Monday, July 7, 2008

And Now...Some Transit News...

Some months ago, I posted about "Small Kindnesses, Weather Permitting", a public artwork for the Hiawatha Light Rail Line in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Basically, these are metal kiosks placed at various LRT stations. Some are audio, some have video, some are broken. Each kiosk delivers commentary on two Minnesota cliches: "Minnesota Nice" and the weather. Click on the link there. The explanation is better than mine, and you can see some photos.

I've been wanting to go and check these out. This weekend, D and I decided to do just that. We didn't go see every kiosk...there are 35 in all and we were distracted by roller coasters and ice cream. We did check out the kiosks at the Fort Snelling Station and Lake Street Station. There are no Kiosks at the Bloomington Central Station (we got off the train and were very disappointed), nor the airport stations, MOA, or the 28th Street Station (we just looked out the window). I guess Bloomington didn't want to get in on the action.

We spent the most time exploring the kiosks at the Fort Snelling station. We were not yet worn out by the roller coasters. The first one was a bit of a disappointment.

You turn the crank, the windshield wiper goes back and forth, and in theory, there should be a video displayed on the screen. No such luck. It was broken.

The second kiosk was very entertaining. It had a snowglobe with a little man inside. You can't tell from this picture, but there was also a little mirror so you can see yourself reflected in the snowglobe.

You turned the handle and the snowglobe would turn over, thus letting it snow! The first thing we heard was what sounded like Johnny Cash singing about Minnesota, but it was actually "The Man in Dark Gray" (whoever that is). Then we heard a nice commentary about the cold and how it is the cold air that makes Minnesotans what they are "polite, layered, inscrutable". Next up was a humorous poem about summer that referred to "the breeding ground that is your underarm". I think it was read by Beth Gilleland. And best of all...a series of commentary by transplants to Minnesota...the best comment of which was:
"It's not that bad but it's horrible overall"
referring to the weather.

We also checked out the kiosks at the Lake Street Station, but I did not find myself as entertained. Apparently, someone else felt the same way.

There was a fun one that you pulled and a ball traveled up a long chute to ring a bell. That was kind of cool.
Plus, I like the long, skinny picture.

So, of 30 some kiosks, we saw #3, #13, #14, #20, #22, and #30. I'll post about the others as we explore them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Not bad, but horrible." That's a very Minnesotan statement.