Where we live


by Todd Melby, 5/29/08 • An essay I wrote last year for mnartists.org has been reprinted by 10,000 Arts, a quarterly co-production of mnartists and Rake magazine.

Here’s the beginning of the essay: “I’ve been living in the same city for a long time. Maybe that’s why I crave the unusual. I abhor cookie-cutter architecture, which is just as prevalent in urban areas as in cul-de-sac suburbia. How many three-story brick condos with railed terraces have you seen constructed in recent years?

I want buildings that curve, use everyday materials in strange ways, use strange materials in everyday ways, inspire fear, or give me pause. I like to nestle next to Moos Tower on a sunny day, bike under the Guthrie’s blue-black cantilever at night, and duck into that new box buried behind the Walker Art Center that frames the winter sky.

I also like the dangerous: decrepit structures with peeling paint and collapsed roofs. Walking across the cracked, aging pedestrian bridge at I-94 near Augsburg College-with cars buzzing on the highway below-makes my heart beat a little faster. Crossing the Lowry Avenue truss bridge is thrilling when you poke your head out the window to look at the Mississippi River’s waves through the steel openings of this 1955 landmark. (Let someone else drive.)”
You can read more here.