Just when I thought I’d have to move back to Australia some friends of mine in Iowa City suggested I move there, rent would be cheap, and it could bridge my gap between gigs in New York and Chicago. I thought it was a great idea. I’d get to see my friends, have a change of pace, and not pay much for it at all. It sounded like a welcome blessing. So I hopped a flight from NYC to Chicago, then boarded a tiny little American Eagle jet and skimmed across a storm into Des Moines, where I was picked up and driven to Iowa City.
Iowa City is in the middle of nowhere part of America. There’s a lot of corn. How much corn? Well if Mufasa were to say to Simba that he would own everything the light touches in Iowa, he’d be getting a LOT of corn.
Iowa City though is a college town, and life was pretty laid back. Perhaps because it was the start of summer. There are a number of typical college style bars around town with plenty of cheap beer on offer. It was a surprisingly artsier town than I imagined. Public art projects included giant book statues around town painted by different groups to represent their favourite reads, plus pianos in the middle of the street that could be played by passers by.
There was also ‘Strange Tractor’, a hijacked newspaper stand that always contained a series of oddities. You could take whatever was inside it, if you replaced it with something of your own. Once we found a boot, a chess set, and someone’s ID.
It may be out in the middle of nowhere, it may have been ridiculously hot and there may have been a lot of corn, but you know what, I wouldn’t trade my time in Iowa City for anything. It was just what I needed.