Saturday, March 30, 2013

The North Loop

It was such a beautiful day, I decided to walk home from work.

I am going to ride my bike to work most days once it gets warm enough. I could go through downtown for a shorter trip, and almost no hills, but that's seems almost suicidal to me during rush hour. I think I'm going to take West River Road, which has a nice winding bike path. It's just under 4 miles instead of a little over 2, and there are a lot of hills, but there's safe and scenic paths the whole way. There's a bike trail that branches off of the river that runs about 1/4 mile from my work, but for the life of me I cannot googlemap a convenient exit from the trail. 

So I decided to scope it out on my walk home, and walked to where I think the bike trail should start. I'm going to have to try it out with my bike on a Sunday or Saturday once it warms up a bit more and the bike paths aren't muddy and icy.

To get to the river, I have to go through the North Loop, and up-and-coming upper-crust neighborhood in Minneapolis. It's the only really really nice part of North Minneapolis. There are nice areas, but this place has million dollar condos and the like. I felt like I had jumped the fence and entered a gated community where I did not belong.

It is ridiculously nice. There are small independent fitness centers on every block, and fancy specialty gourmet restaurants as far as the eye can see. It's even got the little banners on all the street lights letting you know where you are. The North Loop is very clean and well-maintained. With one major exception: Dog Poo.

There is dog shit everywhere. If you can afford to live in such a nice neighborhood, you can probably afford some little pooper scooper bags. Or are they so rich they're too good to pick up after their dog?

Seriously. It's gross. The hedges were well-trimmed, and the lawn decorations were tasteful and beautiful, but there is simply crap everywhere. I get that melting snow reveals a lot of doggy waste that wasn't necessarily visible before the snow melted, but even my neighbors in my litter-ridden neighborhood can pick up their dog's crap.

Of course, if that's all I have to criticize the area about, they're doing pretty well.
A picture of the river from my walk home today.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Living and working in Minneapolis, I see and talk to a lot of bums. You know, the people who are most likely homeless, really stinky, and are way too talkative for their own good?

For example, I was in the library bathroom downtown yesterday, and one homeless woman (didn't even see her, so I can't be sure she was a "bum," but she told the whole bathroom she was homeless, so I'm not even assuming anything about her) waited to use the last stall. She explained why:

"I spend a lot of time here because I'm homeless. I only use the last 2 stalls because the camera can see you in the other ones."

There I am, in the 3rd stall to the end, peeing. I look up, and what do you know?

A camera. I stuck my tongue out at it and waved.

The bum I see second most often is not actually homeless. I call him Chair Guy. The first handful of times I saw him, he was carrying a folding chair. I think he lives in the mill district, which is strange, because that's a pretty nice area. And he has no teeth, lays on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus, and has nothing in his backpack, which he can never get all the way on his back, and it's always open.

Anyway, I was sitting across the aisle from Chair Guy in the front part of the bus, staring absentmindedly at the ground near him, when I saw a Hershey's chocolate egg fall out of his pants.

I was very confused, but he didn't notice. The egg proceeded to roll away from him. I know it was just because the bus was moving, but it really looked intentional. Like when the Ring of Power bounces away from Gollum. I had to try really hard not to laugh.

I probably should have told Chair Guy that his egg left him. But I'm an introvert, and his mouth was really bloody and gross. Anyway, the egg rolled back up to the front of the bus when Chair Guy got off.

Unfortunately for Egg, PersonGettingOnTheBus stepped on it the same stop Chair Guy got off.

Tragic Ending.