Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3020 6th St. N Goes Down At Last--!

Today 3020 6th St. N. went down. This place was a notorious house of prostitution and drugs and the subject of frequent posts on this blog, not to mention getting plenty of coverage in the upcoming Adventures of Johnny Northside movie. The demolition was witnessed by...

...myself, former Hawthorne Neighborhood Chair Peter Teachout, Jeff Skrenes (the Hawthorne Neighborhood Housing Director) and Jordan resident Megan Goodmundson. As reported in an earlier blog post, myself and Jeff Skrenes did the "hula by proxy" to commemorate the words of Joyanne Teachout, who said she felt like "doing the hula" in happiness at the evacuation of the "Apartment Complex of Anarchy," which was just down the street. Champagne was also consumed at the scene, in a brown paper bag to keep it legal legal, especially since Fourth Precinct Commander Mike Martin pulled up at the scene.

Unlike the recent and tragic demolition of the Pauline Fjelde house in South Minneapolis, the house at 3020 6th St. North was relatively insubstantial and broke apart like crispy kindling. At one point, a toilet was sideways as though mounted on a wall. Carpeting hung from the newly-split-level layout like a massive stage drape, and the carpet looked like it was pretty nasty even BEFORE the arson.

The crews at the sight informed us the house was considered "haz mat" due to the arson, and put plastic wrapping around the truckloads of debri leaving the sight. One of the crew members informed us that doing a demolition this way--with the haz mat precautions--costs three times as much.

At one point, Jordan resident Tyrone Jaramillo showed up, hoping to get some scrap metal, but had no luck in that regard. (On a side note, Tyrone is a wholesome and honest scrapper with a wife and three kids. If you know of scrap metal needing to be cleaned up, get in touch with Tyrone. The Jaramillos also put on one great Christmas dinner!)

In the window of a house next door, two small Hmong children watched the backhoe in fascination.

The highlight of the day may have been some of the words of Mike Martin, Commander of the Fourth Precinct, who said he came by just to "revel" in the demolition of 3020 6th St. N.

Martin said, only half-jokingly, that the plunging crime rate was going to put him out of a job. I responded to Martin and said something along the lines of, well, what about white collar crime, like mortgage fraud? What about terrorism and theft of intellectual property such as DVD piracy? Hey, once we get all the violent street crime under control, there are still big swathes of crime needing the time of police officers. In fact, the officers will require MORE TRAINING and, being more specialized, will make more money.

The whole time we spoke, the Backhoe of Doom roared in the background.

Later, Jeff and myself went to the house of "the Polish woman" and her husband, who treated us to Polish beer, Polish vodka, and Polish sausage on Polish bread. (There was a theme with the meal, as you may have noticed) Consuming Polish sausage during demolitions in the Eco Village has become a kind of tradition with Jeff and I, though Jeff remarked this was the first time we did it inside, sitting down, with silver wear and plates instead of gnawing the sausage outside.

Yes, I told Jeff, things are really looking up in the Eco-Village.

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