She’s only been downtown for half of a lease, but to Allie Whyle, Des Moines is already home. “It’s really just a great location.”
Tucked minutes away from bars, diners, coffee shops and corporate offices, this young nanny finally achieved her goal of ‘making it’ in the big city. “Okay, it is not that big, but it’s still pretty great,” she joked.
Growing up on the outskirts of the metropolitan landscape, Whyle had always wanted to dig herself into the heart of a city. Now at the central nervous system of Des Moines, she said she finally understands why everyone wants to live downtown. “It’s certainly not for everyone. But downtown is the perfect place for anyone under 30—and the perfect place for anyone who wants to pretend they are under 30.”
Cramped amongst dozens of apartments and condos, mashed into an army of twenty-something “city kids,” Whyle said she couldn’t be happier. When asked why she chose downtown Des Moines, her answer could be summed up in three words: “modern, fresh and safe.”
“Des Moines is really changing for the better,” said Whyle. While settling down roots in a 2-bedroom abode in Iowa wasn’t her first choice, it certainly wasn’t her last. Aspirations of bigger cities, bigger dreams and higher education are very nearly sweeping the young Iowan from her home state. For now, however, she’s content with spending her downtime (and the duration of her lease) in Polk County. “If someone from out-of-state asked me if they should move to Des Moines, I would say go for it. They might think Iowa is behind in the times, but Des Moines is really growing, really keeping up with the times and staying modern.”
Fresh. While there may not be 25 malls or 250 clubs, Whyle is confident that there is always something new and exciting happening in her neck of the woods. “Everyone is always doing something. This is really an exciting part of the city to live in. Whether old friends are visiting or new friends are headed to the bar or the coffee shop up the street, there’s always something fun and new to do.”
Despite Whyle’s clean and cozy apartment, she admitted that the streets outside don’t always look so welcoming, especially for women. “I think there’s a bad reputation that comes with the downtown area and some of the surrounding neighborhoods,” she said. “But I’ve never once felt unsafe here. It’s just like the rest of Iowa. Hometown values, genuine friendliness and kind people can be found downtown, too… There’s just a lot more of us!”
And it’s that warm, inviting feeling that is one she will miss when it is time to pack up her bags for bigger things. “There’s nothing like it.” And on if she really will make the big move and kiss Des Moines goodbye? “I’m going to give it a try. If I don’t like it, I know Des Moines will take me back.”