June 5, 2008

there are no old people in Minneapolis

We live near one of the hundreds of "share the road" signs in Minneapolis at an address easily confused with its eight other versions (SE 8th Street, SE 8th Ave., 8th Ave. SE, S 8th Street, 8th Ave. NE, 8th Street S, N 8th Ave., 8th Ave. N).

Birds tweet and busses rumble down the street. A squirrel, surprised by our arrival at the front door, flipped over a stack of phone books, tried to climb the brick wall and the glass door and finally zipped, legs wide, into the freedom of the parking lot.

We jimmy the key to get into our apartment, which has too many chairs and not enough good art for the walls. But demo derbies, dinos and the Detroit News will suffice for now. We have a rolling chair, a wavy mirror, a futon, a lime green shelf, and a coat rack from our three trips to Ikea. They sell good 50-cent hot dogs there and we ate them once. Everything else we own came from Target. We didn't spend a cent at the Mall of America (but we window shopped at every store).

We've been here for six days and we're already bragging about our library and our radio station. We got our library cards, but our 89.3 The Current shirts are on hold for lack of funds. We almost get to brag about seeing Barack Obama in St. Paul, but this line deterred us (we drove up at 7 p.m., two hours before he spoke, but the line was more than a mile long already).
Music side note: When I visited the office today and met the music critic he asked what I liked. I told him indie rock, Tapes 'n Tapes, Wolf Parade, etc. So he handed me the new Wolf Parade album and offered me the chance to cover a concert in two weeks which features Andrew Bird and The New Pornographers (and I haven't even started working yet). Although I told Katie she would need to sit by the radio and phone to call and win tickets for the sold out show, it looks like we may land a pair as it is.
Katie and I started a budget in a GoogleSpreadsheet, then quickly broke the bank by choosing a recipe which calls for "about five handfuls" of basil. Today we braved a downpour for two tubs of ice cream. We're limiting ourselves to two restaurant meals per week and we're meeting that so far by making simple stuff at home. Basic pastas, salad, and old-fashioned oatmeal. Tonight we made roasted red pepper and leek soup with feta cheese "crostini" on the side. Katie busted out the housewarming champagne, but that bread I made really stole the show.
Music side note #2: Since arriving, Katie and I have really been digging 89.3, the NPR/MPR music station. They mix super new stuff with local music and old classics, for example, new Weezer, new Tapes 'n Tapes, classic Wilco, Ramones, Talking Heads, etc. New finds already: The M's, Sun Kill Moon, new LCD Soundsystem track.
Although Drew called us "purveyors of mass consumer culture" when we went to THE MALL, a few stores deftly avoid that label. First, we had a good time scoffing at poorly designed wedding invitations (while grabbing some good ideas) at Papyrus. Second, I got to see real live juggling equipment in a real-world store at Air Traffic. Third, (although maybe a gimmick or a consumer culture thing) we discovered "the bean bag chair that becomes a bed." Fourth, we found out that Click & Clack put out more than one CD at the Lake Wobegone NPR store. Besides selling The New Kings of of Nonfiction and This American Life CDs, it had a nice pop-up book and a shitton of Garrison Keillor garbage.

Before all this Minneapolis activity, we took a little roadtrip last week starting from Charleston, north through the mountains to Pittsburgh, over to Zygote Press in Cleveland ( where Katie's letterpress professor had an exhibition), through Hillsdale, and eventually stopping off in good ole Lake Zurich for a few days. We took some photos along the way (click here for bigs):

And we store my bike in the bathroom, Youch the Cactus on a frisbee by one of our our three windows, and our monster microwave on the dining table (in front of where Katie sits).

There are plenty of functional bridges in town and it's been especially warm.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so excited for both of you and am glad to hear that Minneapolis is treating you well thus far!

The library would be one of the first things I would care about, too.

June 6, 2008 at 1:36 AM 
Blogger Unknown said...

Very cool. Thanks for the update! I second Elena's comment, the library looks AMAZING! It's so huge, I wouldn't even know where to start!

That bean bag bed is hilarious. Thanks for sharing the random discoveries!


June 6, 2008 at 5:30 AM 
Blogger Chase said...

Sweet post.

I'm wondering if a lot of NPR stations use 89.3FM. The public radio station in Louisville and Charleston also use those numbers. I think public radio partnerships have really learned how to market themselves well. The station in Louisville also plays "indie" music with a good portion of older stuff. I agree, it's sweet.

Cool pictures...but I have to admit, I miss your Flickr.

June 6, 2008 at 10:56 AM 
Blogger Daniel Silliman said...

Did I miss something? Did I not read closely enough? What happened to the Minn. old people? Why are there none?

I was expecting some sort of Minnesota massacre of the mature, which would probably be madly Cohen-brothers, but everything sounds quite lovely.

June 6, 2008 at 6:21 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

In about 120 miles of city driving I have seen 0 old people. I did see two at the grocery and two jogging, but otherwise, the most I've seen was actually at juggling club.

June 6, 2008 at 11:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe the old people can't stand the cold.

cool to hear everything is going swimmingly.

enjoy that bike!

June 8, 2008 at 7:17 PM 
Blogger K. Janke said...

Minneapolis... 'we'll always have Minneapolis.'

My best WI friend, Jared, and I used to go to Air Traffic every time we could get our parents to drive us. 'Cept we were cruisin' the yo-yo merchandise.
Although, I do remember that Jared learned to juggle in that very store.

June 9, 2008 at 11:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your placemats.

June 9, 2008 at 11:56 PM 

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