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In your email and online every week.


"If you can’t live longer, live deeper."


What was the first concert you ever saw?

I was with a group of people recently and had a great discussion about concerts we attended. Try these questions out next time you are in a group.

What was the first concert you ever saw? It is amazing how quickly people can answer this one. Mine was The Grass Roots at Adventureland Park sometime in the late 1970s. “Midnight Confessions,” “Sooner or Later” and other tunes were the music of my older sister that I heard around the house growing up, and I loved hearing them live.

What was the last concert you saw? The answer proves to be tougher for this question, except for those who attended a show in recent months. The pandemic certainly slowed this down for most of us. Aside from local bands at community festivals, the last concert I saw was probably Jackson Browne at the Civic Center. “Doctor My Eyes.” “Tender is the Night.” He was amazing.

What was the worst concert you have ever seen? People don’t seem to hesitate when answering this one, as the answer is usually related to the performers being under the influence of something. Mine was a different story. Jolene and I saw the band Kansas perform after an Iowa Cubs game sometime in the 1990s. We attended with our friends Steve and Lisa Donohue, and we tried to name Kansas songs on our drive to the stadium. “Dust in the Wind.” “Point of Know Return.” “Carry on Wayward Son.” And… it became difficult after those three. Even so, we were looking forward to hearing those songs. What we didn’t expect — and what made it my worst concert ever — were the 20-minute instrumentals in each and every song. Painful.

What was the best concert you have ever seen? This is another easy answer for most people, and the responses usually offer insight into each person’s interests. I took my mother to see Alan Jackson play at Wells Fargo Arena a decade or so ago. We were seated on the floor in the first 10 rows, and we felt like we were in the Jackson living room. He is an incredible performer, yet humble and sincere. I wasn’t a big country music fan, but I was entertained for an evening by a series of songs that I recognized (“Chattahoochee,” “Drive,” “Gone Country”) by one of the industry’s greatest. A close second for me was Barry Manilow. Yes, that Barry Manilow (“Mandy,” “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write The Songs”). My friend Clint Dudley and I bought group tickets for a Wells Fargo Arena suite for this show at a fundraising auction. The trick proved to be in finding anyone else to go with us. But we did, and the concert was truly amazing with another series of sing-along songs from a true entertainer.

So give these questions a try next time you are in a group and struggling for interesting conversation. You will find common ground and learn new things from people you think you hardly knew — and you might learn a little something about yourself, too.

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

City is winterizing parks

Due to falling temperatures, Urbandale Parks & Recreation staff will begin shutting down drinking fountains and restrooms throughout the park system beginning Monday, Oct. 25. As temperatures continue to drop, all park facilities must be winterized to withstand harsh weather conditions. Portable restrooms will remain through October and then closed and removed in early November.

“We understand residents enjoy our parks in every season, so our goal is to keep the restrooms and fountains on as long as possible,” said Assistant Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Scott Hock. “We normally start this process right after Oct. 15, when shelter rentals cease for the season and switch to first-come first-serve for usage. But weather forecast predictions looked favorable for us to wait one more week this year.”
When temperatures allow in the spring, staff will restore water to the public restrooms and drinking fountains. Although Urbandale parks remain open year-round, trail maintenance may be limited during certain times of the year. Visitors should use caution during winter due to the potential for snow, ice and debris hazards.

Urbandale Parks & Recreation manages 57 parks, more than 50 miles of paved trails, and offers more than 300 athletic, instructional, recreational, and wellness programs during the year. Indoor programs are provided throughout the winter and can be found online at www.Urbandale.org/Fall or call the Parks & Recreation Office at 515-278-3963.

Call to Artists: Urbandale Art Park Exhibition  

The Urbandale Public Art Committee invites artists to apply to participate in the Urbandale Art Park Exhibition. The Urbandale Art Park was established as a permanent outdoor sculpture park with annually changing exhibits. The Art Park is located at 3600 86th St., just south of Douglas Avenue at Urbandale City Hall.

The Urbandale Public Art Committee will oversee the selection of four sculptures which will be displayed in the Urbandale Art Park for an annual exhibition during the 2022-2023 season. Selected artists will receive a $1,500 stipend for loaning the work for the exhibition period. There is no application fee.

