Why Des Moines is a ‘real city’

DesMoinesThere are several things in the world about which I’m forever ready to ramble, even, dare I say it, fangirl: Roger Federer, Taylor Swift lyrics, tea, Turkey, sweaters and Des Moines.

But since my Twitter feed was essentially one big ode to Fed for two straight weeks per the Australian Open, and since I’ve ruled I can make the bad guys good for a weekend, today I’ll fangirl over Des Moines.

“It’s not a real city,” I often heard when I went to Drake. And, “Look at the Des Moines ‘skyline’ — how cute.” For me, though, the ‘realness’ of a city isn’t explained by the number of skyscrapers or the time required to commute from some suburb.

A “real” city is the one that makes me feel comfortable and challenged, all at the same time. One where I can try new things with certainty that other people will back me up.

One where being 22 years old isn’t cause for anxiety but optimism.

When we define a “real city,” I hope its culture, opportunities and optimism come to mind before its silhouette. I hope the “real city” is the one defined by real progress, real relationships and real excitement.

For me, that city is Des Moines.

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