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The city that sparkles

Katie Peralta | Monday, November 2, 2009

Completely and totally lost on I-65 yesterday, driving back from weekend festivities in Bloomington, my friend Hannah and I were completely speechless with the sheer beauty of the great state of Indiana during this most delightful time of the year. We had awoken in my friend’s apartment earlier in the day only to be greeted by the most glorious blue sky I have ever witnessed. Crisp red and orange leaves danced merrily along Walnut Street and the cool bite to the air refreshed our sleepy spirits.

Corny, yes. Biased, yes. But this day got me thinking what a crazy and foolish thing it is to knock Indiana and most notably its weather. I have heard time and time again the list of offences and grievances against the great Hoosier State, especially from those of you from places like California, Texas and Florida. I get it and I hear you. Charlotte’s perpetual perfection is always nice to come home to.

My question then to you is a simple one. Did you expect the tropics when you sent in that application in high school? Sorry our pristine beaches don’t meet your expectations. Sorry our palm trees don’t grow as abundantly as they do in your area. Sorry we get rain and —gasp — snow.

My rant is not just limited to the weather of Northern Indiana. On the contrary, I am here more to defend the Greatest City Ever Cultivated. That’s right. Those of you who were lucky enough to catch my little stint on Fox News’ College Experiment during the USC weekend know what I am talking about. Others call our dear South Bend the City that Sparkles, or simply just Sparkles.

This is not meant to be a bombastic attack on critics of the Bend. I know you all love your hometowns. I do too. If we are to foster stronger University-community relations, however, we’ve gotta change these nasty ‘tudes about the place that students and faculty alike seem to harbor.

South Bend is a small(ish) town and there is no pro sport team here, and we can’t forget to mention the fact that the 25-foot Chase “tower” is DTSB’s tallest building. My challenge to you therefore is to just take South Bend for all it’s worth. The Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Riverside Drive. Finnegan’s, Corby’s and CJ’s. The fact that you see at least five people you know every time you go to Martin’s.

I think we should all just accept that fact that South Bend’s charm and comfort outweigh its nasty weather and its monotony. Four years is enough to get to know a place and it’s enough to call that place your new home. I think good ol’ Fr. Sorin and his boys had it right when they chose the Bend as the location for this great University of ours, don’t you?