, but now I want them back.  They added a lot of character.
  9. Sense of Community - Maybe I'm just not feeling it here yet, but I felt so much more part of a community in Iowa City.  It really is a small town which takes in 30,000 students.  You get used to seeing many of the same people and interacting with them.  I always think I was a lot more involved, meaning I volunteered more, and that helped me feel like I was a part of that community.
  10. Farmer's Market - Oh the Farmer's Market, possibly what I miss most.  Last summer, I went to the farmer's market every week.  Mostly because I needed to pick up the veggies in my CSA.  I ate so much fresh and delicious produce last summer.  It was also great just to wander around and check things out on a lazy Saturday morning sipping peach tea or eating some breakfast.  In addition to veggies, the market always had fresh baked goodies, tamales, cheese, goat cheese, crafts and music!  The farmer's market I went to in Buffalo Grove was pitiful compared to this.  The selection was small and the goods were overpriced.  Sigh.

    Yippee! My list made it all the way to 10.  Iowa City will always hold a special place in my heart.
    Hopefully I will be back to visit someday soon...football season is almost here after all.

    *All images courtesy Microsoft Images except the last one courtesy IC Gov.
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