slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.

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the picture of the dinosaur refuses to center itself.

Nearly every day for the past few months, the slubs have been fielding the same question: where do you live?

Let’s get the record straight. The slubs live in a neighborhood of Minneapolis called Lowry Hill East, also known as The Wedge. How in the world did “The Wedge”, a nickname disturbingly close to the word wedgie, come to be synonymous with “Lowry Hill East”? The official answer is because the northern border of the community is actually the point created by the intersection of Hennepin and Lyndale; the neighborhood sprawls south from that point in a triangular shape, hence: The Wedge.

Duh, it’s a triangle.

But the slubs’ choice to move to this particular location wasn’t accidental and had nothing to do with the geometrical shape of the area. Many things associated with the word ‘wedge’ are actually quite slubby:

  • A wedge is a special type of golf club used at short-range. Slubs tend to dominate in the field of make-believe sports (ahem marching band), and as such use a form of the wedge club when owning at mini golf.
  • I’m not sure if any of the slubs own wedge heels, but you can be sure that if they did, they would wear them better than anyone else. Wedge shoes are slubby because they are more casual and safer than stilettos, and Lord knows slubs have a hard enough time walking as it is. They need the help of a broad sole for support.
  • Apparently, wedge is a name for a sub sandwich in certain parts of New England. Slubs love sandwiches. And New England.
  • Wedge is the name of an Autobot in Transformers. Sam, Kat’s boyfriend, once had aspirations of naming his firstborn child Megatron. Optimus Prime, another Transformer, was a close second in the name game. (That’s one of the more solid connections between slubs and wedge.)
  • Wedge is a type of tornado formation. Freshmen year of college, Kat and Shannon adopted the much-loved slubby phrase “[insert noun here] is like a tornado wrapped up in a hurricane.” Classic.
  • A wedge issue in politics is a divisive issue used to split the support base of an opposing group. Slubs have had one main political battle in the house, which was resolved quickly and painlessly: whether or not to place a giant, pink, painted picture of kittens above our fireplace. (No.)
  • Wedge fries. Enough said.

So there you have it: the slubs belong in The Wedge.

Our neighborhood is awesome and vintage (how very hipster of us), and even has its own site. Here’s the official description of The Wedge: “Lowry Hill East began its life as a community in the 1880s with the arrival of Thomas Lowry’s public transportation system, the horse-drawn streetcar line. Lowry Hill East has a diversity of housing ranging from elegant turn-of-the-century residences to large, modern apartment buildings. Many of the larger homes have become converted to multiple-unit housing. Amenities in and near the neighborhood include proximity to downtown and a variety of shops, restaurants, food markets, service businesses and nearby cultural attractions.”

Having lived in the slub house for almost three months now, I’d say that’s a fairly accurate if not flowery description. Here’s what it’s like to actually live in Lowry Hill East, however:

  • The streets are definitely wide and grand, which I’m sure was impressive in the late 19th century when people promenaded around in their horse-drawn carriages because they didn’t have much else to do. Now, however, wide avenues are just an excuse to park on both side of the road – which causes a problem when the street is two-way and moving cars can just barely squeeze between one another and the stationary vehicles parked “near” the curb. The slubs tend to park so close they’re almost on top of the curb because they’re terrified someone will hit their cars, but most people park somewhere within a 2 ft. distance of the edge and call it a day. Sometimes people try to parallel park, fail massively, and leave their car’s ass sticking out into the road. There are enough vehicles on the streets with massive war wounds to know that driving in the street of Lowry Hill East is a daily risk.
  • There are definitely some gorgeous, turn-of-the-century houses in the neighborhood. I pass them on my bus ride every day and drool, which of course endears me to the other riders. There are even some incredibly beautiful and modern apartment buildings scattered between the Victorians. The website for The Wedge did note, however, that a lot of the homes (which were once single family, can you even imagine) were vacated after World War II when citizens moved out of the city and left to deteriorate. This makes the slubs sad in an emo sort of romantic way. Had some of these homes had better stewards, which they deserve, they would have been preserved in a way that would be a fitting reflection of Minneapolis’ charms.

