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You may have noticed a small open space the size of a downtown building at the north end of the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City. People flow through this space day and night but few know that it is a city park. It’s called Black Hawk Mini Park and this is its story. After […]
Iowa City, let’s navel gaze for a moment. Our town, despite its location and size, has been ranked by The Advocate magazine as the third most gay-friendly city in the United States. It’s the only city in the country to be named a UNESCO City of Literature, where The University of Iowa Writers Workshop has […]
It’s not particularly hip to be a fan. Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. I’ve personally suffered many an eye-roll from less fanatic friends and I’ve seen fellow fans dressed in their Hawkeye garb just barely get a drink served to them in certain elite Northside establishments. I’ve felt a pang of embarrassment hearing a nearby […]
This weekend the streets were crawling with folks in their best Halloween attire, and I couldn’t click my camera fast enough. I did manage to snap some of the characters lurking on Dubuque Street, most of them being drunk, happy and eager to show off their disguises. There were countless fantastic costumes that I didn’t […]
The Amana Colonies are known to Iowans hither and yon as a mecca of cheese, wine, wool, barns and buggies. Certainly everyone knows that in the Amanas, there is an old church or two. What they might not know is that in one of these churches there lives a girl–a girl who sews; a girl […]
The Mill hosted a fundraiser benefiting the Local Foods Connection on Sept 25th. The evening was packed with music from a variety of local artists, art and handmade goods, raffles, a silent auction, dancing, food and booze….it was a great night and I was glad to be asked to capture some shots from the event.
The Future South of Burlington; p. 10 – 21, Take 2; p. 8 – Larry Baker Saves the Day; p. 12 – Perfect Season: Over. Now what?; p. 6 – Take a Joke, Iowa; p. 23 – New Diplomats: Still Solid; p. 32 – Max Weinberg Keeps Going; p. 22 – Art Scene; p. 18 – Lit Scene; p. 16 – Live Music; p. 28 – Movies; p. 26
It’s already getting dark on Sunday when you hop off the train, just back from a weekend in Chicago. As the sun sets over the river, you take a stroll through the riverfront prairie before hitting up a few concerts: maybe a traveling symphony, followed by an electric mass of sound at the underground White Lightning Wherehouse. Ears still ringing, you wander back to your yuppie high-rise, grabbing a late night gyro on the ground floor before heading up to your condo in the solar powered elevator.
This could be a typical night in Iowa City’s “Riverfront Crossings” neighborhood, an 8-by-12 block area south of Burlington, east of the river and west of Gilbert Street.
Were there a facility large enough to house us all I suspect we’d have long ago been ordered by the court to attend some ambiguously-named in-patient rehab facility where our bags would be searched for mouthwash, daily urine tests would be administered and T-shirts commemorating pub crawls would be confiscated at the door.
Times being what they are, I recently spent a day in a homeless shelter.
Along with a dozen other visitors, I toured Chicago’s 133-year-old Pacific Garden Mission, which recently moved into a large new building. Our guide showed us the three stark dormitories in which guests sleep, the security desk overlooking the staging area in which guests are checked for “things of the world,” the “hot box” in which guests’ clothing is decontaminated overnight.
We met no overnighters, only sharply dressed “program men,” full-time mission residents who devote themselves to a two-year course of bible study and life-skills training.
During dinner, visitors were politely but firmly encouraged to sit in the middle of the mission’s dining hall. This helped to separate female and male residents, important for practical and religious reasons..
One of the problems we have in modern, globalized, industrialized society is that we often fail to understand, acknowledge or care about the consequences of what we do. If we really, truly cared about the environment, we would calculate the damage we inflict upon the Earth every time we start up a car or airplane, turn on a computer, throw away Styrofoam, etc.