Monthly Archives: July 2013

Confirmed, again: people are driving less in MSP

The news is in, fellow readers – a bit of clarifying news. It is news that we have assumed over the past couple years, and news that most car dealerships, oil companies, and the few traditional vehicle commuters who secretly love the opening scene from Office Space are trying not to portray to the […]

Podcast #38 – Saint Paul’s Ward 1 with City Council Candidate Matt Hill

The podcast this week is a conversation with Matt Hill, who is one of the many people running for the open Ward One  City Council seat in Saint Paul. The race came as a bit of a surprise when incumbent Melvin Carter resigned from the job half-way through his term, and a lot of candidates […]

4th of July, Stone Arch Bridge 2004

It’s not like I hadn’t tried it before. Of course I had, probably a half-dozen times. I’d never really liked it, though. It always made me deeply anti-social, self-concscious, made me want to crawl inside a mental cavity and lurk like a dry zucchini in a dark fridge listening to 70s Miles Davis. On the […]

Fireworks, St. Paul, Minnesota

July 4, 2002: Mini Doughnuts for America

In July 2002, I had just achieved the ‘merican Dream (MERICA!) and purchased a house up on Dayton’s Bluff, within easy walking distance of the Dari-Ette, and a block from an arterial cycling route through the city. In those bygone days, Taste of Minnesota was resident on Harriet Island for the July 4th weekend, and […]

Clear Lake, Iowa circa late 90s

We were the only family in my quintessentially Minnesota neighborhood to drive south to the lake cabin. I used to always say “Lake Cabin” but it’s not really a cabin. It’s a house on a lake in the downtown of a small town. I remember being slightly envious at a young age of my peers […]

4th of July Parade in Bemidji, Minnesota

Last year my family and I extended a north woods vacation by an extra half day to take in the 4th of July parade in Bemidji, Minnesota. It was wonderful. The decorative lampposts were hung with American flags. Residents and visitors lined the sidewalks and parking lanes with foldup lawn chairs, staking the best position […]

4th of July, Rockport Massachusetts, sometime in the 1990s

Keeping everyone happy on summer family trips was all but impossible. Five kids from two different divorced-remarried families, and all of us were approximately the same age. The annual summertime car trip was half whack-a-mole, half Beckett play: California, North Carolina, Alabama… This year it was New England: upstate New York, Boston, and New Hampshire packed into […]

Introducing Nostalgia Saturated Freedom Week

When in the course of human events, the calendar turns to high summer, and sporadic explosions fill the air, then suffer folk to wax nostalgaic about their youth, or small towns, or the war of 1812. It’s not my favorite holiday, but with July come fireworks and festivals and a break from routines or traffic. […]

Fourth of July 1999 – Stone Arch Bridge

I had just moved to Minnesota as a new Assistant Professor, and was living in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. On the July 4, 1999, I decided to see the fireworks at the nearby Stone Arch Bridge. I went early, enjoyed the warm summer’s afternoon, and slowly the crowd began to fill in this prime spot for […]

50th and France

50th and France is a small shopping district on the border of Minneapolis and Edina. It is characterized by two-story buildings with ground-floor retail. The retail is a mix of local-serving shops, restaurants, and movie theaters and more regional destinations like Sur-La-Table. It was a Streetcar stop back in the day, and has long been […]