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College of Design

Monday, July 9, 2012

Going Up North Ya Say?

I love vacations and traveling. It seems that no matter where you go when you travel in MN you "go up north." I went out of town last week for the 4th. I drove "up to" Elysian, MN (...never heard of it either) with my boyfriend straight South on 35W. We stopped a couple times at typical non-descript rest stops...reminding me of the archetypes of American landscapes described by J.B. Jacobs in "Discovering the Vernacular Landscape" which I read last fall thanks to LA 1201 Professor Pat Nunnally. The American suburb and its sprawling strip mall conveniences Jacobs would classify as 3rd landscapes. Post World War II uninspired and rarely differ in materiality, design or services no matter your location: voila! your Home Depot, Starbucks and QwikMart will be set in large store front with bigger parking lots that would appear the same in Phoenix as in Cleveland.
The cabin was more of a lake house and came with a speedboat, pontoon, fishing boat, water skis and tubes, about 10 beds, and insane amounts of food and drink on the ready. We had a blast. As usual the boyfriend and I had a silly trip of fun and laughs with our friends extended family and their 4th of July 2012 midweek vacation fun fest 2012. To both the Anderson / Olsen families of MPLS thank you so much for welcoming me into your cabin. Which, I decided, is more like a lake house. I tried to figure out what the differences were when swimming around the lake early Thursday afternoon. It is not clearly an issue of class in MN to own a cabin or even land. But when your cabin has multiple stories, heat and air conditioning, or even a might be time to ask yourself, do I own a lake home? On my trip to Lake Francis there were was a clear hierarchy of homes. Not spatially around the lake, but dispersed throughout the shoreline the height, grandeur and private amenities changed every 20 feet.


But the fireworks were an amazing display of small town excitement and lasted for almost an hour. Lucky we didn't have an a-bomb style 4th of July like San Diego! It's the coolest 15 seconds of mechanical failure.

So check it out. Get out and about as they say here and enjoy the summer and any free time you get!