There’s something vaguely European about this place and the people in it. Maybe it’s the rich history and strong Polish influence lingering generations later. Whatever the reason, it hit me the very first day I moved to Valpo and I’ve been noticing it ever since. The towering willowy trees and their emerald foliage remind me of the ones I saw in Germany on a family vacation when I was ten. It rains like it did there too, frequently and in great torrents, beating the Earth with a super soaker. The cobbled streets near the plaza downtown are like the many old town squares where my family lunched.
There’s also something foreign about the people that live here. They’re all better dressed than the people back home for one thing. Coloradans are notoriously casual and it’s one of the only things that I never could quite understand about Rocky Mountain folks. Here in Indiana you can see ladies in heels and men in polos for no other reason than a leisurely afternoon stroll through the streets of downtown. Maybe it’s the proximity to Chicago city life but ripped jeans and ratty t-shirts are not the fashion here. And as Fall rolls in, everyone happily dons their coziest knitwear and polishes their sensible leather boots to ward off the chill in the air.