Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

What a difference a day makes.

I’m not going to say it. Okay, I’m going to say it, but I’ll paraphrase. Saturday was gorgeous weather-wise for January; for March for that matter. Then Sunday, back to winter reality.

I was tempted to take my bike off the indoor trainer Saturday for a ride outside. Instead I opted for a drive around town after peddling 45 minutes (and getting nowhere) inside. In my “I have to get out of the house more” quest, I saw a few things for the first time.

Exile Brewing Companies  Gateway Colossus

Exile Brewing Companies Gateway Colossus

On the southwest end of downtown, I saw the new CISS shelter facility and the not-yet-completed fire station. Not too far away, in the Fitch building, I discovered Exile Brewing Company, 1514 Walnut. You can’t miss it – look for Miss Liberty’s crown on the roof! I also saw what has to be Des Moines’ only diagonal section of skywalk at 12th and Mulberry.

Across the river, the East Village was teeming with window shoppers and diners. It had the “big city” look of Westport in KC.

In between I got my first look at DART’s new terminal and the ghost-town that is Walnut Street. (With all the people stepping out in front of busses in Des Moines, I’m not sure DART is such a good name!) The plans to end urban blight on Walnut can’t kick off too soon. Maybe the area will return to what it was prior to the installation of a transit mall and a skywalk that essentially (but not intentionally) killed off every business on the street level.

In the midst of all the new sit two of Des Moines’ oldest businesses. At 213-13th Street you’ll find H.B. Leiserowitz a place I’ve bought everything from 35mm cameras to bulk candy for when I dress up as Santa. At 504 East Grand, tucked in with all the latest trendy shops and eateries is American Plumbing Supply Co. I own an old house and I’ve never walked out of American Plumbing without the new part needed for my old plumbing needs.

Speaking of the old and the new: I paid my first visit to West End Architectural Salvage at 
22-9th Street (corner of 9th & Cherry). I was a little early for Saturday’s “Indulge 2013, A Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Affair,” but I know where I’m going to furnish my house as soon as I win the Powerball! If I’d kicked myself every time I saw something for sale that I used to have and/or tossed out, well, I’d have kicked myself a lot.

Hundreds were out Saturday exercising – their First Amendment rights. Anti-abortion and pro-gun rallies were held downtown Saturday.

Well, that was Saturday. Sunday was a different story, more familiar for this time of year. But hey, the weather couldn’t have been that bad. I saw a guy walking 42nd Street with an open pizza box, enjoying a slice. He was talking to himself.

Probably about the weather.