Lyndale Neighborhood, Minneapolis
Well, we've moved, but that's pretty much all we can say right now. For a number of odd reasons we still haven't been able to close on the place, and it now sounds like we may be stuck in limbo indefinitely. It's weird. We're not paying for rent or a mortgage, so in way we kind of feel like squatters. (We are here by permission, though.) The closing has turned out to be somewhat of a train wreck, although at least not on our side. It's a complicated situation, and I'll have to dedicate an entry to it sometime.
Theoretically, cable and Internet service should be set up tomorrow. It'll be good to be plugged in again.
And now, back to unpacking. More later.
Lowry Hill Neighborhood, Minneapolis
Moving is rarely fun, and this move has been no exception. The apartment is mostly empty aside from the big stuff, and in some ways, the new place feels more like home, even though we've yet to reside there. (The movers arrive at 8:00 tomorrow morning.) In addition to moving, the coming week will be very busy, with tasks ranging from cleaning up the apartment to finishing the property closing that was supposed to be done on Friday. (I don't want to talk about that last task right now, but there may be a rant this coming weekend.)
So, that's it from Lowry Hill. Tomorrow evening, we'll be Lyndale residents.
This is how this week is going—I've been reduced to squeezing in an entry while my car goes through its scheduled maintenance at the Saturn dealer.
We close on the condo on Friday, and the movers are coming on Monday. There's a lot of packing to do, a new guinea pig cage to build, and an apartment to scrub and clean. Most of the administrative stuff is done—the insurance is set, the cable is set to be switched, and Edina Home Mortgage finally seems to understand that, yes, we have enough fucking money for the closing. There's another story moving alongside all of this as well, and while I can't really talk about it here, I hope this week won't be made challenging by more than just moving.
Home, by which I still mean the apartment, seems stuck in limbo right now. It still looks like the place we've lived for months, and I for years, but the fact it'll be an empty shell by this time next week pervades every corner and view. For now it's ours, but that now is very temporary. I've moved many times before, and have never been too prone to sentimentality while doing so, but this feels weird to me. Before Lisa, I'd pretty much given up on finding a house, and had become settled and comfortable in the apartment. It wasn't that I didn't want to move, or that I wanted to stay there indefinitely. Instead, it was the last place I was going to live in Minneapolis. Franklin and Hennepin was my neighborhood, and when I left, it was to be a move of hours or days, not of minutes.
That's not to say I don't want to do this move, of course. It's just not what I was prepared for. Now not only am I going to own a home, I'm going to own a home with Lisa. In no way can I possibly think of that as a bad thing.
This is an odd metaphor, and maybe one that's a bit childish, but it makes sense for someone like me: I've been approaching packing somewhat like a diligent demolition company could approach a sensitive demolition in a highly populated area. Most of the work has been done behind the scenes up to this point, such as disassembling the steel shelves in the closets, or opening the cupboards and drawers and packing and resettling their contents. The apartment still feels comfortable and clean, and it's my goal to keep it that way as long as possible. That said, when it does come time to fully pack up, the shift will be quick, comprehensive, and probably quite messy.
The sunroom will be the last room to go. It's one of two spaces I've lived in that I've really become attached to, the other being the downstairs living room at my family's old place in Marquette, Michigan. That room in Marquette, which I last saw over 25 years ago, was unfinished, had a ceiling consisting of uncovered floor joists, and had a huge expanse of windows that seemed to open directly into the surrounding woods. If I were to trace back my love of architecture, it would likely start with that room. Granted, I've spent much of the past 15 years trying to avoid that love, or find a way around it, or find something to permanently distract me from it. Thankfully, the sunroom should hold no such challenges. I want to hold onto it as long as I can, but am not concerned about it haunting me after I leave.
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We'll be losing our Internet access this weekend, and probably won't see it again until next week Friday. I've generally had a good experience with Time Warner, but considering some of stories I've heard from others, my silence here may start earlier and end later than expected.
And, uh, we're back. I wasn't planning on having the site going on a three-week vacation, but, as it turned out, life had different plans. The September 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th entries from Toronto are up, as is the September 10th entry from Door County, Wisconsin. That last entry has the added bonus of explaining why I haven't been online as of late.
And with that, I have other things I need to attend to tonight. More later.
Another weekend, another vacation. We didn't plan to end the summer this way, it just happened. We're staying at Glidden Lodge on Lake Michigan, about 20 minutes northeast of Sturgeon Bay. Lisa's out biking around Door County with her dad right now. In 30 minutes or so, I'll be joining them and her mom for lunch.
It's been an incredibly busy week. I haven't even been able to link and post my entries' from last weekend's trip to Toronto. (Maybe I should just get a laptop that can actually support wireless instead of this old clunker.) We spent most of the weekdays scrambling, handling a last few financing details for the condo, trying to rent our current apartment, and getting ready for next week's annual Turkey Party. Things left to do in the coming week include getting insurance for the condo, finalizing who the mover is going to be, getting the utilities set up, and a bunch of other crap. With any luck the apartment will be rented for October 1st, meaning that Lisa and I will have at most a week and a half after the Turkey Party to pack up and be ready to be out of the building.
