Tag Archives: Minneapolis

Dignity in the details

kaffee zum hier trinken

Image courtesy of Cafe Arkona in Berlin

Last night as I fell asleep the image of a coffee cup came to mind. In this moment the coffee itself was beside the point; it was the feel of the smooth white ceramic in my hands, the matching saucer that would surely come with it, a cookie or two on the side. It could come from any café in Berlin at all. It’s just the way things are done here; coffee is served with dignity.

In one of our first weeks here I learned the phrase zum mitnehmen, which felt like a personal triumph because it’s such a drawn-out way to ask for your order “to go,” but over the months I’ve come to appreciate zum hier trinken. I’d like the cup-and-saucer treatment, please.   Continue reading

Liebe Ruderkameradin

Franklin Ave Bridge

Franklin Avenue Bridge, Minneapolis. Courtesy of Hennepin County Library.

In Minneapolis they jump; the Franklin Avenue Bridge seems to be favored.

One imagines a walk through the bleak, unending night. Some untold moments staring at the murk below; the allure of the black, mesmerizing water. They come alone to the bridge, work their way to the edge, and they let go, whether in a leap or a fall. Either way they plunge into the Mississippi. If the impact doesn’t kill them, the water surely will.

Their bodies wash up on shore and are fished out by the sheriff, often weeks after they make their plunge.

Sometimes rowers are there to witness the fall. Once, I was told, a man hung onto the stern of a passing shell as the rower rowed them both back to the dock.

Here in Berlin, it’s the tracks that beckon. Continue reading