Thursday, June 15, 2006

We're So Sorry, Uncle....

Research demands that I find out why this town I'm in is called - -
but I'm on vacation, a quick cursory googling suggests cursory won't suffice, and a broader, more important question is why every other Minnesota city is a star city and where the hell is that detour going to take me anyway?

We were planning to go into the heart of Minnesota and find the headwaters of the Mississippi, but when I asked the desk clerk at the hotel this morning he asked, how did you get here, and when I told him it was on US 53 through Wisconsin he asked, did you like that highway? I said, no, it was boring, and he said, well, you've already seen most of Minnesota then. He suggested we drive down the St Croix River valley, and we did, and it was nice if nothing whooptacular. Stillwater looked like a cool town. We had thought to stay in Rochester (where a famous clinic studies the effects of mayonnaise on humans), but that was a Uniontown Pennsylvania of a town, so fuck that. Drove down into the prairie to see what the prairie looks like, and it looks like what you'd think it looked like only cooler.

Going back out last night for one last drive up the Northshore along Lake Superior, heading back into Duluth we saw a house for sale on the across the road from the lake. It was vintage art deco, two-storied, ising-glassed, metal-flashed, rounded where it should be square, square where round should be, immaculate condition. Top floor balcony up front (off the master bedroom?), it had three bedrooms (we stopped and picked up one of those flyers realtors post), two and a half baths, recently renovated kitchen with all new appliances, hardwood floors, a finished den. It sat on three acres, wooded but weeded wooded, with a gazebo and a back patio and a brand new fence. $287K. $287K. The same house in Blackdograd would be $2 mil listed, and people would slit throats outbidding each other to pay the most.

It was 45 degrees and blowing lake mist this morning, June 15, in Duluth. I'd have to find a job in Duluth, and that job would pay bupkis. I understand, but $287K for the single most absolutely coolest looking house I've ever seen?

Last thing for now: these Minnesotans, they use these things called vowels in their pronunciation. More so up north than here in the prairie, but those accents you hear during skits of Prairie Home Companion? Believe.


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