You know, moving was a lot easier when I didn't own anything.
Well, time to drive to Carlsville for lunch. More later.
In Transit, NWA Flight 607
We awoke this morning to the sounds of a Labour Day parade a block down from our hotel. The afternoon was relaxed and unrushed, and, for the most part, consisted of walking around downtown to see what nearby neighborhoods we'd missed. The walk wasn't as interesting as some of the others we've had over the past few days, but we did have the opportunity to enjoy a very good lunch at Spring Rolls on Front Street.
There's not much else to say. And now we're on way home.
11:55 p.m., our last night in Toronto. Once again we're sitting in our room (this time waiting for room service), resting our feet. Our day basically consisted of three things, a good breakfast a few blocks down on Queen Street, a trip out to Toronto's Island Park and a ride up in the CN Tower.
The ferry trips back and forth to the island were cool and offered great views of the city. The island itself was fun, too, if a bit trashed compared to the city itself. The walk along Lake Ontario was marred somewhat by a paddlewheeler pumping out loud techno music (!), but once it disappeared we were free to watch the boats, walk on the pier, and check out the supposedly-haunted lighthouse in a relative amount of peace.
It was a bit of a challenge to get Lisa up in the CN Tower later in the evening—she's not a big fan of heights—but once up there she seemed to have a good time. (Heck, she even walked out on the glass floor.) From the windows we were able to retrace the streets and neighborhoods we've visited, and in a way tie out trip together.
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This has been a good trip. I'm not ready to leave.
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Completely unrelated to the vacation: Now Rehnquist is gone, and Bush gets to fill two Supreme Court positions. Great.
This is going to be a quick entry, as it's too late and I'm too tired to go through everything, but it was a busy day, and a good one. After getting a TTC day pass, we walked up Spadina from Queen Street, taking in Chinatown and making a brief detour to Kensington Market. After a good lunch at Last Temptation, we walked through the University of Toronto campus and then headed back on the subway to our hotel to rest our feet. This evening we took a recommendation from MetaFilter and walked and subwayed down Yonge, a trip ending with a good (and slightly overwhelming) dinner at Richtree. From there we headed up to Greektown, where we had desert at ________. In retrospect, desert probably would've been better at Richtree, but of course you don't know if you don't try.
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So, I have to say this: Toronto is kind of amazing. Almost everything we saw today can be found in some other city, but the only honest comparison I can make is to New York. So many great neighborhoods, so may great places to walk. The melting pot may be somewhat cool in much of the United States, but it's alive and well up here in Canada, and Toronto is benefiting splendidly from it.
If you've never visited Toronto, maybe the best way to describe it is like this: Take New York, subtract a few million people, clean it up (a lot), and make it chill out and relax. Or, maybe, take New York, and make it not care about the fact it's New York. That's kind of what Toronto seems to be.
Oh, and Toronto has streetcars. Maybe I'm making a connection where there isn't one, but the major streets that have streetcars seem to be significantly more interesting than those that don't.
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Last night was pretty good, too. The Jays/Devil Rays game started off as a yawner but had a good finish (the Jays won), and the search for dinner was fun, even if our meal at Black Bull Tavern was kind of underwhelming. Lisa thought the mascot for the Jays was cute and hence decided to root for them, although my explanation later that real-life blue jays are some of the biggest punks in the bird world cooled her excitement somewhat. Still, the game was enjoyable, and the stadium itself was pretty cool, too.
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I could tell she was about to ask a question, I just didn't know what.
"Shortstops are usually short, right?"
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Tomorrow we're planning a trip out to Toronto's Island Park, plus a visit to that concrete tower we've been using as a bearing point for much of the trip. More later.
4:20 p.m. We're sitting in our room at the downtown Sheraton, watching the CBC running the BBC coverage on New Orleans, resting our feet before heading off to the Blue Jays game this evening. It's been a good first day. We didn't have much in the way in plans other than just wandering around, and so far Toronto has been pretty impressive.
After leaving our hotel and looking at Toronto's city hall across the street, we walked down the funky and cool Queen Street, making a brief detour to the Ontario College of Art and Design to look at their new building. (It probably falls into the "all because you can doesn't mean you should" category, but only time will tell.) Back on Queen Lisa pulled us into a place called Lush, a strongly-scented store in which she parted ways with a substantial sum of money. After Lush we cut over to the Skydome Rogers Centre to purchase tickets for tonight's game, and then walked up Yonge, making a quick gawk-and-go stop at Eaton Centre before taking the PATH tunnel system back to the hotel.
This is a different kind of city. The architecture isn't that great, and there really isn't much in the way of landmarks, but there's a calm kind of vibrancy that seems to permeate everything. It's great, and it's enviable. It'll be interesting to see what we'll find over the next few days.
5:00. Doors for the game open in 30 minutes. More later.