Thursday Doors – Downtown Ames

Downtown Ames

During our recent visit to Ames, Iowa to visit my brother, Faith was on a mission to find a store that she remembered shopping in earlier this year. As we tried to figure out which cross street would give us the best coverage, my brother was quick to point out doors that I may or may not have seen before. You know how it goes with doors. If you see one or two, you become interested. Then you see a historic building, then a group of small shops, and you feel like you’re watching a clown car of doors.

If you don’t understand, you must be new to the circus that is Thursday Doors. Each week, Ring Master, Norm Frampton puts up the big top in Montreal and by Saturday, the jugglers, trapeze artists and tightrope walkers have arrived with their doors. If you have a door, or just want to catch the act, point your big floppy clown feet in the direction of Norm’s place. Once you stumble onto the midway, check out Norm’s doors and look for the blue frog. Click him to gain admission to the doors – come one, come all, everyone’s a winner.

One not so doorsy thing that we saw while walking around, is a little park that includes benches that were designed by local artists. One of the artists is my niece, and Faith made sure to point out Sara’s bench. As we were walking out of the park, I noticed a banner in honor of The Dinkey, the train I mentioned in an earlier doorscurrion in Ames so please, attend the opening act of today’s post:

The doors in the main gallery include those of an old school that has been repurposed as municipal offices, a couple of shops in town, a brew pub and a coffee shop.

I have to tell you about the coffee shop. I’m not normally a fan of fancy-schmancy coffee that’s brewed from beans harvested by the Mars Rover and water imported from a melting glacier in Tibet. In addition, I am not usually a fan of iced coffee. That said, the coffee shop whose doors are featured, along with a couple interior shots, was excellent. I ordered an iced coffee, that I thought I would probably have to choke down. It was so good that I complimented the owner. He explained that the coffee is cold-brewed, overnight from a special blend that he selected just for iced coffee. Now I wish it wasn’t 1,200 miles away.

As always, you can click on any photo to start a slide show.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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64 Responses to Thursday Doors – Downtown Ames

  1. dweezer19 says:

    Good morning Dan! What a great doors post. This place reminds me so much of Lincoln Nebraska. They have several coffe venues like this one that also serve organic and homestyle breakfasts. I drink cold brew coffee all the time. Mix it with a bit of cola and/or club soda. Especially in Summer I don’t care for hot drinks. I love the decor inside the cafe. And your neice’s bench is beautiful! I love the little park. I love parks. Great doors and so many of them. (I have my train postcard in a place of honor)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Cheryl, I thought of you as soon as I saw the Dinkey banner. It was so nice to see a historic section of town still laced with businesses and activity. I love finding little parks. We were running several errands that day, so we didn’t have time to sit a bit, but I was glad my daughter knew about the bench.

      Like

  2. The doors are great, Dan, but my attention was caught by the wonderful bench done by your niece. As a fan of westerns, I LOVE this bench and applaud her artistic talents. Then to get an amazing iced coffee – life is good for you and Faith when visiting Ames. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy. The bench is very cool, and it reminded me of so many of those old western on TV in the 60s. That coffee shop will be on my list of places to stop during future visits. I can still remember how easily that iced coffee went down. It’s amazing, when you don’t like something and then you find someone who makes it right, and it’s really really good!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Val says:

    Wow, Dan, you’ve got quite a collection here today. Lovely! I love the dancing (or dashing) figures on the toilet door, and the bench… and the sign on it made me smile because every time I see ‘Wells Fargo’ I think of the TV show. :) Do you remember that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I do remember that – thanks Val. I’m really glad I included the photos of the bench, it seems to be more than a family favorite :) My niece isn’t old enough to remember those shows, but she captured the spirit really well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bikerchick57 says:

    Your niece does wonderful work as an artist, Dan! Thanks for sharing her bench and the many doors in Ames. The coffee shop intrigues me, although I am the sort of person that seeks out the fancy schmancy or new-on-the-block shops. Their coffee tastes better to me (and better than Starbucks), plus the atmospheres are always unique. I have a question, though. What was in The Pumpkin Patch other than maybe pumpkins?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mary! My daughter has a knack for finding coffee shops like this. I remember her dragging me about 6 blocks out of our way, in the rain, to a coffee shop in New York City, but it was worth the walk. The Pumpkin Patch is a toy store. Faith had found a stuffed bunny there to give to her mom earlier this year, and this time, we found a stuffed chipmunk. You could spend a thousand dollars in that store on adorable stuffed animals.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. BeckyB says:

    oh what great doors this week . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice selection, Dan, and lovely interior shots. You even included a red door. Your niece’s bench is fab, too. Now I’m longing for a coffee – hot, not iced.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always appreciate a good coffee story and I love the restroom door but I love the welcome sign the most. That high school has some pretty fancy doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks, I’m glad to hear people liking the sign. I was very glad to see it displayed. The Restroom door sign is pretty cool. The high school seemed to have different doors at each entrance, almost like they built it for Norm!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved the bench and the doors. When I think of Ames Iowa I remember an old shovel I had that was made in Ames. I spend many an hour with that shovel. The brew pub and coffee place look like places to visit for sure. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks John. I haven’t been inside the brewery, but I might get a chance on my next visit. I will definitely visit that coffee shop again. Maybe get an iced coffee and sit a spell on that bench – unless my next visit is in January.