    For example…WANT

  • On a good day, without traffic or construction and with few stops, you can take the bus from 25th and Hennepin to 11th and Nicollet Mall in under 20 minutes flat. That is completely awesome and the slubs love being so close to downtown.
  • The slubs love good food, and there are plenty of places to get it in Lowry Hill East. Coffee shops, Indian, Italian, Thai…lots of Thai, actually. And what’s better, we’re closely situated to the cultural phenomenon called Eat Street. While the slubs have yet to check this area out, now that it’s on their radar, a blog post dedicated entirely and solely to gluttony will surely follow.
  • We went to a street art festival this summer on Hennepin called the Uptown Art Fair. It was filled to the brim with color and unchecked imagination, and absolutely everything was 100% outside of our price range. In particular, the slubs were captivated by the photography – everything from captured moments on the North Shore to classic frames of Venice and Rome. The sounds that emanated from the slubs when they saw these pictures were borderline inappropriate. One day…

    A piece by Shawn Malone. Simply stunning.

  • Two words: French Meadow.
  • Two more words: Sebastian Joe’s.
  • While it’s not specifically in Lowry Hill East, the closest lake to our neighborhood is the extremely pleasant Lake of the Isles. Recently, Kat witnessed the arrival of a giant dinosaur in the lake named Minnie. Minnie is now an official slub.
Aw, look at how cute and slubby she is…

So basically, what we’re trying to say is this: we love our slubby home!

con amor,


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reason #1 i am not suited to living in a metropolitan area.

How can I put this delicately…

There are plenty of unique individuals to be found in every community, regardless of population size or location. Every person is God’s creation, that’s what I believe, but He definitely made some of us a little differently than others. Here’s to the spice of life then.

Walking down the entryway steps a few days ago, I noticed an old lady in a polka dot shirt staring critically at my lovely, slubby abode. She was completely blocking the sidewalk, and while I avoided eye contact I was positive some sort of communication was inevitable. Sure enough – “Is this a duplex?” she questioned me, pointing to my house, to which I responded in the affirmative.

What I didn’t at all expect was the conversation that followed.

After confirming that she had in fact known some of the previous tenants of our house, the old lady launched into a very detailed and explicit history of all the murders and suicides that had ever occurred on our little block of South Dupont. It was the most uncomfortable seven minutes of my life, surpassing even the time I had my hand held by a 16 year old boy on a horse cart in Morocco.

After hearing her recount murder mystery #48 I looked down at the old lady’s dog for help, because I love dogs and I figured it would be a good way to divert the conversation. The dog was blind and stared placidly up at me with unseeing ice blue eyes, which only served to unsettle me further. I tried inching away from the old lady. She would inch closer towards me and point at a different house where another gruesome event had occurred. I didn’t know what to do, so I just nodded in a half-terrified sort of way and sent intense mental supplications to my roommate Kat, who was safely back in the house, for salvation.

The only moments of the entire exchange where I was even slightly amused were when the old lady referred to one of the murderers as a “real hippie type” and to another young woman as a “floozy”. I’m serious.

The problem here was that my intrinsic politeness was inhibiting me from waving off the batty old lady and splitting. Did I inherit this deference from my parents’ good moral teachings? Perhaps. Is it a sign that I’m hypersensitive to the feelings of others? Maybe. But today I’m going to chalk it up to my suburban childhood: I just wasn’t ever exposed to very many crazy, over-sharing strangers in little ole’ Eagan, MN.

So I salute you old lady, although you’re completely bananas, for exposing me to the cultural intricacies of neighborly friendship in an urban setting. When I told you that I hoped our neighborhood saw better days, what I really meant was that I hope our interactions are limited. Although your dog is definitely cute.

People of Minneapolis: learn to censor yourselves a bit and we’ll all get along just fine.

con amor (except for you creepy old lady),