8.2.13

*** Sidewalk Weekend ***

Sidewalk Rating: Promising

Memories come back to me, the places of these mute silences of memory. For instance, as an introduction to a seminar on the popular culture of Northeast Brazil, a walk through the night, alive with sound, in the town of Salvador towards the Igreja do Passo. Contrasting with the subtle theatricality of the Misericordia, the church’s dark fa├žade lifts up into its dignity all the dust and sweat of the city. Standing about the old parts of town full of vague murmurings and human voices, it presents their monumental, silent secret. It dominates the narrow Laderia do Passo. It does not yield itself to researches who nevertheless have it there before them, just as popular language escapes them, when they approach it, for it comes from too far away and too high. Very different from the Church do Rosario, which is all blue and openness, this dark stone raises the nocturnal face of Bahian irony.  An unconquerable rock even though (or because) it is familiar, totally without solemnity, similar to the songs of the Brazilian saudade. Returning from this pilgrimage, the passing faces in the streets seem, in spite of their vicacious mobility, to multiply the indecipherable and nearby secret of the monument.


[A "historical" but mostly useless bike rack outside the Downtown St Paul library.]

 
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I think one reason I wrote the book is try to figure out why this was the case, and unfortunately I think a lot of it has to do with these really unfair, awful ideas about women in bars. That “Oh, obviously a woman hanging out in a bar alone is on the make. Obviously.” Or, “She’s just going because she wants someone else to pay for her drinks,” or, “Oh, she’s just really sad and lonely, and has nothing better to do.” This sort of pathos attaches itself to women who hang out in bars that I obviously find pretty offensive.

[this.]

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 "People use what they call Churchill welcome mats, which is a piece of plywood laid down in front of the door or leaned up against the door with hundreds of nails sticking out so that when the polar bear comes up to pad across your porch, he's going to get a paw full of sharp nails."

[this.]

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