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Lost Issue - April 30, 2013
CONTENTS COVER BY : LEANNA PERRY LAYOUT BY : BETHANY HALL BACKGROUND PHOTOS BY : ANDREW CASEY 6
LOST TWIN CITIES Tom Johnson talks to urban historian Larry Millett about what Minneapolis has lost and what it might gain.
10 COMIC BY BLAINE GARRETT 12 A MAN’S PIANO Gabe Rodreick thought he lost everything when he could no longer play the piano. 14 THAT GUY When her passport was snatched in Istanbul, Kolina Cicero found out what it means to be “that guy” that nobody wants to be. 20 PHOTOS BY CLINT MCMAHON 22 LORD OF THE FLYOVER Years ago, a lost child in an airport handed Aaron King three mysterious maps. 26 THE SOUND OF ONE FOOT TAPPING A chronic pain disorder robbed dancer Scott Beck of his livelihood, but not his positivity. 29 POSTERS BY DREW BROCKINGTON
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LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR When I was a kid, my family would join my grandparents and a cousin at least once a summer for a hike and picnic at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. We would always set off on the longest trail the park had to offer, and inevitably we would reach a point where we were far from the main lodge, not sure exactly where the trail was, and not recognizing our surroundings. “We ALWAYS get lost!” my sister and cousin and I would wail. But we’d be laughing as we said it, and we’d laugh harder at the next birthday or holiday when we remembered the story: “Someone always gets us lost!” We knew we’d find our way back eventually, and it was fun--at least for a while--to not have any idea where we were going. The Lost and Found double issue marks MPLSzine’s return to regular publication after a hiatus during which we released “MPLSzine: The Beginning,” a digest of our first nine issues. When we started this project back in October, we didn’t really have any idea where we were going. We didn’t know what MPLSzine would look like or who would read it or contribute to it. And that was fun. It was an exciting challenge to start putting together a project with no real map to follow. Now we’ve found the trail. We’ve identified ourselves as “creativity enablers.” We’ve set our mission as sharing writing and art by the people of Minneapolis, empowering people to show off work they might otherwise keep private or not create at all, and celebrating the city we love (while still being willing to criticize it). But we don’t know exactly where that’s going to lead us. This project is still new, it’s still growing, and it can still be shaped by the people whose work makes up each issue. We’re still a little lost, and that’s a good thing: Without knowing exactly what path we’re on, we’re free to explore, try a variety of ideas, and invite new people along. You can be part of deciding which directions MPLSzine takes. Submit writing and/or art for the latest issue theme at email@example.com, offer your opinions on how we’re doing at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just drop us a line and say you want to get involved at email@example.com. Sincerely, Colleen firstname.lastname@example.org
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CONTRIBUTORS Drew Brockington is an illustrator and designer newly relocated to Minneapolis. He is currently working on a graphic novel. Andrew Casey, one of MPLSzine’s Visual Directors, is a photographer residing in Minneapolis. He migrates towards shooting stationary objects and street scenes. He has had a long-held passion and appreciation for street art and graffiti, which led to a history of documenting the artwork under the alias Urban Camper. Kolina Cicero is a Minneapolitan that never tires of her city. She’s very addicted to the following: travel, social media and green curry from Krungthep Thai. Her social media business, Cicero Media, is her livelihood. Follow her tweets at @KolinaCicero and see her website at http://kolinacicero.com Chris Cloud is a Creative Thinkdoer and the Publication Director of MPLSzine. He is very excited that MPLSzine gets to highlight remarkable creative work from the MPLS community. He hopes you enjoy the fruits of their labor, time, and passion. See more at chriscloud.com Kyle Coughlin, Illustration Director at MPLSzine, is a designer and illustrator living in Minneapolis. He enjoys drawing, screen printing, and being awesome. See his work at kylomoonguts.com. Blaine Garrett is one of the artists in Dim Media. He calls Seward hood his home. It’s great. See more of his work at http://dimmedia.com and http://www.facebook.com/DimMedia Bethany Hall, Layout Director at MPLSzine, is an interactive/ux designer & lover of a creative challenge. She has a mean case of wanderlust and is no stranger to the culinary craft or powertools. Brian Hart, one of MPLSzine’s Visual Directors, is a Minneapolis-based artist. His eyes are always hungry. He hopes yours are, too. Google: brianmatthewhart Matthew Jacobs, Social Outreach Director at MPLSzine, is a PhD Candidate in the social sciences at the University of Minnesota. During the day he studies Chinese and religion under authoritarianism. At night he runs dance parties at the Uptown VFW. Say hello sometime at Tuesday Night Music Club Tom Johnson is a magazine reporter and editor. He works on Stubble, Crab and Egret, and Fresh Bar in his spare time. Follow him on Twitter at @tomqj and learn more about Fresh Bar at http://www.fivefriendsfood. com
Mary Juhl reports on everything from politics to house fires at the Winona Daily News in Winona, Minn. She contributes to several Twin Cities media outlets, including pop culture blog The Tangential. Since the age of seven, Mary has fostered what shrinks may describe as an unhealthy desire to become a journalist, except for two weeks in sixth grade when she flirted with the idea of becoming a fighter pilot. Follow her on Twitter: @ Mary_Gen Aaron King moved to Minneapolis almost two years ago after living life in various small towns. Things still generally baffle him. See his portfolio at http://aaronmfk. wordpress.com and his other online stuff at @aaronmfking and aaronmfking.tumblr.com Clint McMahon makes t-shirts for Scared Panda and writes codes for a big company. After living in Chicago and NYC, he somehow found himself at home in Minneapolis. Someday he’ll find his island in the sun, but in the meantime he’s going to take a few pictures. Leanna Perry is a designer/illustrator from Kansas City that now happily resides in Minneapolis. She is currently a junior at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the head printer at Afternoon Printing. She loves urban exploring, creating patterns, and illustrating crazy, celebratory environments. See more of her work at www. leannaperry.com Zoë Pizarro is a native Minneapolitan. She is MPLSzine’s Editorial Intern and a student at the University of Minnesota. She is still uncomfortable calling herself an artist or writer, but she’s working on it. She lives for the future’s undisclosed adventures. Colleen Powers is MPLSzine’s Editorial Director. She was born Rockford, Illinois and lives in Northeast Minneapolis, and you can usually find her at dance parties, libraries or rap shows. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” is her one weakness. Amanda Reeder, MPLSzine’s Layout Intern, is a student at the University of Minnesota studying graphic design, as well as a designer and DJ for Radio K. She’s a converted Minnesotan (from MUHwaukee) that is most likely to be spotted biking around the city, going to punk shows, attending art crawls and drinking really delicious craft beers. Gabe Rodreick is a local musician, a casual writer and a C5 Quadriplegic. Check out his Tumblr at http://gabrielinmind.tumblr.com/ and his band’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TreadingNorth
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Lost Twin Cities
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Larry Millett is a journalist, professor and historian whose 1992 book Lost Twin Cities is now in its seventh printing. Tom Johnson talked to him about what Minneapolis has lost over time and what we might gain in the future. What gave you the idea to research the old, lost buildings of the Twin Cities? There have been other lost architectural books before mine, so it wasn’t an original idea, it’s just that no one had done anything like it in the Twin Cities. I thought it would be interesting to go back and see what was here. I had actually done a series of newspaper articles for the Pioneer Press way back when talking about some of the lost buildings in St. Paul and I expanded it into a book after much research.
