Sunday, January 30, 2011

Normal Promotional Video?

Should one ever be completely honest with someone who wants to move to Normal? What would you tell that person? Here is an example.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Normal Mayor Deep in Thought?

Mayor Koos was photographed at this year's United States Council of Mayors meeting in D.C.  The speaker he's listening to must be very interesting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Normal Links

I was looking for interesting links from "normal" (using and found a few. One is a company called Normal (located in Chicago) that sells environmentally-friendly items. Their mission is "to deliver quality products that promote a healthy future."

On you can find information about "thousands of Normal men in your area." Thousands? Really?

My favorite is the Free Dictionary's listing for "Normal" because, in addition to describing where Normal is located and the fact that ISU is in Normal, it includes a pronunciation of the word "normal" that you can actually listen to. So, if you're unsure how to pronounce the name of this town, you can listen to it repeatedly and practice saying it. (Hint: it's not nor-mall, nor-male, nur-mal, nor nor-mel. It's nor-mle.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Normal Small Steps?

This is an article about the increasing number of small improvement projects in cities, given today's tight budgets. Parks are being developed in vacant lots, for example. Urban planners/designers refer to this kind of development as "infill," which I guess refers to filling in various undeveloped sites with new developments. Maybe this is the kind of development that Normal will experience for a while, now that almost all of the big improvements are in place (the Marriott, traffic circle, JSM building, Multimodal Transportation Center). There's still the "hole in the Uptown ground" that needs to be infilled with something, but that's more of a big development (maybe a vertical theme park!).

Here and there around Normal are "blank spots" that could use small developments. There's a small building on Beech St. (across from Casey's) that's been vacant for some time. It's in a nice location for an ice cream shop or some other residential-friendly business (that doesn't directly compete with Casey's, of course). A nice example of a small development is Java Jo'z, the little coffee place on Ft. Jesse. It's very small but is conveniently located and fills a bit of space in an otherwise unattractive vacant lot between businesses. Since Normal already has quite a few full-sized parks, maybe small green spaces (mini-parks) would be appropriate uses of other available spaces. Let's get small!! (old Steve Martin joke)