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Tripping the Queen: Des Moines and NYC

by Holly Wist on May 19, 2014


Statue of Liberty (HISTORY)

There needs to be a conversational balance when talking about cities and making comparisons.

Recently I’ve observed two different situations when discussing cities.

1. Silence Peon!  “You’re not from here so don’t talk about our problems. But don’t talk about your town either—in fact— don’t talk at all.”

2. Tripping the Queen, “NYC is a suck-face pit of despair and horror. YAY it sucks there!”

I don’t think people should be silenced when making geographical comparisons, but I don’t think income disparity in another city is something worthy of celebration either. 

Picking a place to live isn’t a sporting event. If there is a problem with poverty in another city, Des Moines doesn’t win anything. Not a damn thing.

But an area code doesn’t make creative validity, either. 

It’s like an ad campaign “Now with 100% real cheese!”

Well, what was in you before you moved to NYC? If you use your address to validate yourself, you’re making yourself subject to that value. Are you worth a damn if you move out of there?

All that contrariness aside, you know what would be really great? We should make friends with New Yorkers or something like that. I bet most of the arts crowd across the states can identify with financial problems, loneliness, and frustration.

Why do I live in Des Moines? I like the Midwest. It’s a grungy wild frontier. That which you desire for the arts, you’ve got to build it with your own hands.

Where is the scene? My costal friends, everything in the Midwest is underground. Be nice to the locals or you will never see the red neck yacht club, the wine trails, the secret doughnuts, rurally good festivals, the under-clad house parties, etc. Show some respect and get those doors open. 


‘Iowa’ from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil War Monument (HISTORY)

I need to mention that I lifted my title from Susan Shapiro Barash’s “Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry

May the fine ladies of Des Moines and NYC enjoy their apples without jealousy! She’s like a queen!

Holly Wist is an artist working in Des Moines. WEBSITE