ON ASSIGNMENT

The Cancun of the Midwest

By - Aug 30th, 2008 02:52 pm
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I love it here. It’s really hot and sunny. We spent most of the day yesterday drinking at The Locust Tap in the shadow (sort of) of the grand State Capitol and at the lovely bar in our wildly luxurious downtown hotel, the Renaissance Savery. (This hotel is amazing. We have a really hard time getting out of our beds. I am blogging in bed right now. It’s 4:00 pm.)

While Bridget and Matt drank bloodies at the Speakeasy, Kat, Jon Anne and I headed out to Valley Junction – a charming trading post of vintage shops, boutiques and little galleries – where I bought a Wayne Newton record. I’m taking it everywhere in mostly dashed, but dogged, hopes that we’ll run into him. Last night, after an unsuccessful attempt to crash Wayne Newton’s party at the Marriott, we strolled down to Fourth Street for a rager at The Royal Mile where we set up shop for the rest of the night drinking rum and cokes and doing shots. It’s like that toothless old lady we met at the Locust Tap said to us after she asked for a light: Party like a rockstar. Matt got smacked in the face and someone bought Bridget an Italian beef sandwich.

Today we woke up obscenely early to go to the Downtown Farmer’s Market, where we danced in the street while a funk band played “Flashlight” for what felt like hours and hours. We bought honey, wax beans and El Salvadorian pupusas. Now we’ve just returned from the Renaissance Faire, which was, in the organizer’s own words, “no Bristol.” We put Matt Wild in the stocks and I turned out to be a champion archer. A really nice guy gave me a free kebab.

We’ve been overdressed. Our reception here has been grand. For a town that hosts the Iowa Caucuses, just threw a homecoming bash for Shawn Johnson and 7000 of her admirers and is currently playing host to both Shakira and a multi-million dollar Arabian horse described as “an undeniable gift from God,” “a paradox in the most elemental sense” and “the most influential stallion of modern times,” people sure are excited to have us here.

(By the way, Bronze Fonz detractors: Des Moines is home to a similarly contentious figure that may or may not look anything like its subject.)

We’ve been meeting lots of people in finance. Des Moines is the insurance capital of America. Did you know that? We’ve also made friends with a fair number of osteopaths and chiropractors. Des Moines is the capital of that, too. Who knew, Des Moines? Seriously … WHO KNEW? With so many successful doctors and financial representatives, I might call Des Moines America’s most marriageable city. I might also call the kinkiest place in the Midwest. For no good reason.

More on that later. Des Moines! I just love it. It’s just like Cancun, but friendlier, and with cornfields. Kids turning cartwheels at the grocery store, dance parties in the deli aisles. Sexy dresses and daytime cocktails. More to come.

Categories: VITAL

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