I had occasion this past weekend to visit the center of the country–no not New York or Los Angeles, but Iowa. Being a hardcore, jaded metropolitan New York area resident, I had preconceived ideas of what I would see and experience there. I expected small town America–the hayseed variety. I was wrong and am happy to report that by my barometer, Iowa City, Iowa was sophisticated and charming.
I was there for APLD board meetings and didn’t get as much chance to explore as I would have liked. I missed a planned trip to a prairie restoration project due to airport delays. I did get to walk a bit each day, passing shops filled with beautiful displays, handmade objects and restaurants. I also got to stay at a cool hotel and eat at a local restaurant, the Motley Cow, that specialized in using local ingredients. I had hoped to sneak away to the Prairie Lights bookstore–but that didn’t happen.
A shift in perception and an appreciation for places beyond my immediate geography is a welcome thing. My creative output requires that my sometimes preconceived ideas are challenged and that I have new ways to think about, view and interpret the world.