Why I Hate the Suburbs


From the local paper:

Although Anoka bills itself as the Halloween Capital of the World, city officials and some businesses are a bit spooked by a macabre-themed head shop that has opened a pumpkin’s toss from City Hall.

Redrum — which read backwards, spells murder — opened in late September with a skull and crossbones above the door and red-stained razor blades dangling in the window.

Okay, so far, so good. If this were downtown or in Uptown or Dinkytown or on Lake Street or University Avenue, no one would notice. They might not go in if the shop didn’t carry anything they were looking for, but at most, they’d snicker and move on.

“The kind of people it brings downtown we don’t need,” said Beth Lennartson, co-owner of A Girl Thing, a women’s boutique a few doors away.

You mean people who buy things? Is there any other kind of people a business should concern itself with?

“This doesn’t help our ladies that come down here,” added co-owner Donna Texley.

You might be surprised, honey. But even if it doesn’t, does your corner of the world exist only for your customers? Do you protest barbershops opening up? Those don’t help your ladies either.

“Yes, we are the Halloween capital, but that is taking it too far,” said Krista Rothmaler, who owns Krista Artista art gallery down the street. “My opposition to Redrum has to do with the fact that it is not very family-friendly.”

Unlike boutique clothing shops and art galleries. Those are always so open to sticky-fingered younglings.

What actually gets me about all this is not the totally expected reactions. After all, I grew up in the suburbs–right up until I had a choice about where to live. No, what gets me is that Anoka is the Halloween capital. According to this article, they can’t handle anything remotely morbid or weird and they don’t like the sorts of people who love Halloween. How does that work?

Don’t get me wrong. I think Anoka is a plenty scary place. I just don’t think it’s any scarier than any other closed-minded, repressive suburb.

Comments

  1. says

    I hate the kind of people who say “The kind of people”I think people are taking it too far when they say “that is taking it too far.” “This doesn’t help our ladies that come down here”This is funny. I live a few blocks from Anoka. I know of anoka as the place where the laundry map IS the crack house. What’s the difference betweeen Anoka and Coon Rapids? Coon Rapids has ten percent more trailers. The trailers in Anoka are required to have window boxes. And so on.Yes, there is a quaint downtown that is two blocks long, and the wealthy suburban part (which may as well be on the moon) is a bit wealthier and a bit more suburban than some of the other norther suburbs (in the Twin Cities, “northern suburb” = “white trash trailer park land.”)”I think Anoka is a plenty scary place” … Oh yes! When you leave the Twin Cities heading ‘north’ along the main highway on the north side (Route 10) you physically drive into the city/township of Anoka first. And, at the same time, you drive into the US Congressional District of …….. Michele “One L because the other one is in Hell” Bachmann.

  2. says

    Oh, yeah. Bachmann. I’d been hearing some talk that she was going to start claiming Anoka as her home town since moving out of Stillwater. A bit of a comedown for her, really. From a town that has actual history to one that doesn’t even want to do Halloween right. Sheesh.Of course, it’s kind of a comedown for Anoka, too.

  3. says

    Anoka has a little bit of a history. There was a mill on the Rum River, and a settlement around that. There are some quaint old brick buidlings etc. (actually, in the neighborhood in question). Unlike Coon Rapids which is just the vast in-inbetween-ness in between Blaine and Anoka.

  4. says

    I advocated for changing the name to Riverdale. For obvious reasons.Now, have you heard about the triple murder in Mounds View (Mike, are you watching??? … that’s Mike’s home town). I’m remembering your earlier post following a murder in the Western Suburbs. The discussion on the local news is as predicted … oh, we’ve not had a murder in 20 years…

  5. says

    Also as predicted, this does not appear to be random, showing once again that you’re about as safe–wherever you are–as the people you hang out with. Not that I hang out with safe people, but they’re unsafe in rather different ways.