Rebecca Goldsmith

Rebecca is starting a project with Addie and strongly feels that Des Moines is the #1 best place for everything, especially in East Village.

Why do you call Des Moines home? Des Moines is definitely my home, it's my place of comfort, in a good way.  For years I moved all over - east coast, west coast, mountains, overseas- but I always found my way back to Des Moines.  You just can't quit this place.

"It's my place of comfort, in a good way."

If you could write the Des Moines area a mission statement, what would it be? Maybe more of a tagline than a mission statement, but I have to give Adam and Tammy from The Red Door Press credit for this one.  Their calendar print says it all - Des Moines: The #1 Best Place for Everything. It's pretty true though, we're always on those #1 best lists, which in a way is comical because they seem never ending, though well deserved. 

What’s currently keeping you busy? Besides The Book of Dates? Haha, well as much as I'd love it to be, The Book of Dates is not my day job.  So it's a balancing act of the two among all of everything else going on in life.

Why did you want to start The Book of Dates? Local art is really a thing in Des Moines, with all the art and craft fairs, the new murals going up everywhere, the interiors of many local downtown restaurants, free art Fridays, etc.  It just seemed like a great opportunity to promote all of the extremely talented artists working on those projects, as well as emerging artists, all in one central place.  We also wanted a go-to place where you could map out your weekend with some of Des Moines’ best events.  So, viola - The Book of Dates was born. 

"If you really don't think you'll ever try your big idea on your own, or keep telling yourself the "someday" thing, maybe find a friend and you'll have the courage to do it together."

From one maker to another what is your tip or advice? Well, for me, I'm always coming up with these ideas but probably too scared to take the risk to do things on my own.  It's been great to be connected to someone as supportive as Addie because it gave me the push to try something along with the support of someone going through the exact same unknowns at the same time.  So if you really don't think you'll ever try your big idea on your own, or keep telling yourself the "someday" thing, maybe find a friend and you'll have the courage to do it together.  Power in numbers. :)

Walk us through your typical weekend? Obviously trying to catch a local Des Moines event if something is going on (Farmer’s Market for sure) and shopping locally, especially in East Village, but my staples are sleeping in as late as possible and coffee in pajamas.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Black Cat Ice Cream!  Go if you haven’t! The pastry chef really goes the extra mile with every ingredient he puts in. For instance, he has one flavor with all the yummy childhood cereals, that he actually soaks in cream for a period of time before he folds it into the ice cream.  So good! 

Convince us to visit one of your favorite places in the Des Moines area? I have to say all the parks and woods in and around Des Moines. I love to go running and biking. I have some spots I go to regularly, even just to do some life reflection. In the spring, it’s the prettiest because all the trees and flowers are blooming above and around you. I love to be out and just feel enveloped by nature and it’s cool that you don’t even have to leave the city limits in order to experience that.

For someone new to East Village, what shop would you want them to visit first and why? The first stop any East Village newbie should make is RAYGUN! A typical shopping trip would include browsing the eccentric knick-knacks, their Midwest-themed posters & mugs, postcards and stickers galore and their staple item: the quirky pun tees! It's a completely outta-the-box retailer, you gotta go! And you can swing into Mars & Thelma's for a coffee and cookie while you're at it!

If you could grant the Des Moines area one wish what would it be? My wish for Des Moines, really, just one?  RDG Planning & Design does an annual Design Residency (of which I’m an alum) where graduate students with a variety of backgrounds come from all over and plan all these pie-in-the-sky projects for Des Moines. I can’t pick just one idea, but I’ve seen everything from repurposed grain bins as a learning centers, to parking garages as micro-housing communities, a downtown street turned waterway for kayaking, community gardens on tops of sky scrapers and more.  If any city would be up for implementing these ideas, it’s got to be Des Moines!

Derek Jensen