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DSM: A Unique City

Living in Downtown DSM

December 17, 2021

Earlier this year, Bâton Global was selected to support the development of the Downtown DSM: Future Forward Action Plan and Vision Plan. Since the selection, Matthew Mitchell, partner at Bâton Global, has been enthusiastic about the project. While Mitchell hasn’t spoken much with his family about his recent efforts to help set up Downtown Des Moines (DSM) for future success, his son, Carter, of his own accord, provided his take on downtown for a vignette assigned by his Central Academy English teacher, Sherry Brooks. You can read his essay below: Hanging Out in Downtown DSM

Walking through the streets of downtown Des Moines, I can hear the sounds of the city. I hear the busses carrying people off to work and home again. I hear the cars pass, all full of people heading off to do something important in their own lives. I hear a family admiring art in the sculpture park. I hear a father teaching his son to skateboard in the skate park. I hear the street performers playing a song, familiar but strange all the same. All of these sounds have a place close to my heart. Because they belong to the city I call home. The city of Des Moines. Des Moines is a symphony, sung by hundreds of thousands of voices, each with a story to tell, all meaningful. No matter how hard you search, you will never find a city more friendly than Des Moines. From the capitol building, with its golden domes that shine like the sun, to the Iowa State Fairgrounds, teeming with excitement and anticipation. If you stand still and let your mind wander, you can almost feel all the emotions coming from across the city. You can smell the sweat of the construction worker, working hard to improve their community. You can hear the excitement of the kids who just learned to stay on the skateboard, as well as the cries of those who fell. But whenever one falls, there is always another one there to pick them up again. That is the beauty of Des Moines. You can feel it. You can see it. You see it in the different faces all together in one place. You hear it in the different voices all singing different parts of the same symphony. All you need to do is visit and have an open attitude and you will see it. The beauty of Des Moines. You will experience it. You will feel it. Because of this, I am certain there is no place I would rather be than walking the streets of downtown.Sunny Day in Downtown DSM

Author Commentary

Carter explained in an author commentary why he wrote the vignette on Des Moines: … in “A Unique City” I tried to paint the picture of Des Moines through my eyes and my experiences specifically. I was born in South Carolina and only moved to Des Moines after about two years. I chose to call Des Moines my “home city” because I wanted to introduce the idea that home is not where you were born or where you are living. Home is a feeling that is different for everyone, and even though I was not born in Des Moines I consider it my home much more then where I was born. I have also done a lot of traveling to experience other cities such as Indianapolis, Chicago, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Naples. It was only after I visited these cities that I noticed just how friendly the Des Moines community is. It is amazing to me that we have things like the skate park, the sculpture park, Gray’s Lake, Waterworks and the farmer’s market. When I go to these places, I always have lots of fun, and most of the time talk to a random stranger and get to know them. The other places I have been just don’t seem to broadcast that kind of friendliness. When I look at Des Moines, I see a field of wildflowers. The people around me are all different but still the same. This is one of my favorite things about Des Moines — the diversity and the inclusion. I am growing up with a friend group comprised of many people of different races and ethnic backgrounds than myself. My two best friends are both of a different ethnicity and religion, but I have never seen them for anything but my friends. Growing up in Des Moines has given me a positive and unique outlook on life that I believe is sometimes difficult to find other places.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Carter Mitchell

Carter Mitchell is a student at Cowles Montessori Public School in Greater Des Moines (DSM).