“Really New York?!” No, “Really Des Moines?!”

The "Sign" that is getting Des Moinesians in a tizzy (Andrea Laug)

See this sign above?  This was taken on May 21, 2011, by Andrea Laug.  Andrea is a great friend of mine.  She moved to New York City two years to take a job at a salon after graduating from Aveda in West Des Moines.  She posted this picture on her Facebook page.  I sarcastically posted a comment saying “Booo!” in jest.  I thought it was funny.

Apparently for a few folks in Des Moines, they don’t see it that way.

In fact, this sign is a non-story, but it is a story because some Des Moinesians can’t help but to act offended.  Note I didn’t write “feel offended.”  Feel and act are different actions.

New Yorkers have been known to be the brunt of jokes longer than Iowa has been a state (okay, I’m stretching that a bit).  For as much crap as they get, if anyone saw a similar sign and it had “New York” and not “Des Moines” on there, their response would be “fugetaboutit!”  Most New Yorkers would scoff or laugh at it, and then brush it off and go on with their lives.

Des Moines, on the other hand…

…is acting like someone walked up to them and asked if their Mom was a Cougar.

“Really, New York?!”

No, “Really, Des Moines?!” Do we have to overreact to everything emotionally?  Hell, I have a bigger issue on how the headline was written on Radio Iowa‘s blog.  Then again, I’m no journalist or headline writer. 

Sorry, but I don’t buy the notion that NYC was dogging us out.  In fact, it helps Des Moines and its profile.  How many New Yorkers have heard of Des Moines, outside of every four years when the caucuses roll into town?  Secondly, as Suzanne Hull pointed out to me while I was writing this, “No P.R. is good P.R..”  I have good friends who offered their comments to this story on different sites.  I could not disagree with them more on this.  That sign was not put up to “intentionally” demean Des Moines.  To suggest that it is, I think it’s ludicrious. 

If you can’t laugh at yourself and let this go, then that’s a “you” problem, as ESPN’s Colin Cowherd would say. 

This “story” is an non-issue.  Des Moines, take a chill pill and relax.  We are who we are.  Much like New Yorkers, you take it or leave it.  They don’t care if you don’t like them, but they sure as hell wouldn’t be stopping in their tracks and whine about it.

Let it go.

Plus, Andrea should get credit for finding the sign first and then taking a picture of it. 


News and Sports Links – April 14, 2010

Justin Schoen of eComegy. (Eric Rowley/Juice)

I have several projects on the docket and I’ll be out and about on this wet day.  Let us get to the business of finding out what’s going on over the past few days. 

Before I do, I want to thank all of you for being patient and allowing me to keep the “Life Disrupted” post up for a few days.  I hope that it was a source of inspiration for my fellow friends and acquaintances who knew her.  As I said, I didn’t know Ashley very well, however my friends Pete Jones and Shawn Harrington did.  I’ll let you read their words on their blog “Des Moines is Not Boring.”

  • I never thought this day would come, but it has.  ABC has announced that “All My Children” and “One Life to Live”, their daytime bedrocks, will be cancelled.  AMC will bid adieu in September, OLTL in January.  Time to bid adieu to Erica Kane and Viki Buchanan.  My childhood memories have now been permanantly dismantled (I’m kidding).  It might be a good time wax poetically on soap operas one of these days. 


Erica Slezak, the actress who plays Viki Buchanan, on OLTL.


  • With the NBA playoffs looming, popular and oft-controversial national Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock spent a few days with LeBron James‘ friend and manager Maverick Carter.  While Carter and James continue to recieve bad press for how LeBron left Cleveland, Whitlock learns that Carter is taking the lessons from the debacle and have started to put them to good use as a savvy businessman. 
  • Tim Epstein from the impressive Sports Law Blog writes an opinion about the Illinois Legislature reigniting the debate over the hotly-debated “multiplier” rule that was put in place by the Illinois High School Association in 2005.  Basically, the concept of the enrollment multiplier is that it requires actual enrollments of non-boundaried schools be multiplied by 1.65 in determining classification in athletics competition.  As a result, this pits smaller private schools against much larger public schools, as an effort to bring the number of state championships won by private schools more in line with their smaller numbers relative to public schools. The Legislature is working on an amendment to do away with the multiplier rule. 
  • Silicon Prairie News‘ (in conjunction with Juice) Christopher New profiles a fellow friend of mine Justin Schoen and his company, eComegy.  eComegy is a commerce and marketing consulting firm here in Des Moines.  
  • There is some movement at ESPN according to The Big Lead.  Josh Elliott shocked the Worldwide Leader by announcing that he is heading to join ABC’s Good Morning America.  TBL reports that Kevin Neganhdi will replace Elliott on the live morning SportsCenter.  

