| Thursday, January 15, 2004
A couple of days ago, two friends and I, swaddled in the folds of Brobdingnagian jackets, slid onto the sidewalks of South Bend. My friend wanted nothing more than to convert some hundred-odd pounds sterling into its pea-colored American equivalent. Braving Boreas huffing and puffing against us, we walked from Washington to Colfax, across Michigan to Main, etching rectangular paths throughout the city’s streets. What we discovered was that South Bend’s financial district is the soul of the city. For a lovely overhead view of South Bend, visit Key Bank. For a wide array of travel magazines to pore over while the wind whips and whirls outside, pop into the TCU. Need to see some green fronds after the monotony of snow? First Source has plants. But should you ever need to exchange currency, should you by some fluke of fate come from a distant, little-known kingdom called England, or for that matter, come from anywhere but here, you’d best get thee to Chicago before the bell tolls five on Friday. Not even the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union performs this feat of metamorphosing pounds into dollars. No, in matters of Midas, no bank can change shining sterling to gleaming green. (Or they will do it, but it will cost $17-25 U.S. dollars for the exchange and to get the money can take up to 10 days.) I inquire of a University begun by Frenchmen, adopted by Irish, offering the Keough and the Kellogg, boasting the instruction of Chinese, Arabic, and many others, why it can’t get its hands on the money.