Monday, July 20, 2009

a place to bloom


on thursday, a dear old pal and i took a field trip to indiana university in bloomington, the spot that sparked my love for quirky college towns. there are nearly 40,000 students here, but i often forget this: the campus and architecture are so gorgeous that the rest of the world disappears the minute i start walking around. the first order of business, though, was a stop at the student union bakery for our favorite chocolate cookies. then i headed for kirkwood avenue, the main drag leading downtown, wondering if i would find any of those little traces of humanity that surface and thrive in villes of higher education...

oh yes! definitely. off to a good start here...








...and i would have missed this mural without the sharp eye of my traveling sidekick, an art historian, who can now return to her students with hard proof that there is an authentic ingres in bloomington, indiana ;)

i think it's impossible to leave bloomington without feeling bloominated in some way...

and how could i not love these little guys shaped like the state of indiana? this one looks totally shellshocked to find himself/herself/itself here...

this one seems catatonic, resigned...

this one is plotting something devilish...

and this one has figured out how to escape by chewing through the ohio river.

pygmalion's is a great little art supply store - i bought my first set of rapidographs here. i was a business major, though, and they didn't help me much with accounting and finance. (actually, not much at all helped me with accounting and finance.)

a little turkish restaurant across the street from my old house.

and, speaking of my old house, remember this documentary of my year in a scary college rental? out of curiosity i googled the address, and found that it is now a moroccan restaurant. the owner took me on a tour of the house, including my old room upstairs which is still rented out. but the downstairs - what a transformation! gone is the dark, iffy bordello-like entryway, as are the stuck-in-the-80s freaks who lived in these rooms. i didn't ask about the drug supplier in the basement, but i assume he's gone, too.


so i enjoyed a most remarkable moroccan lunch on my old front porch, sans the dozens of chicago tribunes and the mysterious sickle, just inches from where my bathtub appeared one day.

i had two parting thoughts - the first was a flash of gratitude that digital cameras weren't around when i went to school here. otherwise, i would have been so distracted that i might have not graduated. and second: who knew that the best meal i'd ever have in that house would be 16 years after i moved out of it?

21 comments:

Chris said...

Sounds (and looks) like a great trip! Thanks for all the wonderful shots and thoughts...

trinsch said...

what a lovely trip! i really enjoyed the tour :)

Annie Pazoo said...

What fun! Now I'm feeling all nostalgic (and curious) for a trip back to Champaign...

Nina Crittenden said...

You are the best tour guide!

cindy : quaint said...

it looks wonderful there and you always find the most artysville-things.

BT said...

What a fantastic trip. I love that architecture and your usual keen eyed photos of odds and sods. Those weird faces are great. What a fun idea someone had. How strange to have a meal under where your old room was!!

painted fish studio said...

you always find the best signs/graffiti... how fun to visit 402 1/2 again!

kj said...

aha! so you CAN go home again.

good to know, right aimee?

p.s. ms kj now looking looking looking for things your eye would never miss.

xo

~Valentina~ said...

This girl shots are always the best! I don’t know how she do it :)

Christy said...

you have such a good eye ;)

Megan Coyle said...

wow, what a lovely town to visit - and it looks like you had a great time! I like all your photos of street art - especially the monsters :)

steve said...

Wow, what a remarkable post! Yeah, what would we have done if we had digital cams back then? I actually forgot mine last weekend when visiting Baltimore, and was kind of relieved.

Anairam said...

Bloomington - what a sweet name. I like those stickers in the shape of Indiana - a clever idea. Maybe I should make some shaped like South Africa and create little SA dudes which I will leave all over the place ... hmmmmmm. PS It must have been great to have a meal in your old house, without you having to cook it (and we all know how you LOVE cooking, haha!)

●• Tiny Red said...

it looks like you had a brilliant time! and i love marrocan food too :)

jane said...

this does look like a fab town. thanks for the tour. btw you are a girl after my own heart- most important part comes first... the cookies... besos!

L'Atelier said...

how wonderful! love this post, as usual- this made me really smile! life is a string a wonderful events and little miracles!
thanks for taking us along
xoxoxo

Kelly C. said...

what a beautiful post! i feel like i've been *bloominated* just by checking out all of the lovelyness.
you have such a keen eye for catching all of the details that make life sweet.
*)

S.E.Minegar said...

I love Bloomington. I spent most of my early twenties hopping between, Bloomington, West Lafayette, and Muncie. Ah, the college years!

-Homesick Hoosier

no way said...

Bloomington is a beautiful place! Two of my siblings went there (and I went to Champaign as another commenter did!) It's always a great place to take photos and enjoy great architecture.

suzanne cabrera said...

Incredible tour. I'm amazed at the things your eyes see.

FruensWerk said...

great wallstuff...:)))