28th May 10
I recently received the following photo and conversation documentation in an email from writer Jim Norton and photographer Becca Dilley of The Heavy Table, from when they were in New Ulm, Minnesota:
JIM: Oh! Oh we have to stop the car and get a photo of that sign!
BECCA: What? What sign? Where? Why?
JIM: The South 12th St. sign, pull over.
BECCA: It’s 98 degrees out. Why are we doing this?
JIM: I think Andy Sturdevant puts them on his blog. South 12th.
BECCA: So we’re really doing this.
JIM: Yeah, just park wherever. [gets out of car, runs across street]
BECCA: What are you doing?
JIM: Get over here, this is great. Shoot it from this angle. It looks great.
BECCA: It’s a street sign. It’s 98 degrees out. [click] Let’s go.
JIM: OK, let’s go to the Schell’s Brewery now!
15th May 10
They don’t have one in Brooklyn, but they (partially) have one in Portland. In the Pearl District.
Buchino put me up to this, but it’s become kind of a compulsion.
Some quick initial thoughts on Portland: Seeing Mount Hood from the ariel tram is almost a spiritual experience. All the pedicab drivers tell me I need to get to the eastside to see the real Portland. Minneapolis, incidentally, needs more pedicabs. Food carts and pedicabs. Seeing Portland up close, and eating at her food carts (I had a food cart lunch today with Sergio that was basically like a hipster version of a Chipotle bowl) and riding in her pedi-cabs (wonderful) is a little bit like meeting a romantic rival for the first time over a beer and having a nice time with him or her. Minneapolis and Portland are tied together emotionally and psychically in such a unique way — I rarely hear Minneapolis compared to, say, Chicago or Omaha or San Francisco, but not so with Portland. Portland/Minneapolis comparisons are endless, a favorite past-time of armchair urban planners and demographers in my part of the world. You would be surprised, for example, how much this ranking has come up already in polite conversation. Or, rather, you would be surprised if you weren’t from Minneapolis or Portland.
Tomorrow the conference begins. Minneapolis’ Peter Haakon Thompson will be presenting a symposium on “ping pong diplomacy” with Portland’s own Judy Hoarfrost, one of the U.S. table tennis players that went to China in 1971. “Open play” will follow.
One more quick note: many of the Empire Builders appear to have been stricken ill by tainted Amtrak food. Colin in particular sounds like he was gravely ill earlier, but is quickly recovering. Updates to follow.
Also, I didn’t find Austerity Britain at Powell’s, but I did find Francis Wheen’s Strange Days Indeed, a survey of political paranoia in the 1970s.
27th April 10
Langer goes into the field, deep into Brooklyn, in search of his local S. 12th:
So I consulted my iPhone and it was at this moment, lost and bewildered at the confluence of the Burg and Bed-Stuy, that I was to learn that in New York City, the greatest city on Earth, there not a S. 12th to be found anywhere.
And so I’d gone in search of a sign whose absence proved symbolic. S. 12th, I realized, can only be in Minneapolis.
Aw. Please click through and read the whole entry. I am misting up like I’m sitting across a table from Marina Abramović.
A few weekends ago, I had a studio visit with an artist in North Minneapolis, and I found myself face-to-face with my bizarro Northside doppelganger, N. 12th. What goes on around N. 12th? There was an old synagogue, one of the many from the time when the Northside was largely a Jewish enclave, located a block away, now converted in an evangelical church.
Even here in Minneapolis, S. 12th is a slippery customer. A few days later, I was at the 331 with Pete and Brennan, who have recently moved into a house on 12th Avenue South down in Nokomis. We consulted a map, and it looks like 12th Avenue South begins in Burnsville, and you could follow it — with a few interruptions, including the Minnesota River — all the way up through Bloomington and South Minneapolis, until about 24th Street, when it breaks up and runs a few blocks at a time through downtown near the Metrodome, then dissipates completely at the Mississippi.
It then turns into either 12th Ave. NE, which hiccups through Northeast in spots and terminates at Lincoln Ave. by 35W; or 12th Ave. N., which starts up on the edge of the Warehouse District and runs east-west through North up to Theodore Wirth.
These two are only loosely connected to my S. 12th, though. So not only can S. 12th only be in Minneapolis, as Langer points out, perhaps it can only be in South Minneapolis.
28th December 08
Other 12th Avenues (#2): SW 12th Avenue at SW Stark St., Portland, Oregon.
This photo from our Portland correpondent buchino, who notes:
PDX is totally Twincified right now! Snowpocalypse, we’re calling it.
11th December 08
Other 12th Avenues (#1). 12th Avenue and West 133rd Street near Riverside Drive, Morningside Heights, New York City.
A new regular feature of South Twelfth, Other 12th Avenues will periodically be stealing screenshots from Google Street View to see how people living in the many other 12th Avenues across America live.
12th Avenue only seems to run for a few blocks parallel to Riverside Drive near Columbia University and CUNY, then becomes absorbed.
Here are some guys from Riverside Beer & Soda on the corner of 12th, loading in some kegs to the delivery van. Maybe it’s for a bitchin’ beer bash at Columbia tonight! See you there, broseph!