The other night we went downtown to listen to a Brazilian singer. The daughter of the inventor, or father, of Bossa Nova, or the first to discover it, since I’m sure it existed in some pure state in a subdimension unknown to human beings. Then there was a rip, a tear in the fabric of existence, and all this Bossa Nova spilled out, and the dude is like this is awesome I should get a bucket, or maybe some towels, and then if I freeze it I can melt it and study it later. And so the Bossa Nova was born.

That probably didn’t happen but it was more interesting for a moment than the concert. The venue was great - the Dakota, a St. Paul jazz club that moved to Minneapolis because the phrase “St. Paul jazz club” is ridiculous. We had dinner on the sidewalk cafe:

Beautiful night. The singer started at 10:10, which was an hour and ten minutes after the ticket time. The ticket takers explained that we were definitely on Musician Time tonight, by which they meant “artists who do what they wish and have little regard for the audience, whose experience will be heightened by the wait.” I think it’s rude. I mean, we’re here for this, we showed up on time, and you’re an hour and ten minutes later even though you did a show before this one. Which you also started late, because whatever.

I had a dream the other night where I had to give a speech, and had prepared nothing. This is a recurring thing, and I always wing it, and in the end both me and the audience drift apart by mutual understanding; it just seems to dissolve. In this case I said to myself “well, give them the space speech.”

I told this to Daughter on the way to work, and she said “You have a space speech?”

“I guess so. Starts with the initial enthusiasm and success, that’s the first part. Then the public boredom, that’s the second part, with the rise of sci-fi on TV taking the place of the real thing. And then the conclusion, which is the rise of private space efforts.”

“That’s a speech you give?”

“No, but apparently it’s one in the back of my head.”

“So your brain came up with a speech for this dream? Could you give it now?”

“Sure.” And I started. She said that was okay.

Point is, I was on time in my dream, and realized I had to give it my all. The singer this evening wandered on stage after her guitarist had noodled away in the Bossa Nova style for a while, whistled, sang, and seemed a bit . . . relaxed. In her second song she tried to get the audience to sing along, and I thought there’s nothing more optimistic than thinking a roomful of Minnesotans want to sing along at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Then she tried to get everyone to sing along to a song that went bida-boda-bob-bob or something, and while this may sound like a really demanding, tough crowd, but the general impression I got from the crowd was “we were under the impression you would be doing the entirety of the singing?”

I think if you show up on time and give a strong show and get the room cooking, you’ve a great shot at the sing-along.




Warren, Minnesota. “Warren was platted in 1879, and named for Charles H. Warren, a railroad official.[7] A post office has been in operation at Warren since 1880. Although several times larger than the next largest city in the county, Warren's prominence as the county seat has been threatened several times in its history.”

The town has 1,500 souls, which tells you how populous the county is.

The K. J. Taralseth Company Building. “Warren’s Great Department Store.”


On October 12, 1911, the new two-story brick Taralseth building opened its doors. The establishment employed a sales team of about fifteen people and offered a variety of adult and children's clothing, groceries, and hardware. In an effort to attract customers and challenge the competition, store managers changed the display windows weekly. Furthermore, the Taralseths relied heavily on advertising through mailings and advertisements in newspapers. The local newspaper Warren Sheaf boasted that the store was the equal of any in the Twin Cities.
Ah, the small town life:

The Taralseths' store was not the only entity the building was known for. As one of the largest, most significant buildings of the town, it housed several other businesses and offices. Local officials and businessmen had offices in the building. The Warren Commercial Club and the local Masonic lodge held suites as well. The building hosted many social events. The Masonic lodge upstairs held dances for the young people of the area. The holiday season provided special events for children. The basement of the building was converted into a toy emporium during Christmas time. Store employees were known to dress as Santa Claus and distribute treats to the youngsters.

It’s on the national register. The store closed in 1959, housed small businesses, was abandoned, but has been rehabbed for retail and housing.

If a tree isn’t on the sidewalk, it can look like a bouncer.

That’s a damned odd building. I can’t tell what’s in the brick - W F ? The brick doesn’t look original, but it does.


A bit too busy for the width, but who cares?

That’s a damned odd building. I can’t tell what’s in the brick - W F T?

The brick doesn’t look original, but it does.


The doors look as if they were adjusted to deal with a population that had, on average, shrunk a foot or two.

Not a lot going on here. (Sorry about leaving that pane of glass on the sidewalk.) Again, there’s strange ruined things in the facade, as if names had been chiseled out by conquerors.


Suds Yer Duds. Is what the sign says.

Pressed tin for fake brick, painted over: scoff if you will, but it appears the paper’s still in business.


And in the same location, too.

Prairie Style on the cheap - in the Prairie, too.


Don’t you go getting any ideas, now. Those are Dale’s Foods.


Relentless, unstoppable Buckaroo Revival over an old facade. They didn’t care. The old small buildings have no friends.


“We feel as if the size of the door sets expectations the building’s interior cannot fulfill, and so we would like you to - what’s the technical term you architects use?”

“Ruin it?”

“No, that’s not it.”


“Sounds right.”

I don’t know. Could be original, but I doubt it.


From the April 16th paper, 1903:


Wonder if it was the same store, and he added the name later.

Opera House, we get. But MWA?:


Modern Woodmen of America.

It had stained glass windows, once - no doubt showing manly scenes of Wooding.

Finally, the OUMB, or Obigatory Ugly Modern Bank:


Wonder what the small-town banks look like in Brazil.



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