"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

East Side Boy on the Wrong Side of the River

If you're not from the Twin Cities (that is, St. Paul and Minneapolis - in that order, mind you - not, say Buda and Pest or any other twinned cities), then the innate differences between the two are not very obvious. St. Paul is the last city of the east, trying to be Boston; Minneapolis is the first city of the west, trying to be (at the moment) Portland. The two are very different cities, with Minneapolis forever trying to make its smaller neighbor a bedroom community. Curse you, evil empire!

Brett Favre plays in Minneapolis, just to make it more hateable.

St. Paul is the literary city, from Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Garrison Keillor and August Turner. Minneapolis did have the prize-winning poet John Berryman (who killed himself in Minneapolis. I'm just saying...) Diablo Cody, who is what Minneapolitans aspire to be, says she wrote the screenplay to "Juno" in a Target store in Minneapolis; she was actually in the city of Crystal. That's pure Minneapolis style.

I'm from the less fashionable end of the least fashionable section of the lesser city. Actually, I'm just outside the border of that. Today I went to watch the Monster Dash in Minneapolis, which had 9000 entrants for the three events (1/2 marathon, 10 mile and 5K), almost 10 of whom crossed the river for it.

I like the Linden Hills neighborhood, where the races end. It's by a lake, it's hilly, with winding roads, the houses are mostly cottage-sized (if not McMansioned), there's tiny gardens. It's just like my neighborhood...except for the crowds, commerce, chaos and conspicuous attempts to be "hip" (and those people are old enough to use that word).

I stood at the triangle where the 1/2 marathon and 10 mile split and where the 1/2 marathoners return. The poor guy responsible for keeping non-participants out of the road there had quite a problem. I saw a number of people I know and missed a few (one may have been wearing a costume that hid his face). It looked like a decent race, if you like weaving through crowds wearing costumes.

It's not for me. I went home to go for my run.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Thanks for the lesson. I grew up in Philadelphia, which is right across the river from Camden. Two different states, though, so I guess that's why no one ever considered them Twins.

The one is very different from the other, though, in ways I won't go into.

I like your attaching the word "hip" to a certain age group. Reminds me of the episode of Community I just watched, which is probably like a month old but I only got around to watching it last night. (I'm that backed up on my DVR'd TV shows.)

Anyroad, Chevy Chase's character gets mixed up with these other Senile Delinquents known as "The Hipsters" ... because they've all had hip replacement surgery.

That really got a guffaw outta me, because, MAN! Can I ever identify!

Dr. TriRunner said...

Hmmm... I feel quite strongly about the Minneapolis vs. St Paul debate (note the order), but I'll leave my own feelings out of it and instead direct you to these guys (http://minneapolisversusstpaul.blogspot.com/) to consult.

Although slightly old (looks like they stopped blogging in 2008) I feel the points are still valid. There is clearly a *greater* city in the lead. :D

Colin said...

That was a huge race! Being a Linden Hills hipster myself (living around 3/4 mile away from the race HQ), all street parking for blocks around was taken. I've never seen that happen before. I'll bet a ton of people didn't allow enough time to find parking ...

I waited until the streets had cleared before heading out ... it was a great day for a run! Sorry not to have come out earlier when we might have crossed paths.

Jean said...

I thought about doing this race, but the price tag scared me away. And, I read various reports about the shuttle bus/parking issues, so I was really glad I didn't.