30.9.11

*** Sidewalk Weekend! ***

Sidewalk Rating: Golden

The street works by day because of small office buildings, and large office buildings to east and west and finally because the double-shift use is able to support secondary diversity that has, in time, become an attraction too. The time spread of users is of course stimulating to restaurants, and here is a whole gamut: a fine Italian restaurant, a glamorous Russian restaurant, a sea-food restaurant, an espresso house, several bars, an Automat, a couple of soda fountains, a hamburger house. Between and among the restaurants you can buy rare coins, old jewelry, old or new books, very nice shoes, art supplies, remarkably elaborate hats, flowers, gourmet foods, health foods, imported chocolates. You can buy or sell thrice-work Dior dresses and last year’s minks, or rent an English sports car. 
[Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.]

[A DIY bike light on the University of Minnesota campus.]


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29.9.11

Announcing TCSidewalks Univeristy of Minnesota Sidewalk Motto Contest!

[One of the U's safety labels, aimed at drivers but placed in a bike path.]
Announcing a new contest to come up with alternate mottos for the University of Minnesota's new anti-cycling sidewalk campaign.

Here's how it works!

[Blank] is Easy. [Blank] is Hard. 
[Something pithy.]

For example:
Giving tickets is Easy. Designing Bike Lanes is Hard.
Why aren't there bike routes through campus?

I will be accepting alternate mottos for the next two weeks. Please email them to blindeke [a] gmail.com or put them in the comments.

The best motto will receive a one-of-a-kind sculpture of a Goldy Gopher stuffed animal crammed into a tiny model car like a bonzai kitten.

Good luck to you all!


[Little known fact: Goldy Gopher makes a brief appearance in MotorMania, Disney's 1950 classic cartoon about out-of-control automobile drivers losing their s**t.]

28.9.11

RIP Oak Street Cinema

[The red Oak Street seats covered in rubble.]
The story of the Oak Street Cinema is a long one, and can't really be told here.

There are lots of reasons why they failed, many of which involve individuals screwing up for various reasons, but what's clear as the wrecking ball smashes into the space where the movie screen used to be is that there's one fewer small one-screen independent movie theater building in Minneapolis within walking distance of the University of Minnesota today than there was yesterday.

[The last legs of Oak Street, where I first saw The Last Picture Show.]


Why does that suck?

Because students walk around a lot and like movies. I used to work at a small one-screen movie theater in my college town, heading down there to sell popcorn and check out really interesting films once or twice a week. It was great. I saw every art house film made in the years 1998 and 1999, and a ton old older repertory stuff (some of which was shown backwards).

When I moved back to Minneapolis, the Oak Street was another place I could go to see great old films like Five Easy Pieces, Persona, Andrei Rublev, and events like Crispin Hellion Glover's CRAZY event "What is It? It is Fine."

So today, seeing those uncomfortable seats covered in rubble makes me sad.


[The hole where the Oak Street Cinema screen used to be.]

27.9.11

Signs of the Times #38

MAPC
20 New World Old World 10
Event Venue

[Window. West Bank, Minneapolis.]

 FREE
COMEDY
SHOW
10 PM

[Sidewalk. West Bank, Minneapolis.]


If Trashcan
Is Overflowing
Call Minneapolis
???? & Recycling
### ####

[Overflowing trassh can. Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis.]


MISSING
Since the 1990s
Responds to
"Ring Ring" and "Hello"

If You Have ANY 
Information

Please Call:

### ####

[Message board. Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis.]


NO LOITERING
[House. 42nd Street S, Minneapolis.]


This is Not
A Trash Basket
Is Is A Music
Garden
[Illegible]

[Planter. Selby Avenue, St Paul.]

ALL
ARE
WELCOM

[Church sign. Selby Avenue, St Paul.]


If You Don't
Have Wheels 
Beneath You
You're On The
Wrong Trail

[Post. Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis.]


CORCORAN
GROWS

[Yard. Corcoran, Minneapolis.]


CAUTION
DO NOT

[Bench. Loring Park, Minneapolis.]

23.9.11

*** Sidewalk Weekend ***

Sidewalk Rating: Hang In There!

It is all true, as I, Marco Polo, later saw clearly with my own eyes. First then, it was stated that the city of Kinsai is about one hundred miles in circumference, because its streets and watercourses are wide and spacious. On one side is a lake of fresh water, very clear. On the other is a huge river, which, entering by many channels and diffused throughout the city, carries away all its filth and then flows into the lake, from which it flows out toward the ocean. This makes the air very wholesome. And through every part of the city is is possible to travel either by land or by these streams. The streets and the watercourses alike are very wide, so that cars and boats can readily pass along them to carry provisions for the inhabitants. They are said to be twelve thousand bridges, mostly of stone, though some are of wood. No one need be surprised that there are so many bridges. For the whole city lies in the water and is surrounded by water.

[Description of Kinsai (Hangzhou) by Marco Polo, c. 1280, from Travels of Marco Polo.]


 [2012 State Fair seed art.]


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Nearly 6% of commuters bike to work in Portland, the highest proportion in America. But in five out of the past ten years there have been no cycling deaths there. In the nearby Seattle area, where cycling is popular but traffic calming is not, three cyclists, have been killed in the past few weeks.


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