I’ve lived in several neighborhoods in my lifetime. Each of them had a certain “feel” to it.
My suburban Seattle neighborhood felt, well, suburban, and dominated by Interstate 5. I feel no need for journalistic objectivity, and show you the nastiest image I could find. This was I-5 earlier this week:
My Como Park neighborhood in St. Paul felt pastoral and dominated by the park. On summer weeknights, we walked down to Como Lake with our kids to hear concerts at the pavilion. Below is the pavilion, great place for barbershop quartets:
In contrast to my earlier neighborhoods, Southeast Minneapolis feels very urban and dominated in many ways by the sprawling University of Minnesota. We marvel at the multi-tasking driving, bicycling and walking habits of the students. But the university’s grip on this neighborhood is also what attracted us. Who else but academics would organize a neighborhood happy hour featuring a breezy science lecture?
I learned about Science Happy Hour a few weeks ago. It began at the Red Stag Supperclub, but now has moved to the Aster Cafe at 125 SE Main Street.
The National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (don’t be daunted by their many-syllabled name) sponsors this lively event at 5:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month. The group, in its own words, tries to understand how landscapes and ecosystems evolve together.
Dr. Gordon Grant, a river-loving hydrologist, spoke in November. He helps people all over the country figure out how to remove dams, and in one case, blow up a dam. The time-lapse photographs were well worth the price of the beer. More on what I learned from him in a future post.
Next week I plan to walk to the Aster Cafe, buy a beer, and learn about climate change and how it might affect my state from Mark Seeley, a U of M climate professor. It seems like a very civilized way to spend an hour on a Wednesday evening.