Well, a mystery hamburger shop. Or Shoppe. Can you identify this street corner? Hint: it’s downtown Minneapolis, or was, before progress got its mitts all over it. Good luck. Answer at the bottom.



Related: MinnPost asks “Is it time to start dismantling downtown freeways?” Okay, I’ll bite. No. I understand the basics here; I’m not supposed to drive a car downtown, and if I do, it must be made difficult enough to remind me this is wrong. I wouldn’t object to putting more bridges over the 35W trench, though; it would make for some nice green space. Never happen, alas.

A reminder: it could have been worse. This was an original plan for downtown freeways. Oh joy.



That's the Post Office in the lower right-hand corner. The roads spared the Nicollet Hotel, which would be brought down later because it had the misfortune to get shabby a few decades before people figured out they could rehab them and use them again. 


UH OH  This probably isn’t safe.




Then again, there’s an act of charity involved, even if the driver seems unimpressed. If you want to talk about safety, you might consider not tying large sails to your body while standing on top of a cliff. I know this is a hobby for some, but I’m keen on hobbies that do not involve plumeting into the void while screaming.





A former Amtrak clerk who fled after being convicted of disability and insurance fraud in January has been apprehended in Mexico, the San Diego County district attorney's office said Monday.

Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, had allegedly taunted law enforcement authorities after she disappeared, including a tweet thought to be directed at D.A. Bonnie Dumanis: "Catch me if you can."

So they did. This was her tweet:

But she’s still tweeting! Recent updates:


Actually, the authorities have taken over, and are tweeting on her behalf. That’s legal? Can the government tweet on your behalf, even if you’re a convict?


WAAAAH At Salon, a ghostwriter’s lament:

It was easy, fun and nothing like the “literary” fiction I’d been toiling to write in college workshops. And then, I got the official acceptance: I was hired as the brand-new ghostwriter of a series so popular it was already a bestseller.
I was excited — and dubious. It would change the direction of my fledgling writing career. Was that a good or bad thing?

I called my mom to talk it through. “If I take the job ghostwriting the series, then I wouldn’t be able to write cultural criticism about the series,” I said. “That’s the type of thing I want to write in the long run.”

“Right. And how much would this potential piece of cultural criticism pay?” my mother asked.

The point was clear: Go for the paycheck.

Mom was on the ball, there. Alas, all that success was eventually soul-killing. The comments are worth it; I’ve never heard the world’s smallest violins playing in such harmony.


HISTORY Scroll up and take a gander at that picture again.  That was easy, right? Everyone knows the Green Shoppe was on Hennepin.

Actually, no one knows that anymore. The building looks like a cheap version of a White Tower or White Castle, and probably wasn’t a chain. Looks cramped and dingy. It’s long gone, and so is the building in the background: the old Library. If I’d pulled out, you would have seen this:


The church is still around, but the corner has lost all heft and presence:



I’m sure there were good reasons for tearing down the old library - say, “it’s old! Destroy it now!” - but it was such a loss. It would have anchored that corner like nothing else really could: with gravity, size, and dignity.

At least it's cleaner. Everything back then was smothered in soot. Including the hamburgers, probably.