The sculpture must be able to be bolted to a 3’x3’ steel pad. It must be suitable for year-round outdoor public display and constructed in a manner which will not cause safety, liability, or maintenance concerns during the exhibition period.

Artists interested in being considered should submit a completed application form including a narrative of the artist’s concept and date of creation, a detailed explanation of how the piece will be secured or anchored when installed, visual photographs depicting several views of the artwork (in JPEG or PDF format), a brief artist biography, and a list of professional references.

All artists are welcome to submit an application(s) — up to three are allowed — no later than 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15. For submission form and any questions, contact Director of Parks and Recreation Jan Herke at jherke@urbandale.org.

Urbandale Book Club Survey underway

Share feedback on book clubs at the Urbandale Public Library. Staff is interested in hearing from people who do attend and don’t attend as well in the hopes that they can find a book club you would be interested in joining. Information from the survey will guide development of book clubs in 2022 and beyond, from title selection to location. Stay tuned for exciting developments with our upcoming book discussions. Find the survey online at https://www.urbandalelibrary.org.


Managing Grief Through the Holidays with the Iowa Donor Network

Join Library staff Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. as they partner with grief and loss experts from Iowa Donor Network for a free program, ”Holiday Survival Guide.” Whether this is your first holiday since your loss or if it has been a few years, the program will help identify challenges and come up with a survival guide that includes some self-care resources. Bring a notebook. This program is recommended for teens and adults. Registration is required online at https://urbandalelibrary.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=9627&lib=0&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2021/11/01

Upcoming events

Trunk or Treat will be held Thursday, Oct. 28 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Urbandale Police Department parking lot. Kids will receive candy and enjoy seeing the decorated vehicles.

Beggars Night is Saturday, Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m.

Joke of the week:

What kind of noise does a witch’s vehicle make?

Brrrroooom, brrroooom!!!

Your Urbandale Living magazine

Mailed to residents of Urbandale the first Thursday of each month. 

This month's cover story: 

Residents’ Choice awards

Northwest Polk County residents share their favorites.

By Tammy Pearson

More than two decades ago, CITYVIEW launched its Best Of Des Moines readers’ poll, and it continues to grow in popularity. In the same tradition, now for the third year, Big Green Umbrella Media, the publisher of CITYVIEW and this magazine, shares the results of the Northwest Polk County Residents’ Choice poll. From boutiques to plumbing companies to home improvement contractors, Northwest Polk County residents have again voted on their favorites. See which of last year’s top vote-getters again captured the support of local residents and which new winners have emerged.


Read this month's issue
P.E. Team strives for variety

Helping students reach their full potential

By TK West

As part of the Urbandale Middle School Physical Education Team, Corey Brown, Chris Christensen and Ellen Gallagher believe it is crucial to provide a variety of physical activities to their students.

Brown has not only taught 16 years at the Urbandale Middle School but also coaches middle school cross country, eighth grade boys basketball and ninth grade baseball. Entering into his 15th year with the district, Christensen is also involved in coaching wrestling, football and track. 


Read More
A signature side dish

Almost every get together — whether it’s family, friends or neighbors — has one dish that’s the star of the show time after time. It’s usually a staple dish, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the main course.

It can be a side dish that pairs with almost everything else on the table. The kids gobble it up, and the adults ask, “Can I have that recipe?”

Side dishes can be some of the most enjoyed foods at a meal. There is a large variety of options and a multitude of possibilities and variations of almost every classic side dish.

There are a lot of elements that go into making a stellar side, however. It must have lots of flavor, and the seasoning needs to be on point.


Read More

83% of Living magazine readers are between the ages of 25-64, the time of life when most purchases are being made. Keep that important statistic in mind when deciding where to place your advertising dollars. If you are looking to reach local adults with expendable income, then we can help. Contact us today to learn how. As always, thanks for reading. 


P.S. As a free newsletter, we rely on readers like you to grow our subscriber list. If you have a friend or coworker that you think would enjoy weekly highlights of the Urbandale Living Weekly, please share our newsletter sign up page with them! Go to www.iowalivingmagazines.com and select email blast sign up at the top right.

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