It’s been a busy week, and I apologize for scant Bleatage here. It’s a rare five-piece week. This doesn’t mean five days of 9-5 writing, of course - and even if it did, that’s still not work in the sense of picking up a large heavy filthy barrel and putting it somewhere else, then doing that again until the whistle blows. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no excuse for not working harder. What a slacker. I hate myself.

But there will be a podcast tomorrow or Friday - just finishing it up now. It’s about the music of Twin Peaks, not exactly Twin Peaks itself. That has a limited market, alas.

What to do when there’s nothing to say, then? There's some beautiful anti-constipation art in the 30s section, linked below. Also, let's revive an occasional feature! And so . . .

This is an occasional feature on Minneapolis architecture. I'd like to tell a happy story with a surprise ending. Note: it will not make you happy or provide much of surprise. I use the terms in the broadest possible sense.

Now that I've recalibrated your expectations: this is a block I pass once a week, maybe twice a month. The neighborhood has its ups and downs, and it seems like it's been in transition for decades.


That's a Google Street View from 2007.

A few years later:

One tooth left. A dead block.

But then:

New windows that fit the space. The ground floor is a mess, thanks to the job Joe did on it, but if someone's fixing up the windows, maybe they'll do something about the main retail space?


That's a shot from a week ago. Windows are blocked up for some reason. I finally noted the Ghost Sign: Real Estate is the only thing I can make out.

Let's swing to the left of the building and go back two years: it's the sort of thing you see when the Main Street site does Detroit.

Today: hello.

Here's the block in context. The brick building we've been studying is on the left in the middle of the block.


Feels different than the first shot, doesn't it? Stats show Minneapolis is experiencing a population boom akin to the 20s. This area isn't perfect, but what if I told you it was a few blocks away from a street lined with restaurants, and the Minneapolis Art Institute - with its grand collection of European paintings and sculpture - was just a few blocks to the north?

You might say yeah, I lived for a while. How's the crime.

Better. But that's never good enough in the end.


More from this week's batch of photos rescued from a basket in the basement of a Midwest antique store. I've scanned them, cleaned them up, tried to bring back the people from the small scratched images. Because they deserve it.

C'mon, dear, cheer up, this is costing money.

It's the stock paper flowers that really complete the picture of youth and gaiety




Please be over soon

When last we saw the Black Whip Who Isn’t Zorro, she fell off a cliff. Except she didn't really, so never mind. Now I'm going to do something unexpected to speed this boring mess along. Two shooters burst into a room and spotted Black Whip standing behind a curtain. Her boots were showing. Rookie move.

Well, of course:

We’ll get to the Avalanche in a second, but we must address an interesting development in chapter 9. Really, there is one. The plot:

But . . . she’s the Black Whip. How can she lead herself to the place and give herself up?

How does this happen?

Because Vic Gordon, U. S. Government Agent, found her secret lair and her costume, figured out the score, and rode to save her.

Because now they can have fistfights. That’s what’s been missing: lots and lots of fistfights.


They’re still not very good.

Well, at the end, the bad guys have them holed up in a house, and rather than set fire to it, decide to get rid of them in a way that can’t possibly go wrong and is easily controlled.

An impressive effect, I’ll give them that.

Tomorrow? I've no idea! Except for Main Streets and Motels. My favorite day. See you then.



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