What are some of the major structures that Minneapolis has lost? There’s so many, I don’t even know where to start. There are plenty of buildings, from major public buildings to churches to mansions -- I just did a book on lost mansions of the Twin Cities too -- but the one everyone knows is the Metropolitan Building. It’s the one that sort of started the historic preservation movement in Minneapolis and in Minnesota to some degree. The Met was that famous office building on second avenue south and third street known for it’s atrium which was all glass and steel, probably one of the two or three outstanding atriums of that kind in the United States. The building was built in 1890 and was considered the most luxurious office building of the era in the Twin Cities in terms of its overall design. It was also the tallest building in Minneapolis. When it was targeted for destruction as part of the Gateway urban renewal project, it became a topic for debate and eventually the Minnesota Supreme Court had to rule on it and say, yes, you can tear it down. The major reason for tearing it down was that the area owners felt that having such an old building around would cause the value of their buildings in the area to fall. And of course, the irony is rich because if the Met was still here today it would probably be the most premium office address in the Twin Cities.
Photos courtesy of the Hennepin County Library LOST // MPLSzine
Do you think the city has changed its attitude towards urban renewal or is the “out with the old, in with the new” attitude still around? We’re certainly more mindful of preserving history now. There’s a whole apparatus of historic preservation that got started in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s that didn’t exist at the time of the metropolitan building came down in ‘61 and ‘62. it’s a different environment. The city has a dozen or so historical preservation districts and there’s sort of a legal system of preservation now that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that old buildings won’t be torn down, but it does make it more difficult to tear down buildings in historical districts. It seems to me that especially among some of the younger folks that there’s a greater interest in historic preservation. We’ve seen that in Minneapolis and lowertown St Paul. We’re probably seeing a return to greater density in cities. More young people seem to like living in cities. The light rail will stimulate some growth. I mean, we’re not going completely back, but we’re not like we were in the ‘60s either when everyone was rushing
out to the suburbs and the cities were left behind. I didn’t know until recently that Minneapolis used to be much bigger about 50 years ago. We used to be over 500,000 in population. That’s very true. Minneapolis reached its peak in 1950 and St. Paul reached its peak in 1960. I wouldn’t be surprised if Minneapolis gets back up to over 400,000. I don’t know if it’ll ever go back above 520,000, but it’s possible. At that time there was a lot more people living in rooming houses and apartments and there were a lot less single people than there are today, or at least the single people were all living in multi-dwelling apartments so it’s hard to get back to that just culturally. Both cities could support much larger populations--they’re not very dense by most comparisons with the rest of the country or even the world. We’re not going to achieve Manhattan-style density or even Los Angeles-style density, but I think that we’re seeing some interest in returning to the city and the fact that they’re picking up population again is a good sign. The issue is whether or not they’re going to be able to achieve density in neighborhoods where people are so opposed to it. Twin Citians don’t generally like density and never have. But who knows? Cities are full of surprises, you never know what’s going to happen. Besides just architecture and buildings, what in your study of architecture in the twin cities say about the changing culture and mindset of people? Well, these are classic Midwestern grid cities. I took a guy from London on a tour of the Twin Cities years ago and when we were done he said, well, where’s the city? Kind of a European-style of looking at city design, very different from single family homes which is the way things are done in Midwestern
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America. Even in Chicago, which is much more dense. Lot sizes here are still big--40foot lots are still big by the standards of a lot of major cities. I think the distinctive feature of Minneapolis is still the lakes, and the undoubted feature of St. Paul is Summit Avenue, which is one of the last great American boulevards of its time that’s still intact. But they basically have their own unique qualities, and they’re obviously very different culturally, too. With such agrarian roots, it’s always been interesting to me that right in the middle of the Twin Cities is our state fairgrounds which is a nod to where some of the initial wealth of the cities came from originally.
that one day the office building where he worked would be luxury housing, he would have laughed in your face, but that’s what happened. I always tell people not to predict what will happen in cities because you’ll always be wrong. Cities can be very surprising.
Kind of funny now that Minneapolis is sort of going back towards the way that it used to be, building light rails and trying to preserve the past. It seems a little ironic. When they build the light rail down University, it’ll basically be paralleling an historic streetcar route that was one of the major routes in the Twin Cities. It’s important to remember too that what happened here happened in almost every major American city. Chicago was very destructive and Manhattan was constantly rebuilding. It’s just the nature of how we use land and our economic system creates a lot of churn, and we’re seeing that right now in Minneapolis with a lot of new apartment construction and the infills and stuff that was torn down, seeing more urban renewal efforts. There’s a certain vibrancy to the process. Not all of it is very pretty but it’s how we do things in this country. Over time, I’m talking maybe 40 to 50 years, I think we’ll see the University Ave corridor grow substantially and become sort of a longer expanded downtown, as it were, with lots of residential buildings and things like that. If you had told James J. Hill LOST // MPLSzine
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Comic By: Blaine Garrett
There is no feeling in the world like sitting down at a 100-year-old stand-up grand piano. Placing your fingers delicately upon the smooth, beat-up keys, and giving up your pain and sorrow to the sounds that burst through the aged mahogany. Pressing and weaving your fingers through a dancing community of black and white... I could sit for hours without a sheet of music or a memorized song, and let my heart beat through my fingers. I lost more than just a piano on July 6, 2008.
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I floated face down in the warm waters off the Manuel Antonio beach in Costa Rica. Staring, motionless, at the blue demon that confined my body. The movement and feeling that had been ingrained in my body since the beginning was gone. All I could do was float, and wait. I stared my death down, hoping it wouldnâ€™t take me. I could hear it calling for me, trying to pull me out to sea. Suddenly I was flipped face up and wrenched onto shore, away from a coercing surrender. I had broken my neck.
And all I could think was, I’ll never sit down at that piano again.
I have recently found a way to cope with my loss. Last year I started a band: I sing and write the music, and I do it well. It’s my newfound way of letting my pain and sorrow loose. It had been bottled up and tucked away for four long years. It’s still seeping out of my closet and I don’t think the flow will ever stop. But this I burst into tears, screaming out, “I’ll never flow of pain and sorrow is what gives me my play piano again!” Then I quickly shut down, voice and my song. So I write and I sing, and trying hard to let the image of the piano float the band has become my new community out to sea without me. I tried to say a quick of piano keys, and I play the living shit out of goodbye, but to this day it haunts my numb them. fingers. The image comes over me sometimes in a daydream, and I can’t help but imagine Still, I don’t think anything will ever compare the senses of playing. The feel of the keys, to sitting at that piano, though I really do the earthy wooden scent, the strong sound, I love what I’ve found. I still roll up to the piano hate it. It only takes a few seconds to tuck the sometimes when I visit home, but it’s like seeing image back in the closet in my mind. an ex-girlfriend you really fell for at the coffee The first time I tried playing the piano again after my accident, I strapped pencils to my hands. I positioned one pencil in each hand, erasers pointed down so I could press down on the keys without the pencils slipping. I attempted to play. As I suspected, it was not the same. Playing two notes at a time does not compare to having ten at your disposal. But I pushed through, clunking my way up and down the keys. I even recall playing long enough to write a short song.
shop. You’ll go say hello and ask how things are, but when you say goodbye, you realize you may never truly move on. Later on, you meet a new girl and love her just as much or even more, but there will always be a place in your heart for the one who broke yours.
