my local-Ryan Kelly
For the creation of Local #2: Polaroid Boyfriend I found it necessary to snap a few instant photos to reduce the dependence on my weak scatter-brained memory. I have trouble remembering simple tasks like locking the doors and taking my shoes off inside so I can’t waste any urgent brain cells on mustering up the exact visual shape of the Wedge Logo in my imagination. But, yes I have been here a long long time, and I have been to Hum’s.
If for some same strange reason you happen to wander into Minneapolis, there are many places to go when you need “something to do”. And be aware of your exact location at all times. As we stated in the back of the book, Minneapolis is medley of construction zones, architectural disasters, strip malls and suburban “lifestyle centers” that spread across the land like those bloody tentacles in War of the Worlds (not like I like Tom Cruise or anything). And don’t forget Saint Paul, My current residence, which is the Capulet to Minneapolis’ Montague. You can’t just leap into Hilltop or Richfield like a blind gazelle and call it “Minneapolis”. You’re likely to get chased down the street by an angry mob. Bloodhounds and pitchforks and everything. In Minneapolis, you can go Downtown, Uptown, Northeast, the Warehouse district, West Bank, Lake Street, and so on and so on. There is so much to do and see if you really put your mind to it. But I chose Lyndale Avenue as the main location to stage my scenes with Megan’s romantic adventure in Minneapolis.
So, I went to Lyndale and snapped some photos. I didn’t want to be a poseur so I used a genuine Polaroid instant camera because I am, of course, the original “Polaroid Boyfriend”. Looking Clockwise from left, we see The Wedge co-op (www.wedge.coop). After I snapped photos that day I went in to grab some hummus and a root beer for lunch. Mpls-St. Paul Magazine ranks The Wedge as #22 (a grocery store!) in the Best 100 Things About the Twin Cities. It is an excellent full service grocery store that has stood its ground against national chains and has earned the loyalty of neighborhood residents. But I only seem to buy hummus and a root beer. A friend told me the other day his mom designed the Wedge logo we see there on the building. That friend is in a band called CAPITAL SONS (www.capitalsons.com) and their record is shown in the hand of the record store clerk as she scolds Megan on page 16.
In the next photo we see the 22nd street side of Hum’s as it leads up to Caffetto and the hair studio with my favorite name: Curl Up and Dye. The Caffetto coffee shop is one of the first places I showed my paintings way back in the day. That is where I met Christian Johnson who was pouring joe there at the time. He decided to strike out on his own and opened his own coffee shop, The Spyhouse on Nicollet Avenue, which runs parallel to Lyndale a few blocks East. The Spyhouse is a stylishly mod coffee shop that is a preferred hangout for art school students, laptop tappers, hipsters, and just your average dude off the street. Megan’s stalker is sipping a Spyhouse cup on page 2. Christian has just opened a new diner down the street called the Bad Waitress Breakfast Joint & Coffee Shop. Who doesn’t want to eat at a place called “the Bad Waitress”?
In the next photo, we see Hum’s. They deliver and they have one of the most gorgeous art deco style storefront signs in town. If you live in Florida or something, please don’t call the number in the comic book and request a case of MGD to be delivered to your home. I will get mad at you. In the last photo, we see the door for Megan’s apartment. It is on the Lyndale avenue side and sits in between Hum’s and the Red Dragon bar. An artist I have been drawing with on a monthly comic for DC just told me his old girlfriend once lived in that exact apartment above Hum’s. I don’t know who lives there now. Don’t go there and ring the buzzer and ask for Megan McKeenan.
Well, that’s it. I hope you liked Lyndale avenue and I hoped you liked Local #2: Polaroid Boyfriend. In closing, I want to assure everyone that I DO know that the Soviettes LP2 and Low’s Great Destroyer was not released in 1995. Sometimes when you’re frantically trying to get a book done in time, you have to just put your head down, clench your fist, and tell your intern to grab something off the web and paste it in the artwork. Now I’m going to go flog myself in shame.