***Sidewalk Saturday*** #27

Sidewalk Rating: Budding

There are little green things on branches, little colored bits coming out of the ground, things like birds and worms and endless life along the sidewalks...

Baby squirrels and butterflies!

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles


This is maybe my favorite recent discovery:

It's some sort of old documentary about the old Hennepin Avenue downtown, back when it was the city's Skid Row, back before the business council bulldozed the life from the heart of Minneapolis.

It's some sort of streaming film, and I admit I don't full understand it. But it is entirely captivating.


I have an irrational hatred of Trader Joe's. Whenever I go there, I am filled with rage and fear. The frozen meals, the cheerful smiles plastered on the employee's faces, the impossibly inexpensive cheese... there's something about that place that makes me fear for humanity, as if Charles Shaw is Soylent Green. It feels like a Potemkin Village. It feels like the Stepford Wives. It creeps me the hell out.

Anyway, Cam Gordon is trying to prevent Trader Joe's from getting an exemption to the state's liquor store zoning laws, which prevent liquor stores from opening up within 2,000 feet of another liquor store.

This would affect the spot on Lyndale Avenue where Trader Joe's (owned by Germany's richest man) is gunning to go in.

As usual, I find myself agreeing with almost everything Gordon has to say:

Third, and most importantly, this action is at odds with everything we say about supporting small businesses. The direct competitors within a block include the Wedge Coop, a homegrown, cooperatively-owned grocery store, and Hum's Liquor's, a single-entrepreneur business that has been in operation for over 40 years. On this block of all places, why would the City do special favors for a multinational corporation (Trader Joe's parent company is based out of Germany), rather than strengthening and supporting our own small businesses? When Minneapolitans spend a dollar at an outfit like Trader Joe's, how much of it recirculates in the local economy? I'd venture that it's significantly less than when the same dollar is spent at a small business or coop. I would love to see our City moving further in the direction of supporting small businesses over multinational corporations - instead, when we do favors, it always seems to be for the largest operators.

I guess I'm disappointed in Mpls State Rep. Karen Clark (who when I was working as a House page would insist that the pages bring her Sprite from a can because she believed the plastic in the pop bottles was gradually poisoning her). Maybe somehow they can stop Trader Joe's from opening across the street from Humm's?


The graph of different country's auto fatality rates:

The USA is pretty near the top, between Bulgaria and Greece.

[h/t Vanderbilt]


A mildly interesting online film about the material landscape of New York City. I am not quite sure what the filmmaker is trying to say here, but at any rate its a nice montage.


I am a sucker for dioramas (as long as the don't contain Peeps). I love going to the Bell Museum, and to the little train store on Lexington Parkway.

These artworks by Thomas Doyle are really great underbubble dioramas, little scenes of death, melancholy, and what seems to look like the housing crisis.

I particularly like the Distillation series...


As if Amtrak trains weren't ridiculously nostalgic already, along comes this article on the Barnum & Bailey Circus train. It's a special train that just carries circus performers from town to town, presumably with elephants in tow.

Seriously, your average cross country train trip already feels like a circus, with the wacky Amtrak employees, the mishmash collection of passengers, the absurd stops and starts...

What I wouldn't do to ride on the circus train for a spell?


A movie about how roads fragment animal habitat:

I highly doubt you'll ever get to see this film.


A sidewalk triptych for you:

1) An alley in Powderhorn -- h/t Powderhorn365

2) Hollywood Boulevard -- h/t Sutpen

3) Buckminster Fuller's NYC dome -- h/t Where


RE said...

The Wedge is my stomping grounds. I am definitely not in favor of a nearby Trader Joes.

John said...

Americans drive a lot so auto fatalities are high, but measured by deaths per miles driven we aren't too bad: NYtimes graphic

Bill Lindeke said...

I guess the problem is, in my mind, that Americans drive a lot in the first place.

Still, compare US to Canada or Austraila, which are probably the most similarly auto-dependent countries?

un sex shop said...

It won't truly have success, I suppose this way.