Thursday, May 14, 2009

main street

Now that I'm off the interstate, I'm suddenly deep in rural America - to be more precise, in Bonaparte, in south-eastern Iowa, complete with Amish or Mennonite buggies trotting at speed down Main Street, outside my window.   It's an old mill town on the Des Moines river - just where Brigham Young crossed it en route to Utah, though I'm sure he didn't take the circuitous route that I'm planning.    It nearly collapsed entirely as a community in the late C20th century, but has had something of a resurgence, and is deeply tranquil and pretty and deserves to be visited.

Its Main Street is short, and many of the buildings are beautifully restored - it's been named the smallest "Main Street" community in the US, and has its own little Post Office, and Opera House (and I'm staying in a converted glove factory).   But its revival also seems a little precarious - some of the renovated stores, like the one above, are closed and for sale.    It's a definite challenge, to post just one picture, not ten, or twenty, of the tiny town, but I've tried to document the architecture, the quietness, the American-ness that are concentrated within it (and will, doubtless, upload some other pictures onto FB very soon...)

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