Imagine you’re walking down a quaint downtown street.  You cross a bridge and look down to see a serenely flowing river with beautiful green grassy banks on either side.  There are groups of people sitting in tight circles along the grass.  Some are having a picnic, some are reading, some are talking animatedly with each other.  The sun is shining on the scene like a warm and comforting spotlight. 

 

You reluctantly continue along the bridge.  Soon, you encounter cobblestone streets and it appears that you have stepped back in time.  The buildings are old and very authentic looking.  There is a map posted on the street corner that informs you that you have arrived in “Old Market.”  There are many antique shops, bars, and restaurants to choose from.  You decide that Jackson Street Booksellers is a good place to start and you head in that direction. 

 

Soon you arrive at your destination.  Jackson Street Booksellers specializes in used and rare books.  As you walk in the door the musty smell of old yellowing pages assaults you.  The air is warm and humid and the isles jammed with so many books you don’t know where to begin.  Soon you find the paperback fiction area and begin your search.  Not too far into your search you find a good title, “Demons and Angles.”  You head to the cashier who also appears to be the owner of the store.  You have a very pleasant conversation with her about her beautiful city.   It is now time to quench the thirst you have developed during your journey.

 

After leaving the bookstore you head back toward a sign that had intrigued you on your journey.  It is for a bar called Billy Frogg’s.  Interesting you think.  Upon entering Billy Frogg’s you see it’s your typical small bar with hardwood floors, wood bar, mirrored wall behind the bar displaying a variety of brightly and interesting looking bottles filled with all manner of intoxicants.  But this is not a cocktail type of day, this is a beer kind of day and you order a Sam Adams on tap. 

 

You now take your beer and your newly purchased book back outside to sit in the outdoor patio area.  There are several other people out there.  Most of them look local.  There is also a group of musicians getting their instruments ready to play.  You prop you feet up and begin to read.  It is difficult however, to concentrate because there is a lot of foot traffic past this place.  Most people seem to know one another and they are always yelling out greetings to each other. 

 

You decide to put the book down in favor of people watching for awhile.  That is when you spot the surpringly sane looking man who is carrying a sign that says “Save Gold Standard vote Ron Paul.”  You hear the locals nearby commenting to each other that the man holding the sign is crazy.  You soon find out, as the sign holder begins to speak very quickly about how the federal government prints money because it’s Grandparents Day; or Easter; or they just feel like.  They don’t follow the gold standard anymore and because of this every person in the U.S. owes $37,000.00.  He realizes that he’s not getting any takers so he wanders away. 

 

Meanwhile the band that was warming up has begun to play.  They have a very folksy/bluesy sound.  It’s nice.  You’ve also struck up a conversation with another lone traveler who is also enjoying this quaint city. 

 

After a few hours of enjoyable conversation, music, beer, and a warm and gentle breeze, you start to feel slightly chilled and small raindrops begin to pepper the ground around you.  You decide to head back to your hotel before you get caught in a downpour.  You gather your things and head back.  You’ve just had a wonderful afternoon in a city you’ve never been to before.  The most remarkable thing is you’d never have expected such a day visiting Omaha, Nebraska.