Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Foreign Lands: Tin In Your Pocket?

So this is another in my actually foreign, "foreign lands" series.  This one is in Denmark, and in Copenhagen to be specific (as you might be able to tell from the "Kobenhavns" in the leftward region of the sign).  This shot was taken while on the boat tour of the city's canals.  I tend to be pretty skeptical of that type of tour, but this one was actually fairly worthwhile, in that you could get a good sense of the city's layout from the water.

Unfortunately, I speak even less Danish than I do German, so I'm not going to have a lot to say about the sign itself.   My notes say "near the Royal Pavallion."  I've figured out where that is, but I don't know much about what.  If I recall, this may have been where the royals embarked and disembarked from their yachts, but that may not be right.

Anyway, please insert whatever lame chew joke you image I might have made here.  Meanwhile, "smokeless tobacco" kills, kids, don't do it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Only Partly Spooky

 I was back on campus twice this week with the return of college basketball season, so let's head back to Dinkytown.  This building has paint-on-brick signs on three sides that are s snapshot of both the past and today.

Let's start with the present.  Annie's Parlour is a burger and malt institution that's been there since I don't know when.  Well, I say institution but I've only been there a few times and the last was at least twelve years ago, but hey, it's still there, so it's got that going for it.  It doesn't seem that to have its own webpage, but it shows up on a variety of user review sites.   This shot from Flickr gives a good perspective of the balcony that overlooks the space where the railroad tracks that may be the source of Dinkytown's name used to be.

 Next up is the partially ghost bit.  Ragstock still exists, but not at this location.  It's a second hand clothing company (started in 1954 to import and export used clothes) that operated at this location from 1979 to 2002 but closed due to declining sales and increasing rent.  I paid fifteen bucks there for a leather trench coat for a Halloween costume in college, but I moved away in 1999 and that clearly was the beginning of the end.  I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Dinkytown community.  It's all my fault.  It's the Kitty Kat Klub today.

The last sign, as you can see, is for Art Materials Inc.  I'm running short on time, and it's a pretty generic name, so I'll just leave you with a couple of old adds in the Minnesota Daily from Aug. of 1980 (pdf, pg. 12) and Nov. 1982 (pdf, pg. 13).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today!

After reading the article I linked to in yesterday's post, about how Bloomington Avenue between Franklin and Lake used to be one of the city's most troubled streets, I got to thinking about the fact that I chose to walk on it precisely because it seemed less sketchy than some of the surrounding area.  I was curious about whether the renaissance that was projected in 2003 was real, or whether the bursting of the housing bubble set the neighborhood back.  There was only one way to find out.  That's right, I needed to give it another pass in the middle of the day on a bright, sunny, weekend afternoon.  Don't pretend that you don't know that's when the real heavy sh*t goes down.

Conveniently, having put in a hard half hour's worth of blogging, I decided that I should go get some beer (is there ever a bad time?) and headed over to Harriet Brewing to bolster my hipster street cred (only to undermine it again by not buying anything because they only had the West Side "Belgian" IPA which is way too hoppy for my taste even though I love Beligian beer and have never encountered anything from Belgium that is that heavy in hops).  I've brought home growlers from Harriet at least a half dozens times, but still I can never figure out the most efficient way to get there from my house.  But now that I know that Bloomington connects Franklin and Lake, I figured why not swing by and see how things are going, and then hook a left on Lake to get some tasty beverage?

So, I guess I won't keep you in suspense any longer.  Things looked fine.  I didn't see any noticeable prostitution or drug dealing, so, you know, yay! for urban redevelopment. (ETA: Apparently the heavy stuff was on the other side of town that afternoon.)

I did, however, find out that I had been delinquent on my last trip because I didn't even notice, much less snap, this sign that's just down the block from Welna's.  It's on the side of the NAWAYEE Center School, and alternative high school focused on American Indian youth.  With my priorities clearly focused on beer, I didn't bother to get out of the car to take this picture, which unfortunately means that it's a little hard to read (ah, the limitations of iPhone photography on an outdated phone).

But if you look closely you can see that it says "John A. Dalsin and Son" and "Sheet Metal And Roofing Contractors."  Turns out, the company's still around, or was whenever that website was built.  We are apparently on the third generation of Dalsin's, and the company dates to 1912. The Historical Society has a photo of the installation of shelves at a Dalsin Hardware at this address in 1949.  Finally, it seems our Mr. John A. Dalsin purchased some land somewhere in Minneapolis for $2,400 in 1906, but I don't know if that lot in "Petter's addition" is this property.

There is no word on Mr. Daslin's views about the innocence of the roofers who were slaughtered upon the destruction of the second Death Star.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yeah, You Blend

Here we have Welna Hardware in the Phillips neighborhood on Bloomington Avenue in South Minneapolis.  There's not much mystery to this sign, and there is a newer, larger version of the store across the street.  But for now the old store and its old sign are preserved, if somewhat under-utilized (it seemed to be only used for storage when I went by).  The store was apparently in this building for at least fifty years before remodeling the new building across the street, although the building has gotta be older than that.  Back in 2003, MPR described this street as one of Minneapolis's most rundown and crime infested, with the remodeled Welna's as part of its renaissance.  I didn't see any overt prostitution or drug selling when I went buy one weekend in the early afternoon, but it still didn't feel like the greatest neighborhood for a stroll to me.

I got this one after wandering a bit too much in the 'hood.  While crossing through the park at the Cedar Avenue Fields, a young gentleman, after asking me for a cigarette that I didn't have, decided that I was with the police.  He announced to people in the park, "don't f*ck with that n*****, he's a narc").  It didn't really seem like anyone was preparing to f with me, and I really think I would make for a crappy undercover cop in a predominantly Native American neighborhood, but whatever.  It gets the blood flowing, you know.

ETA:  Upon further reflection, the young gentleman in question may actually have asked me if I "smoked."  Only after thinking about it yesterday did it occur to me that he probably did not mean cigarettes, and that his interest in the question may not have been solely driven out of curiosity.  Hmm.  Another way in which I did not blend, I guess.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Featuring Cedric The Entertainer?

It was closed when I went by, and seems to have been for awhile, but this is sort of from the 'hood.  Glenwood Barbers, is, surprisingly, on Glenwood Avenue in North Minneapolis.   It looks like it might have been there for awhile, but I've found very little about this business.  About all I've got is that others have snapped in on Flickr.