That piano was my best friend, my lover, my therapist, my garbage dump, my child, my canvas. That piano was my piano, and now it sits in my mother’s dining room where the occasional hands will care for its needs. More often than not, though, it sits collecting dust, There came a point, though, where I stopped waiting for the hands that will truly play her playing and stared at the keys in front of me. again. I will always look forward to the day It was torture sitting there. Eleven years I could that I might delicately place my fingers on walk up to that piano and play the living shit those keys again, but if that day never comes, out of it. I could rattle the dining room or send I know she will have lost much more than I sweet sounds to my mother cooking in the ever did. kitchen. Now I can’t even play a simple chord.
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One time, I was that guy that nobody wants to be. One time, I was that guy that people talk about when they return to their homes in cities all across the world. Abu Dhabi. Warsaw. Montevideo. When I say that guy, I mean it figuratively. I am, in fact, a girl. By Kolina Cicero
The evening started like any typical Ramadan evening: Locals find their posts in any open space in existence between Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and they wait and wait and wait until they hear the last call to prayer before they can finally drink some water. For the first time since 4:30 a.m. Never mind that it’s July and most women are adorned head to toe in black (this time I’m speaking literally). Never mind that it’s hot as hell, or 9 a.m. Well, it didn’t matter for me, anyway, because I was that asshole who wet my whistle whenever I pleased. I ate when I experienced a sensation in my stomach that slightly resembled hunger, not when I needed some fuel. You think I’m going to walk past a kebab joint and not stop? I wasn’t in Turkey for religious purposes, after all. I was there doing what every other traveler was doing: staying in a hostel, meeting interesting and peculiar people, watching Wimbledon at bars, trying to fill up three weeks’ time with as much adventure as I could. And fill those three weeks up with adventure I did. I parasailed and kayaked. Took a cruise boat to Greece. Spent four days on a sailboat on the southern coast of Turkey. I cliff jumped. Slept in a treehouse. Swam in the Black Sea. Met so many Brits and Aussies that I could hardly tell them apart anymore. I ate bread and olives and meats and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast every morning for 21 days. Well, it was supposed to be 21 days. I’ll get to that. It was one of those trips for the books. My skin radiated the golden Turkish sun for weeks upon my return. My conversations were littered with anecdotes featuring people with names like Mustafa and Berkay and Serdar, and every other conversation started with, In Turkey … It was probably very annoying.
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I celebrated my 26th birthday on a tiny island in Greece. I happened to be there for the water festival, which meant I was the receiver of countless buckets of water and was pushed into the ocean by locals. All day long. Apparently this tradition has been taking place on July 19 for thousands of years. I didn’t believe it until I saw a pudgy little bully push a grandma into the water, fully clothed. When nobody reacted I realized this was for real. Later, the pudgy little bully pushed me into the water. I resisted, but he packed some muscles underneath those rolls. When I returned to Minneapolis, you’d think my answer to How was your trip? would have been Incredible! Magnificent! But alas, it wasn’t. Which brings me back to the night of Ramadan. Around 9:30 p.m., I sat down for dinner at a tiny, nondescript restaurant. The table my friend and I shared was wedged on a curb in between the restaurant and a busy street. We ate what we ate almost daily: çorba, or a lentil soup that you spice up with red pepper flakes and olive oil. It also consistently happened to be the cheapest item on the menu. I remember the çorba being good but not the best I’d had. It disappointed me only because it was my last night in Turkey. At noon the next day I was to return to Minneapolis with Turkey only a memory. We asked the grumpy waiter for the check and sat at the table, closely watching the passers-by and petting the stray cats that rubbed up against our legs. I put my sunglasses in my purse and put my purse back on the ground in between our feet. I leaned back in my little chair and took in my surroundings. I love you, Istanbul, I thought. Two women walked up to the table not two feet away from us and stood there looking at the menu. I noticed a green 16 MPLSzine // LOST
hijab. I noticed a nose piercing and a huge black bag. I noticed a lot about these two women that never sat down. I noticed when they left abruptly. But I didn’t notice them steal my purse. A mere five seconds after the women disappeared around the corner I reached down for my bag. Gone was my purse. Gone was my iPhone with all of my pictures. My wallet. My new sunglasses. My Xanax that I really fucking needed at that moment. Gone was the most important thing I had on me, only because our hostel-mates left the door unlocked frequently: my passport. It was one of those times where everything happened so fast that it almost moved in slow motion. Every event went quickly but each second lasted hours. We paid for our çorba and ran in the direction the women went. We knew where they went because we noticed almost everything about them. After giving up on following their tracks, we went to find someone to report this to. As we were running it hit me: my passport had been stolen. It wasn’t the fact that getting home the following day would be impossible, or that having to get an emergency passport issued would be a pain in my ass; it was the fact that all my stamps and visas would forever be gone. I hate you Istanbul, I thought. Just that morning, while lying on the bottom bunk of my hostel bed, I was looking at my passport and told my friend that I wanted my kids to have my passport. That I wanted my kids’ kids to have my passport. How cool! Look at all the places Grandma went. I have an attachment to my passport like many LOST // MPLSzine
people (okay, me) have an attachment to their baby blankets. It’s comfy and happy. It’s nostalgic. I was crushed. It was 4 a.m. when I finally went to bed. Filing a police report, changing around my flight, speaking with a private investigator who made us join him for an apple tea pit stop … those things take time. It was 5:30 a.m. when I got up to catch the train to take me to the bus to get to the U.S. embassy, which was conveniently located an hour and a half outside of the city center. Once I made it through the line, got my passport picture taken and convinced the woman that, though I had not one ounce of proof, my name was Kolina Cicero, it only took 45 minutes to issue me a new passport. But it was too late to make my original flight back home. So I remained in Istanbul for another three days. I spent those days wisely, mind you. Hostel-dwellers who overheard me telling my mom – via Skype on my friend’s iPod – that yeah my passport was stolen last night and yeah my flight was this afternoon but I promise I’ll return in one piece, asked me how the hell that series of unfortunate events came about. And so I became a professional at recapping that one evening during Ramadan. One time, I was that guy that you meet while traveling and you feel really, really bad for. One time, I was that guy whose passport got stolen the night before a flight home from Turkey. And guess what? Worse things have happened.
