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UR Here: Community and all that Jazz

Jazz Fest!

Recently, I wrote about how organizing and attending our local festivals builds social capital. But another dimension of community is the personal bond we form with our place. The stronger our emotional connections, the more we live well in a place. Deep community is affective as much as it’s social, a relationship on par with […]

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UR Here: Spring commencement and life’s new turns

UR Here

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 with our son Nathaniel’s high school graduation in 2011, then the commencement ceremony for his instrument repair program in Minnesota last year and now Sylvia’s high school… […]

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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 its stellar lineup of musicians and other artists, Mission Creek is always an enjoyable showcase of the cultural vibrancy of our home. Iowa City’s festivals […]

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UR here: A traditional spice takes center stage

Cooking with Dean

As autumn segues to winter, my seasonal spice shifts, too. Since September, it’s been all about nutmeg for me, the one essential ingredient to my apple crisp (aside from Wilson’s Orchard apples, of course). But as Thanksgiving passes to Yuletide, nutmeg yields to cardamon. Oh sure, I’ll still sprinkle a little nutmeg on the old […]

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UR Here: Embracing autumn’s long, smoldering twilights

UR Here

I welcome the rhythm of the day’s turn toward night. The sun lowers, oranges and purples intensify, time and breath stretch. Rest seeps in, and darkness caresses us to sleep. The year has a similar rhythm, writ large. Autumn dissolves to winter. Samhain turns toward Yule. The dark descends, earlier and earlier. The sun makes […]

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Iowa City standoff: Nitpicking numbers

City High

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’ minds: City is preferable because it has greater diversity, and West is a more homogeneous school largely due to alleged “white flight” from the east to the west side of Iowa City. […]

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