Of all the places we could have taken refuge, I’m glad we landed in Bloomington. This is a wonderful place, a place I’ve always loved, a place I never wanted to leave in the first place.

Bloomington’s just enough of a city to be a city, to have that thrum of urban excitement, but it’s also small enough to feel intimate and mellow when you need that.

And where else can you get some damn good gumbo served “Hoosier Style” over mashed potatoes? New Orleanians are horrified by the concept and skeptical in the extreme — until they try a bowl.

I love the bohemian raggedness of Bloomington. Sometimes it seems everyone here is an artist or a hippie or a stoner or at least married or related to one. And I like that.

I see the problems too. I see the sprawl. I see the traffic clogging up State Road 46. I know about the lack of economic opportunity, and the PCBs. Honestly, it just makes me smile. Life’s pretty sweet if these are the big problems. These are real problems, but they seem manageable. People who care to take them on have at least a chance of success.

It makes me wish I lived here.

We’ve tried to enjoy our sojourn, to treat it like an extended vacation. We’ve run out to Lake Griffy and Cedar Bluffs. We’ve walked the streets and the campus of the Big State University. We’ve visited with friends and family, gone to parties, seen bands.

But all the same, I can’t really enjoy being here. In fact, I don’t really feel like I am here. I feel more like I’m in Limbo. My thoughts are 800 miles away. So is my heart.

Right now, our plan is to move back down to New Orleans, hopefully for good, in less than two weeks. Much as I love Bloomongton, New Orleans is where I need to be.

  1. You know back in 2002 Sonya and I tried calling Bloomington home after we decided to leave Chicago. I love Bloomington for hundreds of reasons, and I enjoy visiting there and seeing my friends, and of course, I’m from that area too, but it just wasn’t enough. I’ll never burn my bridges in Bloomington (and as we all know it’s a big retirement place too), but I think it’s something about “opportunity” that Bloomington lacks for a creature like myself. Add to the lack of opportunity an ever-changing college crowd with their youthful visions and young age, and it makes someone in their mid to late 30s seem out of place.

    I wish you guys all the luck and I wish that Sonya and I could have been able to hang out with you two in Bloomington while you were on extended stay there. But as someone who is part of a great group of friends, we’ll see each other one way or another, either in person, via blog, Flickr, Vimeo, or even cable access TV in Bloomington when I visit from time to time.

  2. At least you know you’ve always got a place you love in your heart. Whether it be NO or B-town. I just love memories like you write about. While you are a little over 10 years older than I, I still know what you mean.

    Don’t you hate how this town has grown??? The westside sux now, it’s like the eastside all over town now.

    I wish you the best of luck when you and Xy go back for good to rebuild. I’m sure it will be tough, but isn’t that one of the only constants in life?

  3. Hey, Bart, good luck with your upcoming move. I love Bloomington as well and, as I’m sure you know if you still read Copy, Right? regularly, I will be down there this weekend for the MFT Fest. My dance card is pretty full, but if you plan on attending the Second Story show on Saturday, look for me!

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