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Photo By: Clint McMahon
Photo By: Clint McMahon
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Lord of the Flyover by Aaron King
As a child of a happy divorce, I spent a lot of time in planes. There were so many potential problems involved in sending me into the air at age ten with only my six-year-old sister to watch over me: cost, weather, and the whims of stubborn octogenarians during boarding could batter the straight line from Texas to Wisconsin into various shapes, integrating layovers at Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Despite all this, things only went wrong once. Now, understand that “went wrong” does not mean an extra hour wait or landing at a different gate. That sort of thing happens all the time. Imagine those small problems, but multiply them by a lack of cell phones and internet. After switching airlines, gates, and then terminals, our route became a cluster bomb of misinformation, and once it had bombarded our route through the middle of the country, all that was left was the twisted wreckage of incorrect voice mails and poorly-transcribed messages. My sister and I certainly weren’t war orphans, but to our wellfed imaginations, it wasn’t much of a leap as we watched families find each other and drain out of the gate. The diminishing numbers of the abandoned awkwardly kicked at tiled floors or craned their necks to peer down the cyclopean halls. We weren’t worried, though. Years of voracious young adult reading had prepared us to face danger with a chipper and hopeful attitude. This isn’t the story here, though. Our abandonment was handled quickly and effectively by a pair of probably youngish women. (Everyone is old in the eyes of a ten-year old.) We leftovers were rounded up and shepherded to a McDonald’s for McNuggets and fries. Comforted and fed, we were taken to a cozy, carpeted room with chairs (solid and bean bag), a couple crates of toys, and a television showing on of the Tim Burton Batman movies. 22 MPLSzine // LOST
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That night, capricious fate was a true equalizer. Along with my sister and I (singleparent middle class) were: a trio of sisters in black skirts and gaudy velvety blouses, obviously dressed for a joyous reunion and obviously uncomfortable (and probably not as well-versed in the chipper attitude required for adventure); and a boy my age in a too-big stocking cap, mismatched layers, dark sunglasses, and a cane (and, in
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my ten-year-old eyes, vaguely ethnic, but maybe just non-Midwestern tan). As Batmanâ€™s troubles deepened, our own issues began to resolve. The girls left first, claimed by a woman who was just a taller version of themselves and a man in a pea coat. (This was back when pea coats meant something.) Soon enough, our own mother showed up, having run a gauntlet
of bureaucracy and looking only mildly worse for it. As I got up to leave, the blind boy, settled into the bean bag at my side, pressed a folded packet of papers into my hand. “I’m not planning on leaving,” he said. “Maybe you could think about it too.” I was from a small town. My only reaction to cryptic, possibly strange statements was to smile and nod. It was a move I had practiced many times, and it’s my belief that
I executed it flawlessly. I didn’t have a chance to inspect the papers until the next day. A long drive home in the dark primed me for immediate bedtime. I found them in the morning, dropped carelessly with my ticket bundle and a stack of comics I had read on the plane. I present them to you now in their fullness.
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The Sound of One Foot Tapping By Mary Juhl Scott Beck’s left foot is cold. Not “toes thrust out from underneath the covers in winter” cold, but an unbreakable icy sensation that’s persisted for months and won’t go away. Under a black argyle sock, his skin is purple. The foot is so cold, temperature strips often don’t even read when applied to his ankle at the doctor’s office. Fluid gathers in places once filled by bone and muscle, creating an explosive pressure that feels like all the water in his body has drained into his foot, trying to get out. The freezing temperature holding Beck’s limb indicates progress, the continuing development of a neurological disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The rare condition appeared this summer after Beck, a 33-year-old professional ballroom dancer from Winona, broke his ankle. He’s spent the past eight months dealing with the incurable but treatable chronic pain disorder, trying to find ways to get back on his feet. For now, Beck has lost the ability to swing dance, to mambo and cha-cha. He’s lost a great deal of independence—everyday chores like taking out the trash are now impossible. But he stays optimistic about his recovery, bolstered by a loving group of friends and family, and he’s managed to avoid the depression often associated with chronic pain. He spends his days learning about what’s happening to his body and running exercises with a physical therapist to keep active. “I want to move forward,” Beck said. “Please don’t just sit me in a couch all day to turn into nothing.” Beck didn’t own a car before developing RSD, choosing to bike, walk or run if he needed to get somewhere. Beck was a hyper child for whom physical activity was always an important outlet, and from a young age he focused his energy on theater and dance.
(http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scott-s-fight-with-rsd-crps-part-2) to help with Scott’s medical bills.
“I’ve been onstage for as long as I can remember,” Beck said. “The vivid memories that I have in my life are being in front of an audience and being onstage.” Beck moved from his native Winona to Minneapolis in 2001 to pursue a career as a ballroom dancer. For six years, he taught and competed with a local company that has since dissolved. Seeking a new adventure, he opened two small businesses—Oliver Dance Company and Café Oliver—where he nurtured his passions for dance and good food. After a couple years in the Twin Cities, Beck got an offer he couldn’t turn down—the chance to join Dance Sport, a studio in New York City. He spent a year steeping himself in New York culture and doing what he does best— dancing.
“I got lucky enough to be in the arts, doing what I love.” Today, rigorous rehearsals have been replaced by intensive physical therapy sessions. Beck spent the month of March at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester attending an in-depth therapy program for people coping with chronic pain, his days filled with airtracing the alphabet with a band-supported ankle, developing new strategies for the future, and walking with the help of medical staff. He’s grateful to be part of the program so early on in his diagnosis—many of his peers at Mayo have been dealing with injuries for a decade or longer. Beck has reason to treat the RSD aggressively early on—many cases become irreversible after a year or two. Within the last month, he’s noticed pain in his left arm, a sign that the condition might be spreading. When he closes his fist and opens the fingers on his left hand, the joints are tight and painful. He knows RSD can cause infections, and there’s a chance he’ll need his foot amputated if an infection becomes severe.
“Any neurological thing is just a big guessing game,” Beck said. Despite the commitment dealing with a condition like RSD demands, it’s not the focus of Beck’s life. He’s getting ready for his partner, Dan Rosera, to move into his apartment in Winona in April. Rosera can be a bit of a worrier, but Beck’s bright outlook keeps the couple away from negativity. “I think that helps our relationship, the fact that I don’t have pity parties,” Beck said. “I don’t get down on myself and I keep a positive outlook the entire time.” Rosera is part of a group of friends and family that’s played a major role in Beck’s recovery since July. Early in 2013, his friends set up an online fundraiser to help offset Beck’s medical costs, and a group of his friends in Minneapolis are hoping to stage a benefit concert for him soon. Beck doesn’t know what the coming weeks, months and years will mean for his mobility, but he refuses to let scary possibilities take center stage. He wants to walk—even more, he wants to rumba. He dreams of moving to Puerto Rico one day to work as a wedding and event planner. Living with RSD presents plenty of challenges, but he won’t let them slow him down. “Being resilient and adaptable is just something I’ve always carried with me,” Beck said. “When negative things happen in my life, I go into action.”
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LOSTBrockington // MPLSzine 35 Posters and photos by Drew
Be part of MPLSzine! We’re looking for interviews, reviews, reported articles, essays, humor pieces, lists, infographics, comics, photos, and illustrations related to Minneapolis. (That relation can be loose-if the only connection is that you live here, that’s cool with us.) For now, we are not accepting fiction or poetry submissions-we know we can’t compete with the awesome literary magazines this town already has. We want to explore overlooked places and subcultures; make new connections and observations; share your heartbreaking, guffaw-worthy, and inspirational personal stories; and champion the people who make Minneapolis what it is. But we can’t do that without creative types sending us their stuff. email@example.com To get you started, our theme for the next two issues are DOWNTOWN Submissions due May 5 Publishes in June ANONYMOUS Submissions due May 19 Publishes in June If you can’t contribute right away but want to learn more, email us anyway. We’d love to have you join us.
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Found Issue - April 30, 2013
CONTENTS COVER BY : LOUIS N. LAPIERRE LAYOUT BY : BETHANY HALL BACKGROUND PHOTOS BY : ANDREW CASEY 6
FOUND: THE FACEBOOK INVITE TO YOUR DJ NIGHT
LOST & FOUND Lisa Olson finds out what makes the Whittier neighborhood’s Lost & Found vintage store special.
14 PHOTOS BY BRIAN HART 16 IDEA MEETS PASSION Five childhood friends have turned a delicious health bar recipe into a startup business. 20 FOUND PHOTOS Found by Molly Davy 26 BOUND BY SYMMETRY Cassidy Wilson and Peter Boyle reflect on finding each other and their relationship.
