frozen river

Goin’ Uptown

This will be the last time I talk about this, I swear, mostly because it is a moot point now. There was a time when you could tell how long someone had lived in Minneapolis by how they referred to the neighborhoods. If, for example, someone lived around 23rd and Lyndale, they night casually say they live “Uptown”. Now, for a longtime resident this is historically incorrect. “Uptown” has at it’s origins the intersection of Lake St. and Hennepin Avenue. This neighborhood then extends several blocks in all directions, but quickly fades into other neighborhoods such as Lyn-Lake, The Wedge, and so on. You could call this knowledge a bit of townie-ism, but showing this lack of knowledge once meant that you also were unaware of the subtle cultural differences between these neighborhoods, and as such were more of a tourist than an invested resident.

Of course, Minneapolis and all of these neighborhoods have changed a LOT in the last decade and these distinctions have begun to matter less and less. The culture that drove these subtle differences has been pushed of of these areas by the increasing rents and increasingly, let’s be honest, douchey sort of culture. I used to be angry about this, but I’ve accepted that the Minneapolis that gave these things areas meaning has mostly moved on, fled, or been destroyed. Such is life and it happens everywhere. There was no reason Minneapolis would be different, and it’s just more evidence how strange that window of coolness can be. As far as I am concerned, Prince’s death was the marker at the end of that era of dwindling light.

There is a sort of mythology in this, I know. Now, we can see out city for what it has become, some of it good and some of it very, very bad. Racial inequalities which should make anyone choke whenever they mention Minnesota Nice in a non-ironic way.  A police force which despite valiant efforts has its worst members going from bad to worse.  Leadership which pays lip service to traditional liberal values all the while making development plans that cash in on a fading cool as long as they can. Avowed Nazis own popular night clubs. Many of the cultural sacred cows have been exposed for covering-up abuse, harassment and worse.

This thing that was Minneapolis is dead and gone. It’s okay, many of us who remember this thing are well on our way to the same fate. After mourning, we can see clearly that this may be a good thing, that we can now throw off the provincialism, elitism, and odd sense of righteous entitlement the flowed as subtext under so much of the prevailing thoughts of our time. Now that all the rot has set in and the carrion are doing as they will, we can let what follows begin to seed itself.

Dead set on destruction, you know.

Leave a Reply