I started off my trip in the capital of Nebraska in the city of Lincoln. My first stop was right here at the state capitol building, also called the “Penis of the Plains” as I was told by a local. The building earned this nickname because of its tall height in this otherwise flat state. Comparing to all the other capitol buildings I’ve already visited, I’d place this one on the upper percentile. It’s definitely not a favorite but I appreciate the unique design and towering height. The artwork on the right caught my eye so I photographed it. After photographing it I hadn’t walked up to the building to find out what it was for. Later on I tried to find the meaning of it and you wouldn’t believe the trouble I went to in researching this. After nothing came up I finally figured it was probably business related and when I googled insurance companies in Lincoln Nebraska I finally found the owners of this building. I originally thought it was some type of memorial or had some religious meaning to it!
Lincoln is split up into several districts, above is the Haymarket district which is also called the Warehouse district. Historically warehouse districts were important to the great plains and the mid-west during the mid to late 1800s. When railroads created networks that linked these regions to the rest of the country dozens of enormous warehouses were built here and in other parts of the America. The warehouses stockpiled tons of goods and acted as a massive distribution center. As the country moved forward during the next hundred years the concept of several city blocks of warehouses became obsolete. Most of the warehouse districts in the US were either destroyed or abandoned. Lincoln is one of the few cities in America that still has the warehouse district intact. In the 1970s a decision was made to convert these areas to businesses. Several restaurants, bars, a popular micro brewery and many other businesses have been successful here but the still the warehouse district remains.
By chance I arrived to Nebraska the day before they had their first college football game of the season. I like to take things as they come, so I had no serious plans for Saturday. Someone on my flight to Nebraska described the event passionately and invited me to tailgate with him before the game. His family and friends had a tent set up right outside the stadium and did a little pregaming before the kick off. Many other locals explained to me that football is Nebraska and so for them this is the most important day of the year. I’m glad I met the guy in the Husker Shirtplane, because to be honest I had no idea they had the opening game this day! There is no doubt that Nebraskans are religious about the sport and take lots of pride in their team. Out of the 100+ college football teams the Cornhuskers have one of the best records in the NCAA history that dates all the way back to the 1800s. Above are crowds migrating to the football game within the university. Below are fans celebrating at one of the bars along with a common T-shirt I saw. Some people were already intoxicated before the game even began with others showing their loyalty with face paintings and wearing shirts with such slogans as “Fear the Corn”.
After the Cornhusker game the next place I visited might seem boring in comparison. Lincoln created the Sunken Gardens way back in 1931 which was recently even voted one of the best city gardens by National Geographic so I made sure not to miss it. The gardens themselves were actually quite small but they certainly are attractive with a rainbow of colors and plenty of benches to relax on. I was strolling about the garden when a Korean and American woman approached me and both attempted to get me to attend a service at their church.