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22B422 Pt. 15: Division Street Curse

I used to think Rochester was a teeny little midwestern town.. and then I moved to Northfield. Our downtown area is Division Street, our own little Champs Elysees sitting pretty between Carleton and St. Olaf. The cute, hustlin’ bustlin’ part of Division Street goes on for about 4 blocks of renovated hundred-year-old buildings that house yarn stores, used bookstores, LOVELY ANTIQUE SHOPS, and like five different ice cream places. The well-trimmed trees and baroque-looking street benches give Division Street a deceptive air of perpetual happiness, but those of us who’ve been here for over a year know that all the decorative street lamps in the world can’t mask the Ghosts of Businesses Past who still haunt the street.

Division Street Businesses That Have Closed Since I Started College

1. Sweet Lou’s Waffle Bar, in business from 2008-2009. This was a fun place to visit now and then, and the business was owned by (and named after) one of Carleton’s own Religion professors. People could order sweet or savory toppings to go on their waffles, but at 7$ per waffle, the closing really came as a surprise to no one.

2. River City Books, in business from 2002-2009. The store had been a branch of the Carleton Bookstore, but specialized in books that people actually read rather than Organic Chem textbooks that end up serving as doorstops.

3. Tea Creations, in business from 2011-2012. This place had bubble tea and regular tea and mango smoothies an egg rolls and I ONLY CAME HERE ONCE because I didn’t realize how yummy bubble tea was until the year was basically over and I went back to Rochester. I think I had a bubble smoothie, which is basically a smoothie that has gummies at the bottom. The best part of bubble drinks is that they come with the fattest straws in the world. 😦

4. Pan-Pan International Cafe, in business from 2010-2011. Ernesto and I ate here pretty often because they had an enormous peanut stir fry that always comes with tons of cilantro and because they sold Jarritos. This place sold Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Mexican food (weird combo? yes. delicious? yes.) and had sort of awkward waiters. It also had Saturday breakfasts that I never tried. 5 dollar huevos rancheros, you’re the one that got away..

5. Digs, in business from 2001-2011. Digs was a yarn and fabric store that left Northfield right when I started doing soft sculpture for my senior year art classes. I ended up driving to JoAnn’s in Rochester like every other week to get satin or zippers or polyester fluff or blue thread and whatever else I needed for mah artz. Speaking of which.. does anyone need fabric hamburgers? Fabric shotguns? Fabric pretzels? Fabric syringes? Fabric rifles? Fabric cigarettes? Anyone? Anyone?

6. Tiny’s, in business from THE BEGINNING OF TIME – 2011. Tiny’s sold hot dogs and indie soda BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY its ads were literally the best part of The CLAP (the edz got free hotdogs every Friday for making them). So now that Tiny’s is out (and Andreas Stoehr graduated), 1. There is no way to save America and 2. The CLAP just has a bunch of rehashed look-a-likes and Asian mom emails. And soft porn.

Someone else’s photo of the Tiny’s bumper sticker.

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Mi Casa es Mi Casa

I could tell you all about how much I love living in my hundred-year-old apartment and how living above an antique store makes it fun to pretend that I’m living in a sci-fi time machine building and go on and on and on. Or I could show you what I see every time I come home.