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Old 09-20-2007, 05:53 AM
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,780,590 times
Reputation: 1210


I think a lot of "there's not much to do" comes from typical Iowan modesty and humbleness. I'll also agree with others that most people who say this have their frame of reference off and are comparing Des Moines or Iowa to places much larger.

I'll also note that it seems like people do the same sort of things whereever they are. There's people in NYC, London and Paris right now sitting around twittling their thumbs wishing they had something to do.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:18 PM
Location: DC-Baltimore area
260 posts, read 979,641 times
Reputation: 137
OK, I was based in the Boston area most of my life from age 11 to 35, and since then in DC metro area. Here’s a little redo of one of the above examples.

(To give you a hint, I am kind of thinking about the Midwest because I am burned out after living in nothing but big Eastern metro areas.)

After work, I am going to fight the crowds on the T (subway), standing all the way. I'll be lucky if it doesn’t break down or I don’t spend an extra half hour in train backups, or have to take an old, filthy, crowded bus as well to get to home sweet home, a dump that I pay $1400+ for in a noisy building (lots of students). Someone stole my car last month [p.s. this really happened] and it was never recovered. The cops couldn't have cared less. Well, two fewer bills to pay as Boston has the highest theft rates (and car insurance rates) anywhere. I might stop at the supermarket on the way and wonder when the last time was I saw really good, fresh produce or meat, or, as it happens, a truly nice, available straight guy over 25 <j/k. I think.>.

Or, I might stay in town for some “culcha,” if I'm up for it after my long morning commute and having worked for 10 hours straight. If so, I might poetically slosh my way through the damp, cold wind off the ocean and dirty (name one) leftover snow, ice, or puddles, to get some kind of ethnic food either from a vendor (though the last one I bought gave me Turista) or some overpriced chichi joint--when I would really just like some American diner food served by a friendly waitress or waiter.

Most if not all of the people I will encounter on my journey will range from indifferent to rude. They are just trying to cope, too. And we know Boston can be very clannish, if they didn't grow up with or go to school with you or your family, forget it.

I may indeed sit on the Common if the weather isn't bad and I don't have close encounters with homeless folks, drug users, rowdy gangs of kids, muggers, or all of the above.

This weekend I think I'll sit in traffic with my blood pressure through the roof from the most aggressive drivers to be found anywhere, on old, illogical, and badly signed roads, in order to get “out of town,” where I might go skiing in the ski area of my youth that now costs almost $100 for a weekend day ticket. The traffic will be very heavy going and coming, until I get a couple of hours away.

I think I could survive without the architecture, sports teams (and drunken louts), and, sigh, great places like Symphony Hall, the Gardner Museum... I can always look at pictures, a good TV, or take a trip back.

Maybe the grass is always greener... great question and a nice thread, I’ll be interested! Maybe I will move to a small midwestern town or city someday. Where I'm sure there will be more than enough for me "to do."

Last edited by Tuneful; 09-27-2007 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:36 AM
21 posts, read 51,551 times
Reputation: 24
Cow tipping. Need I say more? Can't find that in Boston!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:52 AM
Location: Spirit Lake, IA
1 posts, read 1,642 times
Reputation: 10
Coming from ND, I am really enjoying how outdoorsy IA is (spirit Lake area). People who say the winters in IA suck don't have reference to how bad it *can* be. ND really had nothing to do (at least the Fargo area) as the city was very disconnected from nature. I never realized how satisfying observing beautiful natural surroundings can be. Also, stay away from areas where people boast about how good Walmart is...nothing good can come from liking Walmart.
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