Ahhh…Madtown

You make a boy smile as large as Pluto. Yes, I’m obsessed. But it raises another (controversial?) idea: Big Ten college towns. Why are they so much better than other college towns around the country? If I had to choose a college town to live in, I would choose almost every Big Ten town before any other part of the country (not that I’ve been everywhere). But Ann Arbor, Bloomington, Iowa City, Madison — in my experience, they seem so much more culturally interesting, playful, civic-minded, quirky etc. than say Gainesville, Chapel Hill, Syracuse, Tallahassee etc. The only other two college towns that come to mind in that category are Eugene, Ore.  and maybe Boulder, Co. Though I’m probably just clouded by midwestern goggles.

As an illustration: a typical Saturday night in Gainesville and Madison (both towns I’ve spent some time in). Madison,all along State street, has street performers (good ones), local pubs, good and cheap dining, theater, lots of live music, and a strip of 18+ dance clubs with underdressed college students. A Saturday in downtown Gainesville, on the other hand, has a strip of 18+ dance clubs with underdressed college students and one VERY overcrowded bar for everyone else in town.

So that’s the brief observation of the day. I’m working on several projects and interviews right now for work. More later with thoughts about the nature of interviews, oral histories, and life “retold”.

 

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