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Thomas Dean

Jazz Fest!
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Community and all that Jazz

The Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio performs at the 2013 Iowa City Jazz Festival -- photo by Rachel Jessen Recently, I wrote about how organizing and attending our local festivals builds...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Regarding the wolf

Since the 1880s, two wolves have been documented in Iowa -- illustration courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City The wolves have returned to Iowa. Or at...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Spring commencement and life’s new turns

My daughter Sylvia’s red polyester gown and graduation announcements lay on a table at home, ready for City High’s commencement later this month. We’ve been commencement-heavy in recent years, first...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
Mission: Community

April ushers in the vibrant colors of springtime (finally!), but it also sounds the first notes of our community’s festival season. The Mission Creek Festival is here! Highly anticipated for...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Helping out

A creature in distress turns into an exercise in neighborly aid. -- photo by Kitty Terwolbeck One of the good things (yes, I said good things) about the dramatic winter...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Baby, it’s cold outside

Thomas Dean asks us to consider winter's silver lining. -- photo by Alan Light Images of a baby wearing a sash emblazoned with “2014” may have helped you ring in...

Cooking with Dean
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR here: A traditional spice takes center stage

By the time you read this, I will have made several loaves of this year’s holiday cardamon bread. As autumn segues to winter, my seasonal spice shifts, too. Since September,...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Embracing autumn’s long, smoldering twilights

The sun lowers, oranges and purples intensify, time and breath stretch. -- illustration by Rachel Jessen I welcome the rhythm of the day’s turn toward night. The sun lowers, oranges...

City High
Posted by Thomas Dean |
Iowa City standoff: Nitpicking numbers

Recently, an online conversation I participated in turned to differences between City High and West High. The discussion reflected assumptions about the two schools that are ingrained in many locals’...

Midwest
Posted by Thomas Dean |
Mapping the middle: What delineates the heartland

I’m a lifelong Midwesterner and a devotee to and student of the region. But I’m usually left stammering when it comes to defining the human culture of these middle lands....

David Byrne
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: David Byrne loves Iowa, but are his sentiments a bit delusional?

David Byrne seems to like Iowa. And I’m glad of that. I’m also glad that he had a chance to bike around and experience a Des Moines Fourth of July...

Gnats, oh gnats
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Rethinking the gnat

Those pesky clouds of airborne annoyance come around every spring, but they’ve been especially bad this year. Chalk it up to this year’s cool spring and heavy rains, says Patrick...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Noxious nostalgia

Now, this was not everyone’s cup of tea, but the smell of freshly pumping gasoline was ambrosia to my nostrils. --photo by Tyson Randall Summer is here, and those distinctive...

Neil Degrasse Tyson
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Where is the wonder?

Neil deGrasse Tyson illustrates a point during his lecture at the University of Iowa on April 15. When astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke to a capacity crowd at The University...