Friday, June 13, 2014

It's 52 degrees in Minneapolis

That's right, 52 degrees.  That's basically half the temperature it is in Charleston this time of year.  That temperature is winter weather in Charleston, when everybody's wearing gloves and things.  Meanwhile, people are walking around downtown Minneapolis in shorts and t-shirts.

I'm here at the conference for the Society for Disability Studies.  I've never been to this conference before, and it's very interesting--a lot of thought-provoking papers, and loads of people whose work has been influential to me.  For instance, at my panel yesterday, I was the only panelist who didn't quote Alison Kafer.  She'll show up all over my book, of course, but sadly, I didn't include any of her brilliance in what I was talking about yesterday.  (I did quote several people who read this blog, but I think it'd be tacky to mention their names, so I won't.  But you know who you are!)

It's also exciting that Amber Cantrell is at the conference, former CofC Women's and Gender Studies miracle-worker, now PhD student in WGS at Rutgers.

There it is.  Coffee cake?  I think not.
So let's talk about Minneapolis.  In addition to how freezing cold it is, it's a beautiful city, and looks very different from Charleston.  Yesterday I took a long walk through downtown.  There was a farmer's market happening that was stretched out along a city street, with fruits and veggies, honey, nuts, and homemade soaps.  I was snack-ish, so when I saw the pastry booth, I happily visited.  The guy running it had apple fritters, cookies, brownies, and an interesting looking bread thing.

"That's like...a blueberry coffee cake," he said to me, seeing that I wasn't from there, as I was wearing a sweater that I was clutching around my body.  It obviously wasn't a blueberry coffee cake, but he didn't want to confuse me by telling me its actual name.  It was a Minnesota food, so that's what I got.

I ate it as I walked down the street.  It was tasty, but not coffee cake at all.  It was like he'd flattened out yeasty bread dough, filled it with blueberries, then rolled it up and baked it.  Anybody from Minnesota know what this actually is? facial expression isn't suggesting
that this is not delicious.  I'm just not that
good at self portraits while I'm eating.
Food here is very different from food in the South.  I went to the big breakfast buffet yesterday where they had no biscuits.  None.  Instead, they had cheddar bacon scones.  What the hell is that for a morning food?  I tried was fine, but I didn't love it, so it sat on my plate with only one bite taken out of it.

At any rate, they've really thought through the design of this city.  Not only was everything everything everything 
You know, Land of 1000 Lakes and all.
accessible to people using wheelchairs, but they have a greenway downtown that apparently stretches over the interstate and wanders into a sculpture garden.  I didn't have time to walk the whole thing, but I did make it to the Loring Lake.

I've got two more days in Minneapolis.  I'm going to presentations on prenatal testing, medical approaches to disability, and why there are almost no people of color here, and very few people talking about feminism.

More soon...

Update:  It's now 84 degrees in my room!  And I can't turn it down!  Ha!

1 comment:

  1. Great post -- you appear to be taking the city by storm! I'm impressed with the accessibility issues. I just participated in a quite a testy debate about inclusion in education on my Facebook page. I need your strong voice there! Keep us posted on all you learn and what you contribute to the discussions!