Disclaimer- The title of this entry is not the name of the arctic monkeys' newest song.
Does anyone REALLY know if this button actually does anything? No.
Earlier this weekend, I set out to find energy in the city, but before I set out, I contemplated (in a prostrate position facing the east) where...
to find this energy. While discussing the topic with my most knowledgeable and cultured housemate, I immediately brought up what I've always for the last three weeks thought of as The Pastel Towers®. Upon fierce argument with said housemate and serious wikipedia consultation, it turns out that:
A. I'm a newb.
B. My charming Pastel Towers® really are referred to as the Crack Stacks® by true minneapolis residents, but in most publications, my precious towers are eloquently named Riverside Plaza.
The Pastel Towers Riverside Plaza (in all its glory)
After some fine dining at the Hard Times Cafe and also after drawing a nude old man for three hours straight, I set out towards the plaza on my quest for the elusive city energy.
I decided that the best way to be inspired was to pretend my eyes judge objectively rather than subjectively; it's harder than it sounds. Okay, it's actually impossible, but I won't go into the details. As I reached the outer ring of the Riverside Plaza, the first thing (this is the truth) my objectively-judging eyes saw was a man relieving his body and soul on the corner of the nearest building.
About-face! I turned around and swore under my breath and with the perspiration dripping down my forehead like a feverish, sick child, I realized that I had just transferred to the U. I had just moved to minneapolis from a small wisconsin town not even three weeks before. My eyes? Truly objective. Here ends the sermon.
As a newcomer to Minneapolis, and a complete newcomer to urban environment, I was able to observe the city from a unique and fresh perspective. was comparable to a man from 1954 being transplanted to 2007, but not so much a baby fresh from the... it wasn't quite that fresh. I present to my thoughts to you, reader-
The city is mostly a twisted reflection of [insert name of piece of pristine wilderness/nature here]. Upon first glance, Minneapolis seems to be nature conquered by man; it's a trophy of science and progress. The food chains (not of the McDonald's variety), the forests, the earth, the swamps, the beasts, the creeks, darkness, confusion, and the mysterious have all been plowed down and buried beneath a heavy layer of concrete. They've been replaced by something both spectacular and terrifying; it's something one measly blog entry will only scratch at.
spectacular and terrifying.
The streets constantly crackle and cackle and bend and dip as if they're singing some sort of harmony with the ground they cover. Snow covers ice patches. Watch your step. I won't even begin to discuss the havoc of transportation, intersections, crazy drivers, insane bicyclists.
Smells of nature have been transformed. Scents of delicious food, human excrement, pollution, and marijuana fill the air, and for many of these smells, it's impossible to tell where they're coming from. Catching a whiff of urine in the air while walking through a busy washington avenue intersection is quite puzzling.
Are humans one species? I see people finding niches at all sorts of points in some sort of man-dominated, proverbial food-chain. In the city, the different flavors of humans have replaced nature's order. The lions are perhaps living in the top of the skyscrapers, and yet there are people down at the bottom feeding off of... something. A lot of people in between. Everyone is important, and yet- no one is important here. There are also dangerous people.
The city is not a playplace. Man has, in my eyes, failed to create the densely populated, nature-conquered utopia. The city holds some kind of power, some natural energy that goes far beyond man. This energy is reflected in the city's daunting- yet beautiful complexity, and most-importantly, its ability to destroy. Destruction... death, is only seconds away for any urban dwellers, and it doesn't take a nerdy pre-architecture pre-professional pre-major from nowhere, wisconsin to point out this little tidbit of information.