In comparison to last spring, which was extraordinarily warm, the spring of 2013 was chilly and seemed to go on forever. Here, along the crest of Dr. Robert Keith Wallace Drive, are some of the buildings of the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) after yet another light snowfall.
From left to right you see the Dreier Building, the Henn Mansion (nestled behind some trees), the Veda Bhavan, the McLaughlin Building, and the Argiro Student Center. In the map below, the order is reversed, because I'm taking the picture from the northeast towards the southwest.
A couple of sunny days melted the snow.
But not all mornings were sunny. I've never taken a photo of a fog-bound Argiro before:
The Sustainable Living Center is finally 100% complete.
Walking around campus, I came across an interesting homemade tricycle. I'd like to see how well that steering mechanism works: it appears that the pedaling plane would change as you turned.
The deer still love to visit, especially in the small valley between the Student Center and the Domes.
I decided to document the abandoned south entrance to the Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge, also known as the Men's Dome. It was built well before the rules of Sthapatya Ved -- auspicious architecture -- had been revealed to the TM (Transcendental Meditation) community, and it turns out that a south entrance is about as inauspicious as you can get. It's been padlocked and out of use for at least 16 years.
This post won't linger on campus, for not much changes over a few winter months, but I did get a couple of photos with good evening light, such as this one.
There was also a standout cumulus cloud one evening.
One night there was an informal hip-hop (or was it rap?) class in the lobby of the Student Union. Here the crew is setting up and testing their colored lights.
I also captured some downtown scenes. Here, a woman is test-riding a new trike outside AJ's Bicycle Shop.
The Co-Ed movie house had closed in 2011 after 102 years; it was part of a regional chain. Now a group of local investors is completely renovating it.
It also includes a performance and rental space, the Orpheum Theatre. This sign faces the parking lot behind the building.
Here are the courthouse and convention center together in one frame.
Prowling around the alleys between downtown blocks turns up unexpected discoveries. If a building has an inauspicious west entrance in front, just use the back door instead!
On the side of Finnywick's is this safari painting.
I briefly checked out the First Friday Art Walk, whose April theme was song. Here is a photo of one of the performing community groups.
But now it's time to move on to the main theme of this post, which is ... eats! Fairfield, with the influence of the University and an influx of people from around the globe for almost four decades, has an impressive number of restaurants for a town of just under 10,000. The Iowa Source magazine's reader poll for 2013 includes many Fairfield establishments.
We shall take a rapid tour of the eateries at or near the town square. Please note that due to the challenging nature of the restaurant biz, some of these establishments may be gone if you visit Fairfield in the future. There will be new ones. Also, I'm sure to have missed a few.
Traveling from the campus to downtown, I often pass by the sign for the Crepe Escape Café, located in the same building as Everybody's Whole Foods.
There's a concentration within a couple of blocks of the town square. Next to each other are Ila
and the venerable Revelations.
Across the street from Revelations there's the Earth and Water Tea Lounge and Artisan Pottery Shop. (They also have homemade baked goods.)
Inside the Earth and Water, the atmosphere is quiet and soothing. The owner says she wants to create a genuine teahouse experience. I hope she can sell enough tea and cookies to make a go of it.On the corner of the square is the Cafe Paradiso (mixed coffee shop, cafe, and performance space).
Around the square itself, we have, on the north side, George's Pizza and Steaks
and Johnny's Place.Along the west side -- difficult to photograph because of the sunny day's reflections -- are the Chocolate Cafe,
Gupta's,and the Noodle House (Thai).
On the south side of the square are the newly opened Gardens Seasonal Kitchen
and the India Cafe.
Within a block or two of the square, you can choose from the Thai Deli,
the Top of the Rock Grille, on the second floor above the Red Rock Tavern,
the Green Gourmet,
the Istanbul Grill,
Just beyond the two-block line is Aranda's Mexican restaurant.Interestingly, Aranda's also offers a buffet in the BP service station across the street from Everybody's.
To the south, walking from the square to the town library, is the Doc's Inn Café, the place for local organic buffalo burgers.
Still within walking distance, if you've got the hankering, is the Sweet Spot.
Going further afield, my friend Cary and I drove to Washington, Iowa, for a luncheon at Cafe Dodici, on that town's square. I had a pizza with black olives,
and Cary had a veggie burger.
We shared desserts, each a smaller size category whose name I forget -- they were larger than samples and smaller than full-price. Cary had a coupon from the previous month's issue of the Iowa Source for free desserts of that size; when Cary presented it, the waiter said he'd have to check. It was now April and the coupon had expired. The owner came out and exclaimed that she "just had to honor it" because we were the First Persons Ever to redeem one of those coupons!
You may be a meat-eater, or you may restrict yourself to organic ingredients, or you may be vegan, you may prefer tea or you may prefer beer, but you won't go hungry (or thirsty) in Fairfield.