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Taking a Trip Downtown

It’s midterm week, and thankfully I’ve had it better than most. I only have one big project due and no tests, so I’m flying pretty high at the moment (of course, that just means that most of my work is end-loaded on the semester— that’s a concern for after spring break!).

If midterms have got a person down though, they should consider taking a break and heading to downtown Decorah, a mere fifteen minute walk or five minute drive. Just this evening there was quite the show at Java John’s, the local café. Now, there’s no place better than Java John’s if a person is looking to get away from campus for a little while, because even though Luther isn’t a half-bad place, too much of the same scenery is too much of the same scenery. If you’re looking to do a bit of reading for class, or write up a paper draft, or just spend some time relaxing with friends, Java Johns is the place to be.

As I just mentioned, tonight brought with it some special entertainment. The one and only Jeffrey Lackman, guitarist, pianist, and chorister extraordinaire was giving a show. I’ve mentioned Jeffrey before, back when he played in Minneapolis. I am here to report that he has not given up on his self-taught lessons in finger-picking and piano improvisation. Bigger and better than ever, Jeffrey took the floor of the coffee house and gave an hour and a half of non-stop music drawn from a fresh repertoire. It was a lovely opportunity for some students, professors, and Decorah locals to spend a little time together, relaxing and enjoying live music.

There’s a lot more downtown than just Java John’s, though. There’s the Co-op grocery store, a favorite among students who like food that is locally sourced and high quality. Just down the street is Dragonfly Books, an independent bookshop, upon whose shelves you will always find something worth reading. Elsewhere, you can find Vesterheim, a museum of the Norwegian culture and heritage so important to the local community. Also important to the local community is Mabe’s Pizza, the favorite local eatery, which any Luther graduate or Decorah native will know well and remember fondly. Never forget, that if you’re paying a visit you should grab a bite to eat at Mabe’s!

Eli Bowe

Eli Bowe

Eli Bowe is a senior Philosophy and Classical Studies major from Mondovi, Wisconsin. When he isn't studying in Preus Library, Eli can be found exploring the wilderness of Decorah or playing percussion with the Wind and Percussion Ensemble. Last year, Eli studied in England with Luther's Nottingham Program, so he's glad to be back on campus.

Read more about Eli.

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Java John's, all the coffee fit to drink!
Jeffrey takes center stage at Java John's.
A mural gives a view of Decorah's rustic past.
Come to the Co-op for all your food needs.
Or stop by Vesterheim to learn some handicrafts.

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