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Cosmic cowboys, quarter beers and nightmarish bathrooms: The history of Gabe’s

In the beginning there was the Pub, opening inside a nondescript two-story brick building on East Washington Street in Iowa City, which previously housed ACT, Inc.’s offices, in 1970. The restrooms have been on a steep decline since then, but there have also been many highs, both musical and chemical. […]

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Cedar Rapids’ Carnegie Library was one for the books

My wife believes there are too many books in our house. I, on the other hand, am quite sure there are not enough. When I imagine what “enough” might look like, I call to mind the first floor of the Carnegie Library in Cedar Rapids — my first library and the place, it seemed to me as a small child, where all the books in the world were housed. […]

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Learning to love ‘Iowa’s ugliest building’

The English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa is, you will note upon entry, old. It is not old in the way a faraway Romanian village is old (solitary, self-sustaining); nor old in the way the Electoral College is old (baffling, malevolent); least of all in the way Meryl Streep is old (eternal, unfading). The EPB is the old of the ungraceful elderly. […]

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‘Iowa doesn’t suck’: Kae Apothecary and the magical Mount Vernon

One of Mount Vernon’s most distinctive small businesses trades in herbs, magic and meditation. Kae Apothecary began with Andrea Gorsh, who moved to the Mount Vernon area in 2009 — the same year she was diagnosed with celiac disease. Because of the trouble she had finding gluten-free, natural and non-irritating skin products, she […]

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