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7:43 p.m. - August 22, 2007
The Urban Smed Experience
Well, it was definitely a new experience for me today, but it was good.

Not working. Heck, Iíve been working for three days now.

Nope, I experienced the urban part of Minneapolis. The real city part of the city, as it were.

The church I checked out is in the city, but itís a nice tranquil neighborhood and itís a city neighborhood, but not a CITY neighborhood.

You know, a neighborhood where thereís all kinds of funky shops and neighborhood characters and diners and all that. A neighborhood where my quirks and flaws donít stand out like a sore thumb.

Um, waitÖthatís unpossible.

For the most part Iíve been in suburban Minneapolis, or near lake Minnetonka, or that neighborhood around the church. However, today I went to drop off my laundry at a place on Hennepin Avenue.

Iíve tried to look for a place nearer to me where I can have my laundry done, but nothing around me (that I could find) would do my socks and t-shirts and the like. There were plenty of cleaners to do my shirts and suits and pants, but not my dainties.

(Well, my boxers are a bit daintyÖwaitÖthat didnít come out rightÖ)

Oh, why donít I just use the laundry machines in the apartment building? Well, I didnít think Iíd have much time with all of the traveling that I am soon to do.

No, thatís true! I did my own laundry all of the time at home! Ask Liz! Honest!

That and I donít want to always think how many quarters I have, and how many loads I do so my shirts donít turn pink or gray and who the heck knows how many times through the drier it would take.

Seriously, my luck with coin operated dryers is pretty poor. It ALWAYS takes two cycles to dry my stuff, and Iím not even trying to dry an elephant, nor an orangutan. Just my clothes.

So, it was off to the laundry.

Not having been to this neighborhood, I used Yahoo! Maps and found that it didnít look to be that long of a drive. So I put my clothes in my trunk, put the iPod in the car, and off I went.

The beginning of the route took me past familiar turf, and then I crossed Minnesota 100 which ended Minnesota 7. I then realized that like a mo-ron, I didnít have the map nor the address. But I knew it was in the 2500 block of Hennepin South.

Of course, I didnít know how far it was from 100 to Hennepin. It seemed closer on MapQuest, but in reality, it wasnít that far at all. I went onto Lake Avenue, then finally got to Hennepin. A banner said that Greek Fest was coming soon.

Cool. Gyros for everyone!

Going north on Hennepin, I felt like I was in a city. A real, honest to goodness city with all kinds of neat city type things going on.

Oh, and of course the traffic of the city. It was moving, but slowly, and everyone knew where they were going except me.

I stuck out like a sore thumb, the yokel in the CR-V with Indiana plates. Everyone KNEW I was a noob for sure.

Then I thought I remembered the address, and it was on the right side of the street (the odd numbers) but as 26th Street moved to 25th, I realized that I failed at the memory test.


So, I found a parking lot and pulled in and called information. It turns out I had implanted a ď7Ē as the last digit of my head, and in fact, it was a ď0Ē.

It was back south on Hennepin South and I passed 25th and neared 25 Ĺ Street. I thought that I had better find a parking spot on the street. So I pulled in front of a funky shop that sold incense, tarot cards, aromatherapy candles and the like. It was moving soon, as their least expired, so they were having a sale. I didnít stop in, though, as I had to get my dirty clothes to the laundry.

(Yes, 25 Ĺ Street. Thatís not a typo. At least thereís not 25 1/8th Street, or 25 13/16th or 25.6725 Street).

I got my basket, and walked to the address.

It was in a strip mall type thing, and there was a parking lot. So I didnít have to park in the street.


OK, you may be asking why I call it urban when thereís a strip mall type edifice. Well, itís not a suburban hell strip mall with a God-awful sameness about it and a Starbucks and UPS Store and a Subway.

This was an urban strip mall. The building looked like it had been there for years. And the tenant right by the street was a nice cafť with gyros and pizza by the slice.

The aroma! The aroma!

I hauled my dirties into the laundry and they were very nice. Itís a laundromat with a dry cleaners and laundry service all rolled into one. So if you got dirty stuff, theyíll clean it one way or another.

Itís pay by the pound, and I didnít realize how much a weekís worth of dirty clothes (not including dress shirts) weighed.

That is making me reconsider this whole someone-else-doing-my-laundry thing.

After leaving with my claim slip, I walked into the cafť and had to indulge in a couple of slices of pizza to go. I also got a print copy of The Onion and a copy of the City Pages. See, urban? I then walked back to my car, making a note to be sure to park in the parking lot when I get my clean clothes tomorrow night.

The traffic was teeming as I was pulling out, but it was a semi-polite traffic jam. I found the street to cross over to the suburbs and back home, but I was in the wrong lane to get to Highway 7, and instead went down Excelsior.

Which is fine Ė I can get to Hopkins that way. But thereís construction after 100 and it may be a pain, so I crossed up again to get to 7 and made it home in time to read a book to the girls.

The title tonight was How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? which includes a great picture of a T-Rex wreaking havoc on his friends coloring books.

The pizza was great, and my laundry will be done. I have dinner with a high school friend tomorrow (thatís the third engagement this week Ė plus I have something going on this weekend), and then on Sunday I travel to Sioux Falls to begin shadowing in my consulting gig. So real work begins Ė the reason Iím here.

Liz didnít have much energy to talk tonight Ė sheís still tired and shagged out after cleaning yesterday for the brokerís open house. So tonight is just a day to relax, and Iíve got baseball on the TV Ė the morning newspapers plus the alternative newspapers to read Ė and the iPod docked and ready to go.

Itís not home Ė itís not even a fortress of solitude Ė but itís close enough for now. But you can do a Smed a favor and BUY MY HOUSE!



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