Apparently, Chris Berman felt that it’s way too early for a 5:00 am wake-up call!  

That’s it for now. 

I still can’t believe that my favorite soap opera character is going away. 

I’m going to miss Viki Buchanan! 

News and Sports Links – February 10, 2011

The Midwest is more than agriculture these days, thanks to Silicon Prairie News.



I’m working on two posts that is providing some challenges for me.  So while I’m hammering them out, here are a couple of news and sports links that raised a few eyebrows, if anyone noticed.

  • Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore Orioles are returning to powerhouse WBAL-AM 1090 radio in Baltimore after four years on the FM side (105.7 The Fan).  Add that to the St. Louis Cardinals’ return to KMOX-AM 1120. Does these moves signal that major leagues teams are returning to stronger AM stations that has helped their brand and popularity over the decades?
  • Lately, I’ve been reading Silicon Prairie News, a website that covers entrepreneurship and the new creative class in the “Silicon Prairie” (Omaha and Des Moines).  A new addition to SPN has been their Prairiecast shows, hosted by Geoff Wood and Andy Brudtkuhl.  This week, Alexander Grgurich of Foundry Coworking and Michael Ferrari of Smarty Pig were the guests.  If you want to know more about entrepreneurship and start-ups, SPN is the go-to site.

Mike Shannon and the Cardinals are returning to powerhouse KMOX radio.



Speaking of  Huff Post

As if Arianna needed the money.  She was already loaded before she created the vastly large news aggregate site.

Finally, Pete Jones of the popular Des Moines is Not Boring stops by Tony Lemmo’s new place, Gusto Pizza.   Pete’s verdict?  Well, I’ll let you read and decide for yourself.

That’s it for now, but enjoy Gusto’s viral commercial that had everyone talking prior to opening.

Get some!

and creatives on the Silicon Prairie

There are other reasons than a “Brain Drain”

If I hear "brain drain" one more time, I will do what she's doing above.

Pete Jones, the “brains” behind the locally celebrated popular blog, “Des Moines is Not Boring,” wanted to pull his hair out.  He was interviewed by Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa on Monday about a term that is starting to wear thin on him and on me as well:

“Brain Drain.”

That term is no longer relevant and continues to be used as an excuse to explain the departure of young Iowans after graduating from high school and/or college.  You can call it a “phase,” “migration,” or whatever.  I agree with Pete that “brain drain” should be put to rest.  The smartest and brightest minds are already here in state.  In fact, a sizable number of them have never left.

Maybe young Iowans are not leaving the state for better jobs, better salaries, or to see the world.  For some, it’s for survival and to escape from troubles.

I grew up in Waterloo, which has recently become a hotbed of violence.  Shootings, murders, fights, et cetera.  In the Waterloo African-American community especially, they have seen the endless “drama”and cyclical troubles that have beset their parents, siblings, and other family members.  Substance abuse, selling illegal drugs, poverty, and making bad life choices due to peer pressure.

Downtown Waterloo

It’s not about taking their talents and intelligence out-of-state.  They want a better life than the one they are living. The only way is to get the hell out, even if it means leaving Waterloo and moving to a different town, or leaving Iowa, for their own sanity.

New residents to Iowa leave the large urban areas for a better quality of life for themselves and their families.  For some of my old high school classmates, they wanted to break the chain of falling into the same traps and choices that their family members and friends have made.  Leaving Iowa was a no “brainer.”  There were too many negative influences surrounding them.

When we get together to catch up and talk, all of them say that leaving Iowa was the best decision of their lives.  They miss Waterloo and their families, but they are happy where they are at.

It’s not always about losing the brightest and the smartest.  It’s the only avenue that some need to escape the life and sadness they have grown tired of.