Iowa native Kevin Thomas McCarthy has lived in New York City and Chicago.
Now he’s back home and living in downtown Des Moines, a place he says can hold its own against the big dogs.
It boasts a long list of perks that McCarthy, who lives at the 10th Street Lofts, rattles off — the beautiful Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Central Library, affordable cost of living, access to trails and amazing restaurants (that won’t break the bank) within walking distance.
“You leave Des Moines, and then you realize it’s nice to be able to get together at the last minute to have drinks — and you can walk there,” he says.
Des Moines also offers young people who are civic-minded many opportunities to get involved.
“You can really be part of a community here and make a difference,” he says.
McCarthy had been convinced to return to Des Moines, where he’d previously lived for a few years, by a friend. Upon his return, there was never any question that downtown is where he’d make his home, McCarthy says. He and his partner moved into their two-bedroom loft in April 2012.
“The windows really sold it for me,” says McCarthy of the huge expanse of glass running along the length of the loft. The open floor plan, ample space for entertaining, polished concrete floor, exposed original brick and high ceilings lured him in as well.
“It’s a really welcoming and unique space,” he says. “It’s perfect for entertaining.”
That’s critical for the couple, who have hosted everything from intimate gatherings to a New Year’s party with dozens of guests.
While he describes their design style as “clean and simple,” the exception is “The Butler.” The colorful, bug-eyed figure, with a mouth full of gnarled teeth, stands with a tray filled with martini glasses in its large, pink hands.
“People at first say, ‘What the heck is that?’ And then they like it,” McCarthy says of the creation by local artist Linda Bender, who gave it as a housewarming gift.
Their unique decor, living space and neighborhood — McCarthy is content with it all.
“You’re in the heart of it here,” he says. “For the time being, I can’t see myself living anywhere else.”