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Champaign on my mind

For some reason I seem to be strangely preoccupied with Champaign (and Urbana) this year. First, a few months ago I finally finished my first novella, Wheatyard, which is primarily set in C-U. Second, last week I belatedly discovered the Vertebrats, a much-loved band that thrived in the twin cities before breaking up in 1982; I had only been familiar with a few of their songs, an inexcusable omission now rectified after finding a copy of their wonderful anthology A Thousand Day Dream at a used record store. Then last night I was saddened to learn that my favorite campus restaurant, Zorba's, was burned out of its building by a fire in March and now faces an uncertain future...sigh.

If I close my eyes and really concentrate, I can almost smell the soybean-processing stench wafting over from the Kraft plant on the other side of town.

June 28, 2011 in Personal | Permalink


Ewwww. And I remember the manure odor when the farmers were readying their fields. If the wind blew just right... memories.

Posted by: Julie at Jun 28, 2011 11:26:46 AM

I always thought the South Farms smell was better than the Kraft smell.

Posted by: Pete at Jun 29, 2011 8:40:45 AM

Zorba's was a wonderful restaurant. Green Street is more and more a street of chain stores and restaurants. One great exception -- the Empire Chinese Restaurant.

Posted by: Michael Leddy at Jun 30, 2011 11:34:37 AM

We noticed that last time we were there (Chipotle, Noodles & Co., etc.). And when I was in school, Zorba's wasn't even considered the "genuine" gyros place in Campustown - that honor went to The Greek Table, near Fourth & Green, which appears to have moved to 6th Street (undoubtedly displaced by the national chains on Green). I hope Zorba's returns somehow.

Posted by: Pete at Jul 2, 2011 6:54:30 PM