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UR here: A traditional spice takes center stage

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

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

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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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 O’Malley from the Iowa State University Extension. Mother Nature’s vichyssoise stewed up an extra-heaping helping of the buggers, and then the sudden heat of late May shot them out of our backyard swamps, all at once, faster than you can say “Anton Arcane” (an arcane reference for the Swamp Thing fans out there).
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UR Here: Home is where the hygge is

Hygge (roughly pronounced hö-geh, though with a little more “oo” on that umlauted o) is a Danish word that defies English translation. Its closest Anglo analogue is probably cozy, but that doesn’t fully capture what hygge is all about. Hygge is a feeling, a condition, but Danes tend to define it more by action and situation than abstractions. […]

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UR Here: There’s something a little bit extra about Eble Music

Last week at Eble Music, I picked up the next piece my daughter, Sylvia, will be working on for her saxophone lessons, Alfred Desenclos’s “Prélude, cadence, et finale.” As I walked down Linn Street after my purchase, I said to myself, “You know, I think Eble Music may just be the best local business in town.” I don’t mean to diminish any of our other marvelous local retailers in any way, but, in my experience, there’s something a little bit extra about Eble Music.
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