This poem says it all. This is one of the many reasons why, no matter how impractical, I had to stay in Bloomington after undergrad and law school here.
It's funny - sometimes I think people laugh at me for “settling” for Bloomington, like I'm stuck back in the glory days of college forever and can't make it anywhere else. Well, I'm 30, and I've been called “old” by enough IU students to know I'm not in college. And I lived in Chicago for a year and hated it, despite surviving OK. I lived in Indy for 3, and it was better, but bland.
Anyway, even if I tried to be stuck in the hippie Bloomigton of J&B's first seasons (and my undergrad years), Bloomington has changed too. It's become a little more commecial. The Bloomington Voice is gone, White Rabbit and Spaceport are bulldozed, and J&B have moved. We have 3 Starbucks, for god's sake! (And I buy their coffee - imagine that. Sellout!)
It's not so much that I want to be frozen in time. It's that I want to know that there are still smallish towns out there where a person can actually make a living while using their brains, be a Democrat without shame, and go to an art-house film on the weekends. I like having no traffic AND Tai Chi in the park. And Bloomington is one of the rare towns of its size that has accomplished all of the above - and isn't dying.