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Lowertown

Dallas Life Lowertown Thomson Reuters

Preparations

Artist Pictures in Lowertown

Next week I’ll be in Dallas.

The logistics of moving are exhaustingchoosing a power company, contracting with a new internet provider, closing accounts, getting paperwork together, and that nagging sense that I’m overestimating what fits into my car.

Almost all of my furniture is already gone.

I just have my ratty couch, my work desk, and a mattress on the floor (it kind of looks like a crack den.)

Also, apparently this is what $21 in used books looks like:

What $21 in used books looks like

What $21 in used books looks like. I sold them at Half Priced Books in Roseville, Minnesota.

I hauled the books to the Half Priced books in Roseville.

That store is one of the strangest places I’ve ever been to.

It looks like a normal book store, but it’s staffed by very thin and bored-looking hipsters. The customers were equal parts young parents, old people, and tatted 40-somethings.

I sat around for about 30 minutes while waiting for my books to get appraised. I was so bored by the time they called my name that I would have accepted any amount. (This is probably not by mistake.) Continue reading “Preparations” »

Lowertown memories MJD Thomson Reuters

Summer of Change

Downtown St. Paul in Spring

This summer marks the end of an era for me.

Mitchell and I are not renewing the lease for our Lowertown apartment. He may purchase a house closer to his job, and my boss approved an out-of-state move for me.

He’s keeping Hugo, and I’m taking Gunter.

Gunter the Chiweenie

Gunter the Chiweenie, who is thrilled that it is no longer freezing in Minnesota.

I’m still undecided of where to move.

My company specifically cleared me to move to California because we have offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. I also have a lot of clients in both places.

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles seem insanely expensive. Do I overpay for a closet-apartment in a trendy area, or banish myself to the suburbs?

I’ll likely have to sign a lease based on pictures – what if I end up with another nightmare building? Will I end up in a terrible situation and wish that I kept my Minnesota lifestyle? Continue reading “Summer of Change” »

dogs Lowertown

My Homeless Neighbors

Hugo in the snow.

It finally happened – spring arrived in Minnesota!

February is a hard month. Like a Siberian prisoner, I accept my frozen circumstances and stop hoping for spring.


Then March comes, the temperature rebounds, and I’m shocked like this doesn’t happen every year.

So the snow completely melted, revealing five months of filth, trash, small dead animals, and dog crap. Yes, dog crap – there’s a subset of dog owners who don’t pick up dog shit when there’s snow on the ground. I don’t get it. Continue reading “My Homeless Neighbors” »

dogs Lowertown

Frisbees and Fires

Gunter the Chiweenie and his Easter costume.

It’s around 7:30 a.m. when I walk into the Dunn Brothers Coffee shop near the Excel Center. There are three baristas behind the counter, and two cops inside.

Me: “Hi. I’m going to come back for coffee in a second, but first can I have three large cups of water? There’s a fire at McGovern’s.”

The baristas look at me like I’m crazy. (The cops too.) So I try again.

Me: “You know McGovern’s? The bar across the street? Well I was walking past it with my dogs and I noticed the planter smoking. I think someone tried to put a cigarette out in the dirt last night. I don’t want to come back around later and see the building gone…”

One of the baristas carries the water out with me. The planter is full of charred, smoking dirt, which we douse. Continue reading “Frisbees and Fires” »