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Three hours of IOWA!

So my wife and I left our apartment at 0800h. on Saturday morning and returned thirteen hours later, 2100h. Out of that time we spent around ten hours driving down to Iowa City and back up to Minneapolis with something on the order of three hours actually in the city itself. I drove the entire way. I was exhausted and totally spent by the time we got home. And it was all worth it.

The first thing we did when we got to Iowa City was to find Devotay (picture posted yesterday) and have lunch. We forgot to bring any cash, but scrounged up twenty-five cents to plug the parking meter on the street. After we got settled in and our food had arrived, I asked the waitress if she could give us a $1 advance on our bill so we could stay long enough to eat. She laughed and gave me some quarters.

I ran out and dropped in more change, then hurried back to enjoy my portabello sandwich and onion bisque, accompanied with a glass of 2002 Castillo Rioja (featured wine). It was all excellent. Devotay has won all kinds of awards for best restaurant in Iowa City, and they are well-deserved. Highly recommended.

After lunch, we reached the goal of our trip: the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Now I was expecting something on-par with my alma mater's art gallery: small, uninspiring, filled with student art and the occasional visitng exhibit. So when we walked into this place, I was totally blown away. Beautiful architecture, big space, fantastic artwork. They had original paintings by Miro, Rothko, Picasso, Gauguin, and Pollock (x2!). Holy crap. Also a special "collage" exhibit with Situationist and Dada art, and a TV playing the hijacked G.I. Joe PSAs.*

On to the main event. The manuscript was completed unrolled for display for the first time at this museum, and the whole thing was rolled out from end to end in a long glass case. It stretched through two gallery rooms, where tangentially related video and audio were being played. There were more people there than I expected for the second-to-last day of the exhibit; it must have been packed in the first few days.

The scroll itself was a bit overwhelming; too long to take in all the details in an hour or two, and probably too long to read even if we'd had all day, which we didn't. I walked along the length of it and just enjoyed being so close to the thing, looking at xxx'd out text and pencilled corrections and big ink Xs across paragraphs and pages. The paper was all taped together and repaired in rips and yellowed with age. The end of the scroll was supposedly chewed off by a dog. It looks the part. I went back to the beginning and read the first few sentences and I was ready to go.

We decided to skip dinner in Iowa City, which was planned to take place at the Red Avocado, an organic vegetarian restaurant. I was bummed to miss that. But we stopped at Steak & Shake on the way out and managed to get home at 2100h, just as I was reaching the limits of my driving endurance. I top off at around 11 hours a day. After that, forget about it. Anyway, it was a great trip and a really fun day overall. Iowa City, thanks for everything.

*Specifically, these:
Your ass got sacked.
Body massage.
I'm a computer.
Porkchop sandwiches.

Categories: travel, books, wine


Anonymous said...

Sounds so rad!
I looooove the GIJOE PSAs. I call everyone a "Blanco Nino" ^_-

sui generis said...

Who wants a body massage?