We went to Iowa City and walked by the river. Gorgeous weather, coats open, mild, gentle air. (The above pictures are not mine–and were taken in the wrong season.)
We spent much time sipping coffee on the Union terrace overlooking the river. Ducks, geese, professors with salt-and-pepper hair, bicyclists, runners–everybody was out.
Damaged in the flood of 2008, the Iowa Memorial Union has undergone extensive repairs and been partially rebuilt. Hence the new raised terrace, as opposed to the old terrace on ground level.
On the west side of the river, the University of Iowa Art Museum has not been given the same priority. Destroyed in the flood, the building is now empty and bleak. (It should be demolished.) There are plans to rebuild on another site, but perhaps the FEMA funds are not forthcoming. Damn the government!
Well, it’s sad about the museum. Between classes at my (now defunct) high school on the river, I used to nip over and look at the Jackson Pollock.
I last visited the University of Iowa Art Museum in 2005 to see the exhibit of the 120-foot scroll of Jack Kerouac’s typed manuscript of On the Road. The manuscript was, appropriately, on an international tour of 13 cities–on the road. Kerouac typed the whole book on tracing paper, and when he finished a page he taped it to the previous one. The museum displayed the scroll in a metal-and-glass case in a gallery long enough to hold the scroll unrolled. It was completely unrolled on the tour for the first time at the University of Iowa Art Museum.
What else to do in Iowa City:
- Visit Prairie Lights Books, a bookstore
- The Englert Theater, the venue of concerts, comedy, readings, etc. You can see Patty Marx and Roz Chast on April 9 ($25).
- Hickory Hill Park, 190 acres of forest, abandoned fields, reconstructed prairie, wetlands, and parkland centered on Ralston Creek and its tributary drainages.
- See the Black Angel at Oakland Cemetery (this bronze statue of an angel has turned black; there are so many legends about it).
- Look at the old houses. I have favorites on Summit Street and Brown Street.