To the city and back

Jam of the Week: “Defenestration Song” by Have A Nice Life

As brief as exciting travels might be, they can offer a renewed sense of home when they’re over.

Winter weather is waning, and people are looking to get out of their stuffy shelters. I’ve probably jinxed the weather now that I’ve said it, so you can blame me when we get snow again in May.

Thankfully, the skies were nice as my car carried me to Chicago over the weekend. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true trip to the midwest without a day of cold and wintery mix sandwiched between two unseasonably warm days. Still, I made the best of my trip. However, since coming back to Webster City, I’ve found a renewed appreciation for small town life.

As the sun set on Friday evening, the rolling plains of Illinois cradled more and more concrete until I found myself in Chicago proper. I had plenty of time to enjoy the sights stuck in traffic after a solid five hours in the car. Every town has complaints about local drivers. After last weekend, it’s a little easier for me to forgive a missed turn signal. Gas prices around here seem a lot more reasonable as well after rolling past stations advertising fuel at over four bucks a gallon.

Oh, and the cost. It’s something you have to expect in a big city, when you go to a nice dinner or a concert. Still, I balked at the idea of handing over a portrait of Andrew Jackson to ride the elevator to the top of the John Hancock Center.

Still, it felt nice to feel the vibrance and energy of city life for a short while. The highlight of that was going to a concert at the Aragon Ballroom. I had a bit of warning before going to the venue. My dad saw The Ramones there back in the day. He said the entertainment center had the illustrious nickname of “Aragon Brawl Room.” It lived up to it’s name with the Flogging Molly performance I attended. They do this kind of Irish-Punk-Folk-Rock thing. I was lucky enough to find an upper floor seat to enjoy the show without getting a few bruises as souvenirs from the main floor pit.

Initially, I figured the happiness I felt upon returning would solely come from returning to a familiar bed. Even after some much needed rest, I was still happy to be back in Iowa. While a change of scenery is nice on occasion to recharge your mind and spirit, it’s equally nice to come back to the friends, co-workers and town you’ve come to live in.

Now only if there was a place where I could get a good Chicago-style hot dog around here.