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LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR I discovered found photos when I was 18 or 19, stumbling across a website that contained a collection. The site’s owner had scanned in dozens of images, most of which he’d found in groups--sheafs of photos in those envelopes from Walgreens or Sears, abandoned for whatever reason by the side of the road or in apartments left behind. Sullen posed group photos, awkward candid shots, stranger’s smiles that should have meant nothing to me--but I couldn’t stop looking. I know I’m not alone in my fascination. I’ve seen people I follow online sharing images from internetkhole.blogspot.com and internethistory.tumblr.com, two sites with huge, deep collections of found photos. And Found Magazine has filled eight print issues and a website with discovered love notes, to-do lists and other ephemera. (To see some photos and notes found here in Minneapolis, check out Molly Davy’s findings starting on page 20.) The beauty and the frustration of these discoveries is how much and how little they tell. It’s tantalizing: A photo of or a note by a stranger can say so much, be so rich with possibilities, but you’ll never know for sure who the person is or how the story continued. But stories like that exist in other places, too, and sometimes there is that chance to follow up. The mysterious storefront you pass on your way to work. The quirky guy you buy lunch from. The people you pass in the skyway or see on the bus every day. The local government process or cultural custom you’ve always wondered about. The event you see posters for every month but never muster the courage to attend. At MPLSzine, we’ve started calling ourselves “creativity enablers,” but I’d like to enable something else, too: the motivation to watch for and follow stories and people that can be brought to light. The motivation to bring a camera on your next stroll downtown or trip to the lake or thrift store outing. The motivation to hear about someone’s new startup business or art project or community event and ask for more info. If looking for stories is something you already do, I hope you’ll join us. Remember that you can always get involved with MPLSzine: Send us your work at firstname.lastname@example.org, ask general questions and let us know you’re interested at email@example.com, and give us suggestions for improvement at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to hear from you. Sincerely, Colleen email@example.com
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CONTRIBUTORS Peter Boyle graduated Lawrence University with a B.A. in English in June 2012. Since then he’s been keeping busy playing video games and writing a monthly column for the fine folks at Whole Beast Rag (wholebeastrag. org), a radical arts and literature magazine founded in the Twin Cities. He’s also super psyched for his first (and certainly not last) MPLSzine contribution to go live! Andrew Casey, one of MPLSzine’s Visual Directors, is a photographer residing in Minneapolis. He migrates towards shooting stationary objects and street scenes. He has had a long-held passion and appreciation for street art and graffiti, which led to a history of documenting the artwork under the alias Urban Camper. Chris Cloud is a Creative Thinkdoer and the Publication Director of MPLSzine. He is very excited that MPLSzine gets to highlight remarkable creative work from the MPLS community. He hopes you enjoy the fruits of their labor, time, and passion. See more at chriscloud.com Kyle Coughlin, Illustration Director at MPLSzine, is a designer and illustrator living in Minneapolis. He enjoys drawing, screen printing, and being awesome. See his work at kylomoonguts.com Molly Davy is curator of Womanhouse zine, which focuses on feminism in pop culture. She is also founder and co-editor of forthcoming BANQUET, a magazine on feminism, art and community in the Twin Cities. In her spare time she likes watching reality television and reading feminist theory and daydreaming. Space case academia is her forte. Follow her: @911zone, womanhouse.tumblr.com and facebook.com/Molly.davy Bethany Hall, Layout Director at MPLSzine, is an interactive/ux designer & lover of a creative challenge. She has a mean case of wanderlust and is no stranger to the culinary craft or powertools. Brian Hart, one of MPLSzine’s Visual Directors, is a Minneapolis-based artist. His eyes are always hungry. He hopes yours are, too. Google: brianmatthewhart Matthew Jacobs, Social Outreach Director at MPLSzine, is a PhD Candidate in the social sciences at the University of Minnesota. During the day he studies Chinese and religion under authoritarianism. At night he runs dance parties at the Uptown VFW. Say hello sometime at Tuesday Night Music Club Tom Johnson is a magazine reporter and editor. He works on Stubble, Crab and Egret, and Fresh Bar in his spare time. Follow him on Twitter at @tomqj and learn more about Fresh Bar at http://www.fivefriendsfood. com
Louis N. LaPierre hails from St. Paul, Minnesota. He was born, learned to walk and create. He is still walking, and doesn’t remember when he began creating. His favorite thing to do is watch, and his second is to paint. Louis uses art to find comfort in the uncomfortable, and a way to cope with the inevitable. Since his graduation from CVA in Saint Paul Minnesota in 2005, he has adopted a vigorous art practice in a variety of mediums. His work can be seen in many venues and on projects such as album covers, glass work, gig posters, steel, books, galleys, film, private collections and murals across the U.S.A. See more of his work at http://www. louisnlapierre.com Lisa Olson is a barista by day, sandwich eater by afternoon, and podcaster/voice actor by evening (“All My Nonsense” airs at 8:30 p.m. every Thursday on Noagendastream.com). Night is usually booked for insomnia, which typically consists of the consumption of more sandwiches and infinite cat-related internet searches. New to the world of the written word, she’s no stranger to the majesty that is Minneapolis and its lovely outlying counterparts. Suburb sown, city grown! Follow her at @ LaLaZigfreid and Allmynonsense.com Zoë Pizarro is a native Minneapolitan. She is MPLSzine’s Editorial Intern and a student at the University of Minnesota. She is still uncomfortable calling herself an artist or writer, but she’s working on it. She lives for the future’s undisclosed adventures. Colleen Powers is MPLSzine’s Editorial Director. She was born Rockford, Illinois and lives in Northeast Minneapolis, and you can usually find her at dance parties, libraries or rap shows. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” is her one weakness. Amanda Reeder, MPLSzine’s Layout Intern, is a student at the University of Minnesota studying graphic design, as well as a designer and DJ for Radio K. She’s a converted Minnesotan (from MUHwaukee) that is most likely to be spotted biking around the city, going to punk shows, attending art crawls and drinking really delicious craft beers. Cassidy Wilson graduated from Lawrence University with an English major in June 2012 and moved to Minneapolis in September. She works as a manuscript reader for Coffee House Press, where she completed an internship at the end of last year. She makes money by bagging groceries at the Seward Co-op. She has an informal personal web presence at sister-moonshine.tumblr.com and twitter.com/thatsthelady
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Ad by Matthew Jacobs
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Crappy Cathy is just one of the many magnificent treasures I have found while on my frequent antiqu and when you feed her your spare change she jabbers away on a telephone. This amazing artifact articles of yore. I feel I have an affinity toward antiques and vintage items because of the idea tha to someone. How did it get from their hand, to mine? How can something possibly be of so much v when I am hunting for that next thing to catch my attention, to shake the cobwebs off some of my o I decided to talk to someone who shares my passion for forgotten items, and my friend Cullen Don digging as a foundation to start a business to share his treasures with others. Tucked in the middle o genuine vibe, Cullen allowed me to p Interview by Lisa â€œLalaâ€?
