Great Midwestern River Cities: Dubuque, Iowa

If this blog entry is ever adapted as a movie I see the town of Galena cast by somebody pretty and popular.  Maybe it would be Scarlett Johansson as the cheerleader and girlfriend to the star quarterback.  And Galena’s sister city, Dubuque, IA?  That role would have to go to the gritty and talented Lucinda Williams who would play the quarterback’s best friend with the secret crush.  The audience would cheer on Lucinda, but in real life (not reel life), the quarterback stays with the cheerleader. 

So it goes with Galena, a town of a few thousand resident and a few more thousand tourists.  And I can see why; 85% of the city is considered a National Historic Landmark.  It also was the former home of President Grant and at one time was a crucial stop on the Mississippi River between the two Midwestern saints (Louis and Paul). 

Dubuque has over 50,000 residents and a lot of seniors frequenting the casino.  They also have a world-class Mississippi River Museum that spans two buildings.  One building, our favorite, was low-key and showed off various fish and amphibians native to the river.  The other building felt a little ecologically preachy to be interesting (although for us it was preaching to the choir).  Dubuque does have National Historic Landmarks and accessible history, but unlike Galena you have to work a bit to get to it.  The downtown area was full of interesting sculptures, pristine, and completely devoid of people after 9. 

So, Spielberg, Tarantino, M Knight Shyamalan, what do you think? Give me a call and we can talk numbers.