Finding the Art in Everything

11 November, 2007

*You Left Your Heart Where?!?

For Thanksgiving, I am going to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Can I just say how much I love this city? I usually get the wierdest looks when I talk about how excited I am to go there, but you have to go there--maybe you even have to go there with Dave--to see how charming it is. Dave pretty much grew up there. I cannot count the number of hours I have spent with him, driving around the "country's biggest suburb," admiring all of its quaint eccentricities.

For instance, Sioux Falls has the highest number of restaurants per capita of any where in the country--it is a great place to go out. It has a thriving local theatre and arts scene, my favorite coffee shop chain, Caribou Coffee, as well independent coffee shops scattered all over the city (inc. a tiny Ethiopian one on 10th where I think my friend Mike and I were the only white people to have ever been there). It has a Magnolia tree, which is strange because you are not supposed to be able to grow Magnolias that far north (Magnolias are my favorite tree). It has one of the largest green spaces in the country, with a park that on either side of the river that surrounds the city. This city's people have a ridiculous amount of civic pride; it has a long history, and they celebrate it (with the kind of brass placards nerds like me have to stop and read). And the people are friendly in that mid-western, down-to-earth, genuine sort of way. In case you get a chance to go, here is a list of things to do when you get there.

Top Five things to do in Sioux Falls, SD

  1. Zandbros: a variety store/independent bookstore. It is where I bought my first fountain pen, they carry the Bloomsbury Review (the sign of a good bookstore), and the type of quirky, home-decorating stationary things where people always ask. "Where did you get that?" Bonus: there is an antique-soda-fountain-turned-coffee shop in the back.
  2. The Washington Pavillion. Instead of tearing down an old highschool, they turned it into a civic arts center. It has a performing arts center, and both a permanent visual arts collection and rotating exhibits. The last time I was there, they had an exhibit about Harold Edgerton (that is now in Arizona.)
  3. Falls Park. They light it up for Christmas and it is gorgeous. In the summer, when the falls are low, you can climb all over them; and in the spring, when they are full of the melting snow, it is a powerful experience.
  4. The Sculpture Walk. Some really great pieces have come from here. The city votes on their favorite, then the city buys it each year and puts it out for everyone to enjoy. It started out as local artists, but now it is a national competition. Local corporations also buy pieces and put them in places for the city to enjoy.
  5. St. Joseph's Cathedral (See photo above). You can sit on the steps for one of the best views of the city.It is a beautiful piece of architecture--stained glass windows and all.

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