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uing excursions. She is perched atop her porcelain throne, pants down in a very un-lady like manner, t alone was worth the hours I had spent looking through aisles upon aisles of dusty lost and forgotten at at some point many years ago, these things, inanimate objects, could have truly been a treasure value to one person, and completely worthless to another? These are the things I like to think about own memories, and to remind me of something pushed far back and lost in the catacombs of time. novan came to mind immediately. With the help of his buddy Dave Schuster, he used his talent for of â€œEat Streetâ€? in the Whittier neighborhood is the Lost and Found, where with his typical friendly and pick his brain about the art of digging. Olson & Photos by Brian Hart
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What was your inspiration to open the Lost and Found? It kinda started with me collecting a lot of stuff and going out to dig. I just had the drive to pick. I went to the tiny Goodwill near where I was living in San Francisco almost every day and went home with bags full almost every time. It was really becoming a problem as I just had so much stuff piling up in my room. It got me thinking it would be fun to open up a shop but I wasn’t all that serious about it at first. Then my sister said you really should, you need to, you have a good eye, you love to do it and people really seem to like what you pick. I was planning to start it [in San Francisco], but there are already so many shops like that and rent is crazy expensive. If I had started there I probably wouldn’t still be in business. I decided to come back to where I was born and raised because I saw the opportunity to grow with the community, instead of add to an already saturated market. Why is working with your community important to you? [Whittier] is a great neighborhood, and when we decided to have the shop here it wasn’t quite that popular yet, but it’s starting to become a major part of the Minneapolis lifestyle. We want to incorporate ourselves with the diversity and uniqueness of the neighborhood. When we have events we try to work with non-profits, get them involved, and donate some of our proceeds to them. We had our last fashion show at Old Arizona, where they gave us a great venue and we helped them get exposure to their community youth projects. We are all about helping other small businesses, because that’s how you stay afloat, supporting each other. How do you go about finding the value of something and putting a price on “vintage”? 25 years or older is defined as vintage. I try to go by things like quality, condition, and rarity, as well as what is trending. I am a big people watcher so I like to think I have an eye for what people are currently liking and wearing which helps me decide what I think will sell and what won’t. We try to keep our prices fair and as low as we reasonably can. We even have people who come in and find something and say, “You could get a lot more for that”. Maybe I could, but I’d rather you get a deal and want to come back to find more awesome stuff. I am getting what I need to. If you can go out and sell it for more that’s awesome! Make some money! These are hard times. I just want everyone to have fun and be able to live their lives without going broke! If something does seem too expensive for someone, I tell them to come back on Tuesday when everything but consignment and alterations is 25% off. Do you have a picking team or do you just do it yourself? It’s just me, I do the picking myself because I love the physical act of heading out and hunting. I want to go out and do it because that’s why I got into this business in the first place. Some people ask if I buy or trade things but I am trying to stay away from that. It has to be pretty special for me to take something that has been brought in.
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What are you looking for when you’re hunting? Do you go by instinct or do you have a system? It’s getting tricky because I have so much on back stock, but there are some things I might be low on, like T-shirts, so I’ll go out looking for fun ones. On that same trip maybe I’ll find a dress that’s got a funky pattern or style that may not be desirable to everyone, but it has potential so I’ll pick it up. That’s the beauty of our alteration department as well, if something catches your eye but may not exactly work for your size or style we can work with you to make it your own. No one will have it, it can be more unique, or fit you better, so we’re really trying to push that. We had a girl who found an XXL T-shirt she loved so we worked with her to make it into a custom, one-of-a-kind dress. What is different from what you offer and a thrift store? (Chuckling) Well, first of all we are NOT a non-profit. Seriously though, thrift stores can make this business a little tough because I have to compete with their prices. They get everything donated and hike up the cost, where I put in the time and genuine effort to handpick things I think someone will love. I think people also get overwhelmed with big, cluttered thrift stores whereas we’ve taken the time to pick through the junk for you! We also really try to get bigger sizes! A lot of places don’t offer much in the way of size range because they don’t think it will sell. We really try to find something for people who maybe wouldn’t usually shop vintage because they often can’t find anything for their body shape. We want everyone to feel good and be able to have a personal style without worrying about if it works for their shape or size! What does Lost and Found mean to you? Kind of like lost styles, finding them again and then making them your own. We’re big on the mentality that, I don’t care if it’s some crazy look you’ve got. If you feel comfortable and more confident then go for it. That’s what it is, don’t be like everyone else, unless that’s what makes you feel good, but I get more excited when people have a crazy unique style. If it makes you feel great, I’m like, hell yea rock that shit. That’s another reason why alterations is a big part of what we do. We want to inspire
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people to find something and really make it your own. We want to help you find yourself, and part of that is maybe finding things that bring you back or feel nostalgic for a piece of yourself that you may have forgotten about. What’s the best thing that you’ve ever found that you just had to keep for yourself? Definitely my Sharp GF-777 ghetto blaster. It’s very rare and hard to find, and it still works pretty damn good! I could never put a price on it though because it’s such a personal treasure to me. I found it at the goodwill by my place in San Francisco, just sitting there on the floor amongst some other junk electronics. I had been to the store the day before and it wasn’t there so when I stopped by on a whim again the next day, I spotted it immediately. I didn’t even look at the price or care if it was in working condition, I just said “this is mine” and swooped it up. I was so excited when I found it. That’s what I love about digging, you never know what you’re going to find and you get so excited, like a little kid, it’s definitely treasure hunting. I’m very lucky because I love what I do, and part of that is getting to see people react to finding that perfect thing that really speaks to them. That’s what I want people to experience when they shop here, to feel the excitement and thrill of the dig, the possibility of finding something that was once lost. As I turned to leave the cozy little office sporadically sprinkled with some of the overflowing back room trinkets, I had a divine moment of the very nature we had just discussed. My pupils dilated as they fell upon something from my childhood, an interest of mine that may have been direct inspiration for my future self’s universal domination plans. Staring me in the face in all its glory, waiting for MY hero Skeletor to conquer and harness all its secrets and power, was Mattel’s 1980’s Castle Grayskull. I suddenly had one last question, “How much?” You can “Dig Hard. Find Treasure.” at the Lost and Found located at 2524 Nicollet Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55404 www.foundthrift.com (612)886-1397 Hours Tuesday-Thursday 12-8 Fri-sat 11-8 Sun 12-6 Closed on Mondays
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Photos by Brian Hart FOUND // MPLSzine
IDEA MEETS PASSION
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In 2009, Will Handke decided to take the delicious health bars his brother Ross made and turn them into something more: a startup business. Originally called Güdbar, the snacks offered a tastier alternative to most bars on the market. Now, the brothers have joined with three of their childhood friends, and their company Five Friends Food makes four flavors of what is now called Fresh Bar. One of those five friends, Tom Johnson, sat down to ask his friend and partner Will how the business came together.
Where did you first develop the recipe/idea for Fresh Bar? My twin brother, Ross, actually developed the idea. He was working as a personal trainer at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and, in that role, he had basically bought or sampled pretty much every brand of bar out there. After a while, he simply became exasperated with the similarity of them all: dry and made to sit on a shelf, most were hard to eat, and even more tasted surprisingly bad. Fed up, he decided to make his own. First, he borrowed a few recipes that he found online, then, he began to experiment on his own. Most importantly, he didn’t dry out his bars and used fresh fruit amongst his ingredients. As a result, he found that his bars were fresher, softer, and tasted a whole lot better than the ones he had eaten for so long. That was in 2009. When Ross shared them with me, I became hooked. At work, I would actually get excited to eat one when I got home. I think that oftentimes people who express interest in starting a business struggle to find the elusive “great idea.” I think Fresh Bar is a perfect example of how good, businessworthy ideas are usually already all around us. I’ve found that what really launches a business is when an idea meets passion and execution.
