Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Goodbye Minneapolis: You're Gonna Make It After All
So I was told no visit to Minneapolis would be complete without seeing this... the Mary Tyler Moore statue.
So, just hours before hitting the airport I went in search of, and found, Miss Mary in front of Marshall Fields department store in downtown Minneapolis. Uh, and I don't do a good Mary, so you won't see that shot. However, you can sing along to the theme song: You're Gonna Make It After All.
But anyway, Minneapolis is a nice place. Low crime, low temps, low cost of real estate... in the up-and-coming trendy, open-minded neighborhood, you can find a nice 3 or 4 bedroom, with huge front and backyard, for under $200,000. Something that is next to impossible to find in L.A. You won't even find a one-room shack in a toxic dump site for under $500K in L.A... for real, for real.
Now, granted you'll have to make some adjustments... snow and ice... I wasn't prepared and had to borrow some gloves and scarves. And, if you like your brown and black people in large numbers... well, it's something to think about if moving to the Twin Cities, 'cause on the surface there don't seem to be a lot.
However, I did find some pockets. There's a cool spot in the black neighborhood in St. Paul, called Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe (921 Selby) where I met some cool people. Really cool and cute people. My friends own the new LGBT-friendly coffeehouse, Isabel's, at 42nd and Cedar in Minneapolis. Ate some authentic Mexican food at Pepitos. At City Hall, I saw where all the black and brown folks work. And... hmmm, nah... forget it. Oh, and I met Mrs. Marge Pederson, and she wants you all to stop by and say hello sometime.
And at my event on Tuesday evening at the Minnesota AIDS Project, it was nice to see a wide diversity of people. Close to a hundred folks came out. And I got to hear a lot about how black and brown LGBT folks deal with "Minnesota Nice". The folks at Minnesota AIDS Project are so nice, so cool, so fun... they, along with my friends I knew there already are making me think about a move.
Or at least a visit during Pride Season this June, where at least I won't have to dress like this. :-) (I'm standing on the banks of the Mississippi River in the pic... yeah, I didn't know it started all the way up in Minnesota either...)