This weekend, I was introduced to director Terence Davie’s film “Distant Voices, Still Lives”. Described to me as a film worth watching because it is focused on the depiction of a place (working class industrial Liverpool) that no longer exists but is still physically there. Thinking in those terms, I cannot help but feel that when I walk through the streets of Milwaukee in mid-winter, I’m walking through a similar shell of place.
I apologize for my recent relapse into laziness and not posting. I have been actively working as a guest blogger over at the wonderful and eclectic MIEL. I will be writing under the topic of “Localities” and will focus my attention on concepts like heterotopias in the everyday landscape.
You can find my latest post among many other noteworthy bits over here: http://miel.ohbara.com/wordpress/
I was headed into work this morning when I noticed yet another giant white truck selling food items in downtown Minneapolis. In the past, I’ve made the decision to judge every city I travel to/live in by the quality of its street food. For example, New York introduced me to the beauty of spicy squid on a stick. In Mexico City I had the distinct pleasure of having a five-course meal of nothing but delicious nibbles found on the street. Montreal and Sofia, Bulgaria both rocked the bagel-like items. Istanbul made me squeal with an amazing grilled mackerel sandwich on the Galata bridge. Street food truly is an indicator of the health of a city, its people’s participation in the public sphere, and a commitment to the exchange of energy and life which can only happen in public.
Back to Minneapolis. If I am to apply my criteria for evaluating street food, Minneapolis gets little more than a D-. The effort is there, but the joy, the spontaneity…. the people…. are no where to be found. Instead, I am greeted by the rather gruesome display of a giant, flaccid turkey drumstick roasting in the morning haze inside a pristine white snatcher van. Yippee.