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When and how did the switch flip and you decided to sell your bars and make a business? After graduating from college in 2010, I got a job at a large corporation in an entrylevel position. In many ways, it was an awesome experience: I learned a great deal, worked with many fine people, and it paid me well. Unfortunately, in other ways, it underwhelmed. Quickly, I realized that while I had a good amount of freedom in my role, I was ultimately locked into a career path from which there could be little deviation. While it offered security, it afforded little immediate opportunity and even less incentive to display initiative. I’ve never been the most patient person – a fact which has proven to be both a boon and a bother, at times. And so, shortly after realizing how hamstrung my future was in my job, I began to look for an outlet for my desires to have more control over my future and to feel rewarded for my work. It so happened that at that moment I was eating one of my brother’s bars. 18 MPLSzine // FOUND
What labor is necessary to found a business? Had you owned anything like this previously or was it starting from scratch? To start one? Less than you think. To make it successful? A lot more… In a business that is as consumer-oriented as Fresh Bar, time is the most valuable resource. The grunt work of marketing can get tedious, but ultimately, it is perhaps the most important thing that you can do. In the past, I have personally started or helped to start a few new or re-launched businesses. None of them were nearly as ambitious as Fresh Bar, but I learned a great deal from the experiences they provided. A good thought exercise that I picked up with my previous new business experiences helped me to simplify things when tackling the prospect of a new business. First, imagine your final product or operations – the ideal form of your business. Then, with that image in your mind, ask yourself how the pieces that comprise it come together. Where do you
get the equipment you need? How do you attract customers? How do you get your product on a store shelf? The many questions that you pose become a checklist that will help to guide you. What have you learned from your experience of owning a small company? 1. Don’t get discouraged. Setbacks are common and frequently they can be addressed by just taking a moment to think about them or working a little harder. 2. Ask for help. You probably can’t do everything on your own and, even if you could, there’s almost certainly someone else who can do something better. The internet is an amazing resource. Simply search for your questions and there’s bound to be an answer. 3. Everything is better with partners. Find folks that are capable and trustworthy and enlist them. They can offer new ideas, share burdens, and make the good times even better. Do you have any good company stories? We did have a run-in with Hershey Corporation. It wasn’t fun, mind you – in fact, it was quite terrifying – but an interesting story nonetheless! They had accused us of violating their trademark for Mr. GoodBar with the first name for our bars, GudBar. With the help of a lawyer and a lot of work, we got things sorted out. I guess we should be flattered that they noticed us?
What’s the biggest difference between working for your own company and being an employee at someone else’s? Having the freedom and the power to do all of the things that I believe should be done in order to make our product better, our customer happier, and our business prosper. That freedom, however, is a double-edged sword. With that freedom, I can fully enjoy the fruits of my decisions and my labor, but I am no longer sheltered from any mistakes or misfortunes that might come to pass. It’s both a stressful and exciting position to be in. What are your future plans for the company? We recently just completed a major rebranding initiative and launched three new flavors. Now that we’re very happy with our bars and our brand, we’re ready to spread the word that there’s now a premium, fresh option in the snack bar world. As such, we’ve got plans to approach new retail partners, sample at local events, and interact with more Minnesotans. Where can someone find Fresh Bar for purchase if they’re interested? Fresh Bar can be found in the refrigerated sections of several great Twin Cities-area grocers: Lunds & Byerly’s, The Wedge Co-op, Eastside Co-op, Seward Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Valley Natural Foods and Lakewinds Natural Foods. More information can be found at our website: FiveFriendsFood.com.
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FOUND IN: “Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!” by Diana McClun All notes and photos found by Molly Davy
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FOUND IN: “How Stuff Works: A Reference Guide”
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FOUND IN: Donald Justice’s “Oblivion: On Writers & Writing”
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FOUND IN: Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”
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FOUND IN: Renato Poggioli’s “The Theory of the Avant-Garde”
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FOUND IN: Luce Irigary’s “I Love to You”
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As of this January, Peter Boyle and I have been in a relationship for three years. We met on our first-ever day of college, during the first meeting of our first class. We barely spoke during that term, and for the next thirteen months we were only vaguely aware of each othersâ€™ existences. Then, in January 2010 we spontaneously came together for a meeting that we both knew was a date (though nobody had called it that). We stayed happily together until graduation, and now weâ€™ve settled here in Minneapolis. So how did we go from tangential acquaintances to lovers so quickly and unexpectedly? To explore that question, I wrote a few questions about the time between our first meeting and the start of our relationship, and we each answered them in isolation. These are our responses. 26 MPLSzine // FOUND
When did we first meet? What were you like? P: We’d just started freshman year– or rather, we were about to start freshman year–of college. I’d been exercising an awful lot of my newfound liberties and was making a lot of fast and ultimately short-lived friendships, along with a couple of lasting ones. The night before my first-ever college class, my roommate had done me up in Sharpie, so I was still sporting some weird geometry on my forearms the next day. The class was Freshman Studies, which was a liberal-arts class designed to get students acclimated to college coursework, and when I arrived I felt pretty nervous about being good enough for the rest of the folks in the room. Someone one-upped my furry sweater HARD with a threepiece suit. C: It was the first day of my first class at Lawrence. I’m pretty certain I was wearing a beret, as I often did around that time. I had a small collection of them; they were an attempt at an aesthetic of “quirkiness” that I was scrambling to create and maintain as I transitioned into my first year of college. I was probably wearing my kelly green Decemberists t-shirt. I had left my skinny, video-gaming Filipino boyfriend behind just a few weeks before, and I was still pining for him.
What did you think of me then? P: You were one of the fifteen people in the room that day, and I imagine you were wearing your orange hooded sweatshirt. My first impression of you was that you were aloof and probably too cool for me to talk to, which I didn’t often end up doing. Our first interaction was probably me telling you that I liked your Decemberists t-shirt and you frowning at me and muttering about how you liked the band a lot. I also recall arguing quite seriously about Kafka’s Metamorphosis, because you thought I was forcing some interpretation too intensely, and that probably made me back off a little in class. C: I can’t remember the first moment that I saw you, but I know you intrigued me from very early on. You were by far the most outspoken person in our class, and I remember wondering how you managed to come up with such an endless flow of insightful and (seemingly) well-informed comments when the rest of the class was at a loss. You had an obvious social core established in the class, while I remained a little too shy to engage with others so easily. On a more
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superficial level, I thought you looked a little like Colin Meloy...the roundfaced, bespectacled frontman of my favorite band. This led me to develop a confusing little crush on you. As my long-distance relationship began to deteriorate over the following weeks, I remember looking around appraisingly at the guys in the class and wondering idly if I would consider dating any of them. When I looked at you, I answered myself with a firm “yes.” Unfortunately, I was too shy and depressed about my ugly November break-up to tell you how I felt then, and we didn’t see each other at all for the rest of freshman year.
My friends thought this was ridiculous. To be honest, I thought it was ridiculous too...but also maybe a little bit brave.
Did you ever think of me over the following months?
C: There was the time I went to a party at your fraternity house and drank too much jungle juice, and we stood at the bottom of the stairwell talking with a couple other people. I’ve forgotten most of the conversation, but I know I said you were “legit.” It was the closest I could get to saying you were cute.
