Column night, and other perturbations, so short and quick and probably without merit. A good day; we were promised thunderstorms, but of course that’s a lie these days. The weather hasn’t lived up to forecasts well for the last two weeks. As I wrote in the Strib blog, the icon on the weather program is an oversimplification anyway. The day is many things. It’s like using an emoticon for someone’s life. Unless they smiled like an idiot the entire time, of course.

Went back to Dinkytown today to get some shots for the promo video. (Have to redo it; glad I did. It’ll be up Monday.) Parked at one of the new meters, which is a really nifty thing. You don’t pay at your car. You memorize a five-digit number, walk to the middle of the block, put in your money, then walk back past your car, realize you got one of the numbers wrong because your short-term memory is what was I talking about? or because you read the wrong pole. Then you go back and feed the meter again. The amusing thing, in a bitterly unfunny sort of way, is that the terminal accepted a number that did not exist on the street. It’s programmed to take anything. Or, I paid for half an hour for someone downtown. In which case you’re welcome.

Dinkytown has changed and hasn’t. All the buildings that were there when I went to college are still there - just repainted. There’s less diversity, though - it used to be a small town, with everything you need. A bakery, a florist, a pet shop, a drugstore with a lunch counter, a shoe store, a cobbler, a movie theater. One bar. An ice-cream parlor. Lots of chains now. But if I was coming from Fargo I’d still love it. A small town nestled along side a huge University with a great broad mall lined with classical temples: it’s what you come to the big city for. How I used to stare at the brochures, and think what adventures await, what noble spirits will whisper the ancient truths! And of course it turns out to be biology, taught on a TV screen, in a room with 500 people.


Because it's a student area, there's not enough money to ruin everything. There's still a late-50s / early 60s storefront:



That as the Campus Cobbler. As evidenced by a ghost ad above:



As much as I miss the old self-contained Dinkytown, the place that had its roots in the streetcars, the new construction has made the place seem much more dense and urban. But still Dinkytown. Three generations: the old brick world, the ghastly brutal blunt concrete mistake, and the new structures with a hint of historicity.



We never had a mayor. It has few historians, no official records. People pass through and leave little. But we take so much away.

So I wrote a book about it. Coming soon.

Is this a tease? Why, yes.




It’s always fun when something I found ends up repurposed on the Internet. I don’t mind if there’s value added. This, for example:


That’s from a previous version of the Permanent Collection of Impermanent Art. How do I know? If you blow it up, there are identical imperfections that resulted from scanning and compressing. Also small little dots and lines the naked eye can see.

The original:


So here’s another:



There. Do with that what you will, world.

Motels! Sixteen Motels. Enjoy, and I'll see you around.









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