Note: This post is not about Zurich
Most people know that I really like Des Moines, Iowa. I went to college there for 3.5 years and discovered the great things about small city life.
I booked a flight home for Chirstmas and I'm also planning a trip back to visit friends in Des Moines. The last few days I've been reading a lot about all of the great new developments going on in the city.
I discovered a great website/blog (www.livingdowntowndesmoines.com).
Coming from the Chicago area, I decided to go to Drake because of the actuarial program, the small size of the school, and the great scholarships that they offered me. I never expected to like living in Des Moines.
Des Moines is one of those cities where you need to find your niche...but once you do there's so much to do! I'm used to driving a car, but I hate traffic and can't parallel park to save my life. One day when I was fairly new to the city I had a job interview in downtown Des Moines at 9am on a weekday. It was just a few miles from my apartment, but I though "rush" hour...better leave at least 30 minutes to get there. Well, I was there in under 10. People from Des Moines complained that the new shopping mall was SOOOO far away. It was a 15 minute drive. :-) You could really get anywhere in the Des Moines area in under 15 minutes and never had to worry about traffic.
Since I started college and even more since I left Des Moines, the city has seen many new developments.
This began with the new Jordan Creek mall and the nearby West Glen town center. There have also been lots of new developments downtown. When I moved there in 2003 I couldn't believe how dead the downtown was on the weekends. It was a place people went to work during the week and that was it. That is all changing. They're building brownstones, lofts, condos, and many new apartments. New restauraunts are moving into the area and there's a downtown Farmer's Market. They've been doing a lot of work on the downtown river walk and there's now a skating rink and a new pedestrian/bike bridge opening soon.
I love trying new restauraunts and for a small city, Des Moines had a surprising number of amazing places to eat....from thai and indian on the east side to the La Mie Bakery to some of the best steak and lobster I've ever had at 801.
Des Moines is still one of the cheapest places to live and it's getting nicer and nicer every day.
I really want to move back there one day. :-)