      Like

  9. I was taken by the sign in the coffee shop. I have not seen one like this, but our general area is covered with yard signs saying, hate has no home here (I have one in my front yard, so I notice). It made me feel at home to see this sign so far away from my own neighborhood and yet saying the same thing. And, to change the topic, a good coffee shop is a find wherever it is! I will remember Ames.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Claudia. I explained to someone above, that I saw a similar sign during our visit to Pittsburgh. I will include that in a future post. I was very happy to see these signs. It’s a little sad that we have to say it, but I’m glad to see so many people and businesses doing so. I will be back to that coffee shop.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Almost Iowa says:

    Love the bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. loisajay says:

    The restroom door is a riot! So your family is kind of artsy, eh? Photography and painting. Nicely done. Those gymnasium doors…..truly old school. No pun intended. They just don’t build them like that anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. Yeah, there’s a bunch of creativity circling this little group. I love those old school doors. I like the Police Station the best. I have to check the comment, but it’s also in that same building. You’re right, they don’t build them like that anymore.

      Like

  12. joey says:

    Ooh, what a great doors post! Little bit of all good things!
    I’m all about the coffee shops, the chains, the independents, no matter! Cold brew is super easy and definitely what to drink in the summer. I love the art in the coffee place, the art of your niece’s bench, the pub doors and the lamp posts outside the police station.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I was going to guess that you would like the lamp posts. When I was cropping that photo, I thought “you have to leave the lamps in for Joey.” It was a fun little drive/walk and very good coffee. I’ve tried what some chain coffee places call “cold brew” but I’m not sure it really is. This stuff was the best! I’m glad you liked the bench, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Marian Allen says:

    Love the brewpub doors! And, as loisajay says, the restroom door IS a riot! Love the school doors. I miss the beautiful detail on older buildings. Why can’t things be functional and beautiful at the same time? Eh? Eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. jesh stg says:

    Love those cool benches!.And you found a couple of nice doors! Unlike you, I/’m one who has to try every kind of coffee, and am especially interested in the iced ones. My new favorite is the coconut Javiva from Peets. Thank you for your regular like on my posts – am hopelessly irregular now since I’m squeezing my computer time in between other things.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Doors can reveal a lot about a community–whether they’re friendly or not. In New York, bars and gates hint at the “not” category.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Norm 2.0 says:

    A nice collection of doors and that bench is very special too.
    You outdid yourself this week with the circus comparison Dan. Just don’t expect me to start wearing a funny wig and floppy shoes myself ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. JT Twissel says:

    I like the reflections on the old high school door. Quite artsy, buddy!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. A red restroom door! And a much funnier sign than the regular ones! Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. reocochran says:

    I like cold pressed coffee! I like iced coffees and usually ask for a flavor shot, leave room for cream. My goodness! I’m excited you tried something you didn’t think you would do anything but choke it down and you Liked it, Dan! Yay!
    The bench with the wagon and horses was beautiful art by Sara. The Swank shop and the Olde Main Brewing company doors were very nice in their unique ways. One is arched brick frame with white tiles and the other had a long, side glass window panel with nice brown painted door. :)
    The school doors with “gymnasium” spelled out on a marble or white stone was a gorgeous trio of doors.
    So glad you had time to spend with family in Ames, but not for the reason you were there. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Your niece’s bench is perfect for Wells Fargo! It’s lovely.

    I like the Gymnasium doors, and the old high school doors a lot with their arches, and wood, and glass doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Deborah. The high school was such a treasure chest of doors. Three entrances and each a little different. It turned collecting a few doors into a doors post! I’m glad you liked the bench.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Candy says:

    Thanks for the trip to Iowa. My favorite doors were the ones on the old High School. And thanks for the ‘big top’chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great doorscursion! Almost seems like you got the entire town; but the coffee shop was tops! Cold brewed coffee is the current trend (not as harsh and I drink coffee black) but Starbucks started selling nitro brewed coffee (if you add a slightly sweet cream it tastes great).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks! Between the university and this historic section, Ames has brought me enough doors for several posts so far. I have never been able to develop a taste for Starbucks coffee. It always seems bitter to me. This was really good. It had a strong flavor, but not bitter at all. I drink way more hot coffee than iced. I almost never order iced, I just make some at home with the last cup of coffee in the summer.

      Like

  23. Great doors post (as always). I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about the “fancy-schmancy” coffee culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Liu Min says:

    Wow! It looks like a wonderful visit! The design on the bench looks lovely, and the sign in the coffee shop is presented in multiple Languages. What an inclusive community there! Loving these doors too!:)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Damn, I just tried posting a long comment and it didn’t stick. :( I hate it when this happens. Let’s see if I can bring it back.

    What a great post, I love everything about it. The bench is so beautiful, not at all because you’re related to it. I’d love to sit on it and read. First the vinyl sign and then the “no hate” sign would make me immediately feel 100% better. And then come all the doors. Never a fan of either school or police (at least Slovenian), but here they’ve got the best door.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks – yes, the signs are my favorites, and when I felt I had to reduce the number of images, I refused to delete those, even though they aren’t doors. I really do like the Police doors, but I think it’s actually the lamp posts that I like. I like the image on the restroom door.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Glynis Jolly says:

    The doors on the brew pub are classy.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Just loved these doors, Dan, but hands down, I must admit, that bench your niece did is the winner in this post! 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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