P: I had ladies on the brain pretty badly [the next] fall and winter, since I’d finally broken up with my estranged high school girlfriend the summer before. I remember showing your picture to a friend of mine from home as a potential “cool girl to talk to,” because you seemed like you were always having some kind of fun–or at least, that’s what it looked like on your Facebook. I knew some of your close friends from other classes, but not well enough to mug for an introduction, and the thought of that idled amidst a bunch of other half-baked schemes to get several women to notice me. C: Sometimes, I heard about you in others’ conversations, or saw you around campus. A few of my best friends were in your class that winter, and I remember them recounting a story about an intense class discussion that ended when you leapt from your seat, marched stoically down the steps to the front of the lecture hall, and wrote “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE” in huge letters on the classroom chalkboard. 28 MPLSzine // FOUND
Did we ever see each other? P: There was one time we spoke at a campus party in the fall of our sophomore year, where we were both sort of drunk and you told me that you thought I was “legit.” I still have a feeling that was a hint that I didn’t pick up on. I also commented on your Facebook a few times, once about Neko Case on a thing that was totally unrelated to Neko Case in a bid to seem knowledgeable.
What happened the first time we chatted online? P: Our first serious conversation happened in January 2010. It was some Saturday night, so I’d probably gotten drunk and run around my house shouting at my friends for a few hours. After a while I got sick of the revelry and around 3am I went up to my room and idly got on the computer. You sent me a Facebook chat out of the blue at around 4, when almost no one was awake. You surprised me with that, but I figured you were cool and that it was worth having a conversation, so we did. That first conversation was really good; we talked about Harry Potter and you said “I fucking love moral ambiguity,” which struck me as hilarious and insightful. That first night I was pretty sure I could
date you, and the following week of Facebook chatting did nothing but encourage that thought. We liked the same educational computer games as children; we liked some of the same literature and music; we didn’t often run out of stuff to talk about. Eventually you told me you thought we should hang out in person. C: I was staying in Björklunden (Lawrence’s private lodge in the woods of Door County) with the LU Film Club, which was really just an excuse to get away from campus with all of my closest friends for awhile. I loved my friends, but at the time they were driving me a little insane. I was spending lots of time with Hilary and Dylan, a mischievous pair that I had worked hard to get close to for more than a year. Somehow, even though
we were all together every day, I never felt like I could quite get them to like me the way they liked each other, and it was making me miserable. The weekend began with some truly pointless arguments about campus clocks that left Dylan laughing and me in tears. That night, my frustration with my social situation was reaching a peak, and I remained awake after everyone else had gone to bed, staring at my laptop screen in the dark room. Around four in the morning, I noticed the telltale green dot next to your name--you were the only other person I knew who was awake right then, staring at your laptop screen the same way I was staring at mine. I decided to do something reckless. I did the closest thing to flirting that I could manage, and started a Facebook
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chat. From there, conversation flowed naturally until I finally fell asleep hours later, feeling confused and nervous and hopeful. What was our first date like? P: On our first date, we had campus dinner because real dinner was too expensive, talked for a while, and then went back to my room to watch Amelie. I’d warned my roommate and all my friends to stay out so that we could spend some time together, but I’m not really sure any of us were clear on that. They were also charged in part with making the room less of a sty, and to their credit, succeeded admirably.
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People kept coming in the dark room, apologizing for interrupting despite the fact that they weren’t interrupting anything, and then commenting on how clean the room looked because of how filthy it had been only a few hours before. All of this embarrassed me terribly. Once the movie finished we chatted for a while and made moves to embrace each other, but then my friend Zach burst into the room to defuse tension that did not yet exist. I walked you home but didn’t kiss you and that was that. C: Our first date was hilarious. I forced all my friends to consult with me about what to wear, but just ended up in jeans and a t-shirt. I walked over to the campus grill and sat at a window
Illustrations by Sadie Lancrete
booth to wait for you. When you came in, I remember seeing your silly curly-headed mohawk and your lucky white and blue t-shirt. You obviously saw me, but you tried to play it cool and pretend you hadn’t found me until you ordered your food. After some shitty college food, we went back to the Phi Tau house and sat on your couch–that couch that was about a foot off of the floor– and turned on Amelie on your laptop. It was clear that you had a bustling social life, since people kept coming into the darkened room to look for things, unfailingly apologizing and exclaiming about how much cleaner your room was than usual. We made it through the whole movie, and when it was over we talked for a long time. After a while I started telling you about how I felt lonely all the time and desperately needed a life outside of my group of friends. You said “I could be that for you...” and then, we were holding hands...we were moving closer together on the couch...I was starting to lean my head on your shoulder...and at that very moment a motley collection of three or four fraternity brothers and their girlfriends burst into the room and announced that we would all be hanging out together now. I was a little disappointed, but I liked your friends, and I went home that night with a feeling of giddy excitement. Why did things work so easily between us? P: I think we just got really into each other, very quickly opened up to each other about anything/everything, you moved in by accident, and we’ve been together since. I also sent you a long email/message/letter explaining why I love you, which neither of us had said to each other, and I think that was a major point in my corner. Generally you just inspire me to be better at everything I do, you’re really supportive, you’re easy to talk to and fun to hang out with and cute and all that. C: Somehow, it seems like we connected at the perfect time for both of us. We never explicitly said “let’s go on a date,” but I think
it was clear to both of us that that’s what we were doing. We completely skipped the phase of ambiguity and confusion (Are we friends, or more than friends? Does he/ she feel the same way?) that precedes the formation of most romances. I just reached out to you in a moment of need, and within days we were a couple. I started sleeping in your bed after less than four dates, and we’ve basically lived together since then. Where do you think you would be without me? P: Your presence helped me get over my serious procrastination/neurosis and got me actually working at being creative, which I didn’t have much confidence to do before. I could have gotten progressively more irresponsible, failed some classes, blown a few good opportunities, and ended up back in New Jersey or New York City trying to make something happen for myself. I could have ended up with some other girl, but it probably wouldn’t have worked out as well with anyone else. I doubt I’d have come here, figured myself out, accomplished what I have. You’ve really helped me find a lot of what I needed in my life and it’s hard to imagine where I’d be without you at this point. C: We’ve been together for a little more than three years now. In that time, I feel like I’ve simultaneously become a more complete, independent individual, and merged my sense of self into the unity of our relationship. You gave me the unconditional support that I needed to stop trying to be somebody cooler or prettier or more interesting, and start to get comfortable with the person I actually am. I’m miles happier and more confident now than I was when this began, and I feel that you are too. We’ve developed a mutually-supportive partnership where my strengths temper your weaknesses and vice versa.
FOUND // MPLSzine
Be part of MPLSzine! We’re looking for interviews, reviews, reported articles, essays, humor pieces, lists, infographics, comics, photos, and illustrations related to Minneapolis. (That relation can be loose--if the only connection is that you live here, that’s cool with us.) For now, we are not accepting fiction or poetry submissions--we know we can’t compete with the awesome literary magazines this town already has. We want to explore overlooked places and subcultures; make new connections and observations; share your heartbreaking, guffaw-worthy, and inspirational personal stories; and champion the people who make Minneapolis what it is. But we can’t do that without creative types sending us their stuff. firstname.lastname@example.org To get you started, our theme for the next two issues are DOWNTOWN Submissions due May 5 Publishes in June ANONYMOUS Submissions due May 19 Publishes in June If you can’t contribute right away but want to learn more, email us anyway. We’d love to have you join us.
MPLSzine, a submissions-based collaborative digital publication, is the latest project powered by the forces of MPLS Collective, a cornersto...
Published on Apr 29, 2013
MPLSzine, a submissions-based collaborative digital publication, is the latest project powered by the forces of MPLS Collective, a cornersto...