Iowa City is an astonishing place. Sitting roughly in the middle of several square miles of cornfield and flatlands. Home of the University of Iowa, it has an astonishingly good hospital, which attracts talented doctors and scientists. The U of I itself possesses one of the best IT programs in the US. Overall, despite the location in the middle of farmland, Iowa City is a fairly liberal and unusually intelligent little town.

It also has some of the best food I've eaten anywhere. The Atlas Bar and World Grill is a superlative fusion cuisine restaurant - good enough that I'll tolerate it being fusion. The local Indian curry shop measures their curry level in blisters acquired during consumption. The coffee shops, such as the House of Aromas (soon to be closed, sadly), are prone to serving chai made from a fresh spice mix and drinks like "chocolate-covered strawberry mocha". They also, almost universally, have free wireless. The sushi is, unexpectedly, on a par with the best I've ever had.

The artisans make the shopping around here wonderful. Most of the neat little shops and boutiques are clustered around a pedestrian mall full of sculptures and fountains, and sell hand-crafted gifts in various types - locally made fine jewelry, raku pottery, silverworking, handcrafted soaps (I picked up, less than two hours ago, custom-scented shampoo for an incredible bargain), handmade books, artifacts, fossil jewelry, antiques - you name it, it's probably in Iowa City.

And then there's the people. In brief, [livejournal.com profile] cipherpunk, [livejournal.com profile] ti94, Stephen, Absent, and various other people I've met through them are some of the most talented and intelligent people I've ever met,
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