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Freewriting, field notes, or autobiographical recollections

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

 Freewriting, field notes, or autobiographical recollections



For my ethnograhic dig, I've decided to do a feature piece on Cummings Books, owned by Jim Cummings who has been involved in the used book industry in Dinkytown for many years (20+ years). Inspired by "The Guitar Repairman", I hope to turn my still shots (see below) and some video footage (soon to be uploaded once I figure out how to do so) into a short documentary video for my fledgling vlog.  I provide these still shots for those that may find them helpful to include in their videos.


...please stay tuned...I'm having a hard time uploading the photos without them taking up the whole screen. --- candance






Gina writes....


When I think of Dinkytown many different images and experiences come to mind.  I spent my college days hanging around Dinkytown and it definitely has it's own unique culture.  I can never forget the Purple Onion coffee shop where I spent countless hours reading  (is it still there?), the Kitty Kat Club where my friends and I would hear really good music and hang out on couches, or Everyday People where I would snag a cool Halloween Costume.  I'm excited to check out the PB Loco at the Dinkydome.  http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2004/12/01/11500 


And, I do relate Dinkytown to the U of M hockey riots in 2002.  I will never forget the Dinkytown businesses that suffered from the actions of some college students.   http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/08_stawickie_riot/


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I do know, however, that towards the end of my college career Dinkytown was experiencing some major challenges.  It seems that stores and businesses had a hard time thriving in Dinkytown.  I'm not sure what the status of this is now.  Additionally, when I was involved in student government we were just beginning work on improving the University's relationship with Dinkytown and outlying neighborhoods.  It seemed as if students has a difficult time identifying themselves as being members of the univeristy neighborhoods with new student renters coming and going every year.     






Scott writes...

(14-Sep-07) I begin this weekend without any concept of what Dinkytown really is. I know that people talk about "Dinkytown" and going for drinks, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. I check a map each day before leaving my house for campus, due to my poor memory. I use street and avenue numbers to "count" my way home, not recealling the buildings I pass each day. Learning the history would take a lot of repetition, so cut-paste procedures won't "teach me" about Dinkytown. I would need something I could read several times over a number of months.


I don't know most neighborhood names in the Twin Cities. I still struggle to understand the organization of communities, cities, and counties in Minneapolis. My wife and I will likely drive to the area so I can see it. We might also take some photos so I can associate them with the actual place. Any images I retrieve from the Web won't be meaningful if I cannot see the place in the physical world. Then again, time being a limitation could result in little more than cut-paste-forget. That would be a shame.


Candance comments...

Dinkytown has changed quite a bit for me through out my college career here at the U (undergrad, MEd, and now PhD).  I was originally a place to get coffee.  Then it became my place of employment working at Cummings Books for two years.  Now it is place I often go to get coffee, food and meet with groups for classes.  Besides my stint selling books, much of my interaction with dinkytown has been to consume goods.  I'm interested in looking at how dinkytown has changed throughout the years from some of the venders' viewpoints.


While this link may not qualify for feildwork artifacts (since I didn't take the photos myself) I feel that the photos are a good resource to view and use as visual archives, especially if anyone plans on making a video about dinkytown for their vlogs.  photos of dinkytown.


I especially like this snap of the old

Purple Onion which is now a shiny Pot Bellies






Kasi writes:



I buy a lot of coffee in Dinkytown, and some lunch. I've also spent some time in the Dinkytowner, seeing bands (and listening to them, too, I suppose). I feel a bit embarrassed to admit that my frequent interaction with this neighborhood is so shallow. So I was happy when an initial Google search for "Dinkytown history" immediately brought some interesting topics to my attention. I thought I'd take advantage of this "freewriting" space to raise some potential topic ideas that might be interesting to pursue in greater depth. Here's what I found in just one first, broad sweep--please add or comment, if you like:


1) James Lilek's photographic memories of Dinkytown, which I have also linked from the "history" page, show just how dramatic a neighborhood's evolution can be. His "current" photos reveal that the changes in any neighborhood's landscape of places and memories are ongoing, making memories of lost places seem all the more poignant. Archives could be an ideal source for research in this vein, and digital media hold a lot of exciting presentation potential;


2) I had never heard of the Dinkytown "Red Barn protest"--I found this interesting article, which is apparently well-reported, but it's reliability as far as publication source isn't immediately apparent from the Web site. More research would confirm (or not) what's written here; and


3) a history class from last fall did a "public history" exhibit on the neighborhood; students or faculty from this course might be interesting subjects for interviews.





David Writes...



I was not an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, but I too have a lot of fond memories from the Dinkytown area.


The Purple Onion, now gone, was once a place of refuge from grad school.  Annie's malt shop was a really fun date for me once.  Burrito Loco's original location was a mountain biker hangout and its new location was a cohort hangout (there's nothing like a burrito and a beer between classes).  Varsity Bike Shop, the little shop hiding in the shadow of Eric's next to the Varsity Theater was a sponsor for my bike team, and an employer for several of my bike bum friends.  I even taught for a semester in a charter high school in dinky town, believe it or not.


It's a fun area, and I'm really looking forward to learning more about it.




Nicole admits...


When I first heard the name "Dinkytown," my first thought was, "How embarrassing." The word "dinky" is so silly--how could it apply to a neighborhood by a Big Ten school? Soon to follow were the Dinky Dome, the Dinky Towner--oh, lord. But I suppose when the city you live in is already called "Mini"-apolis, what's left?














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