We built this city

The blog post that 80/35 headliner David Byrne wrote reflecting on his time in Des Moines was blowing up my news feed this week, but I wanted to share it with my (five?) out-of-town readers who might still question what’s so great about this city.


Downtown Des Moines shining in the sunset from our seats at the Iowa Cubs game last week

I’m going on seven years as a transplant, and sometimes I worry that people who stop through for a weekend won’t “get it.” But Byrne took the time to explore on bike, and I think that allowed him to really soak in the city.

In Byrne’s words:

…I have a chat with some of the others in our group about Des Moines as maybe an ideal place to grow up or raise your kids. I got very mixed reactions when I advocated this idea. The town isn’t particularly hip, but I sort of counted that as a factor in its favor—kids would have to discover what they thought was cool for themselves. Or make it up. Or come to the conclusion that trends does not a life make.

…I saw people out and about, and I thought to myself—this is America as it’s supposed to be, or close to it. It’s imperfect, but people here seem to have found a way of living that is not based around either extremes of manic striving or desperation. It may not be cool, but it might be beyond cool. Here among the winding creeks and fields of corn they may have arrived at some kind of secret satisfaction.

I like to think this blog is about making my satisfaction with this city not-so-secret, and I’m really excited to raise a kid here. Sometimes people grumble about a perceived lack of diversity, but last week the little neighbor boy was playing on our driveway with some friends from around the block, and it was like the kids were chosen by a casting agent to represent four different races. (They were all comparing muscles and playing foursquare. It was adorable.)

Make your own cool, kids.

Cubbie Bear

Emmett went to his first I-Cubs game on his one-month birthday. Of course we introduced him to Cubbie Bear.

1 Comment

Filed under I love Des Moines

One response to “We built this city

  1. anna

    I’m one of those five people who hadn’t seen the David Byrne journal yet, so thanks! Love it.

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