Hi KBL. Bloomington is pretty great. It is a small town, but it's one of the most culturally rich and tolerant you'll find in the rustbelt.
Cool things in the area: the Tibetan Cultural Center (which the Dali Lama visits every three or four years), Hoosier National Forest (about 20 minutes east of Bton), the Art Museum on campus, the Mathers Museum also on campus, plays at the John Waldron Arts Center and/or film and/or concerts at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. There's a zombie parade every Halloween. The Square (on Kirkwood and between Walnut & College) is the center of town, and there's lots of great shopping right in that area (spiritual shop called Athena, a couple gallerys, a cooking shop, a mall with lots more).
Also, just walking around IU campus is a treat--it's considered one of the most beautiful campuses in the US.
Food places to check out: Trojan Horse, the Irish Lion, and Nick's are all Btown staples. Blu Boy is a chocolatier and highly recommened for desert/treats. There's also the Farm restaurant, which serves only local and organic foods--pricey but awesome; and Michael's Uptown Cafe. These are all in the general area of the Square (except for Nick's which a short walk east towards campus).
Park-wise, there's Bryan Park near downtown, which has a pool and waterslides in the summer; there's Olcott Park further south next door to Jackson Creek Middle School and neighborhoods.
The local co-op is Bloomingfoods; there's a branch off of Kirkwood, the main drag in town, but the big one is one Third near the College Mall.
In short, I love this town. I live outside of town with a forest in my backyard, but it's only a twelve minute drive to downtown. There *are* lots of students, who are student-like in behavior, of course, but overall people here are friendly. It is definitely a small town in comparison to St. Louis, but it has a lot going for it.
So, that's a lot of stuff. Drop me a message if you have more questions--I'm happy to help!
Rhiannon (33), writer and grad student. Miscarriages in 5/08, 3/09, and 7/09. Deliriously happy mom to DD (10 mos), 8 weeks premature and miracle baby. Remembering her twin brother, lost 5/10 to pulmonary hypoplasia after PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes).