Saturday, November 21, 2009

We're Not In Kansas (or Cincinnati) Anymore

I love funky stuff.

Funky people, funky events, funky places - I absolutely eat that shit up with a spoon. Give me a day in the Village or Cambridge or Camden Town or anyplace with vintage boutiques, ethnic and vegetarian eateries and a crowd of outrageous dye jobs, and I am a blissed out, happy girl.

On rare occasions, I've been known to expose a bit of the funky depths of my persona. Thinking back through the chronicles of my life, I remember a tongue ring, chunky lugged black shoes, overly tweezed skinny eyebrows, black shirts, black pants, black skirts, black everything.

I certainly wasn't Goth or a cutter or cool enough to know about The Jesus and Mary Chain; like I said, funky is just a facet of my persona - I aspire to be more funky each and every day.

It wasn't always that way.

My parents met and married in the Twin Cities. They moved around a bit and returned to Minneapolis with a blonde, ringleted girl in tow (me) and another on the way.

After about four years of living near Lake Minnetonka, we packed up the house and headed south to Cincinnati - home of Johnny Fever and the rest of the gang. That was my exclusive knowledge base about Cincinnati when I was six - it wasn't really a draw in my book.

But I digress.

Fast forward a couple years. When I was, oh, about eight or so, and Brigid was five or six, we all took a family vacation up to Minnesota. It was an opportunity to see my Duluth-based grandparents, spend some time in several of the 10,000 lakes and catch up with my parents' old Twin Cities friends.

During this particular trip, my parents decided to cruise us through Uptown, which is probably the funkiest neighborhood in Minneapolis. It was a summer evening in 1985, and there we were, rolling through an urban jungle full of vibrantly colored mohawks, studded leather jackets and other eccentric fashion selections.

It was at this point in the adventure when I was quoted as exclaiming, "Oh my God. This is scary. Lock the doors!"

According to legend, my father looked at my mother and said, "Looks like we've been in Cincinnati too long."

I guess the homogenization of Cincinnati's suburbs had rubbed off on me - and I was frightened by the unknown. Granted, I was raised by a woman who took plays directly out of The Official Preppy Handbook, but my parents were open minded people and I guess a little shocked their little girls didn't feel comfortable with the unorthodox.

Time marched on and I am grateful my parents took many other opportunities to expose us to funky. I am SO grateful for that. My life wouldn't be what it is today if I didn't love the funky.

Here's to hoping we can make Cincinnati a little funkier.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Unknown said...

I love Uptown in Mpls (and all the funky people there) - and am a personal fan of 'funky' too. That's just one of the reasons I enjoy following you on Twitter, seeing you at events and just knowing Kate-the-Great. Keep sharing your funky life with us!

chrisgraves said...

Agreed. Although if you head back there are some way funky, cool places spring up in Northeast Mpls. and I could tour you a couple places over St. Pauli way.
Love funk and stuff too.