Hello Grinnello!

Welcome to your summer guide to the Hidden Gems of Grinnell!

And to whatever shenanigans I get up to over the course of this Iowa summer.

I’m not sure exactly how to describe what the blog will be, but here’s a conversation that I had with a friend about it:

also I’m starting a blog
Really
On what
Why the sudden decision
“hidden gems of grinnell”
it’s something to force me to get out of the house when I’m not working
I’ll have to go find hidden gems
What are u gonna write about
What gems
What is grinnell
What is life man
well i found a couple of parks today when I was flying on my rainbow unicorn through the flowery cloudland of bliss and joy that is grinnell Iowa
I don’t know if I’ll address what life is.
we’ll see

I think we’ll get to the meaning of life at some point; we’ll answer the questions that philosophers have been asking for generations.

Totes.

Until then, I want to give some major originating-idea creds to Rabbi Rob, world class super-human.

Rob1

Rob2

You may know him as the indiscriminately smiley guy who says hi to everyone and who seems to be everywhere at once.

So, commencing day one of Hidden Gems.

We started at Grinnell’s Central Park:

Central Park Grinnell

which features an arbor complete with:

  1. Barbeque Grill
  2. Electricity
  3. Playground
  4. Water (Click for more information)

and, which for some reason isn’t featured explicitly on the arbor webpage, a drinking fountain in the shape of a roaring lion.  You stick your head inside the lion‘s mouth to drink.

I met up with Rob by the arbor.  I was confused when I saw him from a distance: “That can’t be Rob.  He’s so casual.  He’s baseball cap-casual.”

It was Rob.

Okey dokey moving on to part two: Summer Street Park (which, if you are in Iowa for the summer, you can volunteer to help renovate).

[Renovation part 1:

Summer St Pk

Summer St Pk2

and this can be you soon]

The park was cool (but really hot in the direct sunlight), with a half completed play-building-ish thing (wooden jungle-gym but not a jungle-gym?) and no running water.  A tiny stream runs behind the playground.

And there’s a blackberry bush.  If I continue to post after today, that means they’re not poisonous!

GrinnEscapade Part 3: Arbor Lake Recreational Area

(Why is it called Arbor Lake? The world may never know.)

Okay, the deets:

Rob and I saw some great instances of animal joy (stories of which shall henceforth be known as Tails of Grinnell), male bonding (three guys with faces standing together watching a dog chase a ball into a lake), and a blue heron intimidating two geese.

There was also a fountain at the center of the lake:

LakeFountain

Rob and I agreed it wasn’t natural, though it might have been a whale.

Finally, GrinnEscapade No. 5: Casa Margarita (which has no actual pictures online, but whatevs)

We got the foodage.  

We got the same foodage. 

Rabbi Rob and I got veggie burritos together.

And talked about life and politics and storytelling.

It was wonderful.

And the food was pretty good too.

My apologies to all; the end of this is getting a bit rushed, but I’m getting a bit tired, and looking up all of these vaguely related links requires energy and focus which I seem to be lacking at this point.

But I will be back!  Thanks for reading, if you’ve gotten this far!

Peace & Love & Grinnell.

Things to look forward to in future Hidden Gems of Grinnell posts:

More GrinnEscapades!

Tails of Grinnell, our Grinnell Dog/other Grinnell Animal chapter, which will include interviews with various animals, cute photos, and life stories.

Grincounters: meetings with the Grinnell-folk!

Grincidence: random Grinnell shit

All images courtesy of their respective photographers/the internet at large.  I have no rights to them and should probs not be using them.  Luckily the likelihood that someone will read this is small.  But still, major creds for some fabulous graphics.  Nice job, folks. 

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