Well, I was born in a small town….
Deal Mommy Fun Fact: John Mellencamp and I were born in the same hospital. I lived here very briefly but much of the family I have left is still within an hour of Bloomington, Indiana. Because of this my childhood is sprinkled with visits to B-town and even our wedding was held nearby.
My memories of Bloomington include a lot of fun, but “hip college town” was never the impression I carried away from our visits here. Yes, Indiana University Basketball dominates the landscape but my connection to Bloomington was pretty much limited to Johnny Cougar and “Breaking Away”. (If you haven’t seen Breaking Away, the 1979 movie that launched Dennis Quaid, I highly recommend it.) Even in the 90s none of the “college town” patina that colored State College, PA and similar locales. It resembled “The Middle” more than hipster central.
Well, Bloomington is “The Middle” no more.
I’m writing this from my 7th floor room in the Hyatt Place that features wall art winking to IU Basketball and the Little 500 bicycle race. There’s also a Springhill Suites where not so long ago your choices were Quality Inn and Super 8. Behind the HP is a brand new science center and miles of perfectly manicured walking trails. The street leading to Campus bulges with shops begging to be explored. The pub across the street had Kilkenny on tap. Modern art adorns the buildings. In short, Bloomington is hip.
Deal Dad attributes the change to the influx of retirees and other financial boosts and noted his recent reunion at Grinnell College in rural Iowa. Where 10 years ago downtown Grinnell resembled Mayberry, it’s now chocoblock with new development of the same type I’m seeing here.
Has your hometown become hip before your eyes? What other gem towns do I need to get out and visit?
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