crystalhawkeye wrote:scott, as a current resident of Iowa, I'm sure you can attest to IC's greatness. I visited MSU today and I must say, I was rather underwhelmed. I was thinking it would be pretty happening, lots of options for stuff to do, etc., and it wasn't anything too special. Just a bunch of chain-restaurants and some book stores, not even very great ones! I'm not setting myself up for a similar disappointment with IC, am I? Convince me it'll be better!
It'll be better. Iowa City is awesome and always a really good time on the weekends. Tons of great bars, restaurants, etc. Without question one of the best college towns in the country. You should definitely take the opportunity to head down to the ped mall and take it all in while you're there.
It's really too bad you guys who haven't been before aren't getting to visit during football season too. Iowa City the day of a home game is, as far as I'm concerned, the greatest place on earth.
I've been to Columbia too. IC >> Columbia. I can't explain it, but when you have an hour or two free, just walk around the downtown area and check out all the stores/bars/restaurants. I've lived here three years and I still notice something new every time I'm down there.
This town is built around students, since the university is its lifeblood. The school and the town routinely bring in well known speakers; Michael Chabon, Dan Savage, Karl Rove, Jimmy Carter, and Rachel Corrie's parents have all been here in the last couple of years. John Yoo was here at the law school a couple weeks ago. At caucus time it seemed like some candidate (usually a democrat) was here every week, sometimes more. IC has, for better or worse, a very politically active community, so we're usually a focus for any pol trying to court the youth vote in Iowa. Dave Loebsack, the congressional rep for this district, has an office on the ped mall; I've met with him a couple times since I've been here to voice concerns on veterans issues.
Iowa obviously has no pro teams, so the Hawkeyes are pretty much regarded as the next best thing where football is concerned, since ISU had their 3rd losing year in a row this year. If you're into football, you won't be disappointed. If you're not... well, be prepared to navigate among legions of drunken fans on home game days if you venture downtown.
My favorite thing about this town is the way it clears out in the summer. It's like you were the only one to show up at Disneyland but they opened anyway.
Anyhow, you'll have to see for yourself. I think it's high on the list for QOL though.
Edit: as book stores go, check out Prairie Lights on Dubuque St downtown. It's a fixture in this town.