From the road…

I mentioned in my last post that I had lost an earlier draft. The reason for that was a squirrely internet connection in my hotel room here in Minneapolis, where I’ve been attending the Organization of American Historians conference. Part of my job is to represent the publisher I work for by at academic conferences, which largely entails chatting with professors and browsing the books of our competitors. Also we typically go out for dinners at very nice restaurants on the company dime. Not a bad way to spend a couple of days really.

So, I blog to you, dear readers, from a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, sipping an Iron Range Amber Lager, which they tell me is brewed by James Page Brewing Co. in Stevens Point, WI, apparently close enough to here to count as a “local” beer according to the room service menu. Happily I fly back to Boston tomorrow and will be able to spend at least part of the weekend with my wife.

I’ve never been to Minneapolis before, but what I’ve seen of it seems pretty nice. I feel like I should’ve made some kind of pilgrimage while I was here since this is a a veritable Mecca of Lutheranism. Of course, I haven’t set foot in a Lutheran church in almost a year, so my credentials may be in danger of expiring. I did stop into a lovely Presbyterian Church near the convention center, though.

I really am fond of the Midwest, at least those parts of it I’ve spent time in. I lived in Indiana for a couple of years and, even though we’ve lived for the past six years on the West and East coasts, we still talk about moving back to the Midwest “someday.” I grew up in Western Pennsylvania among farmers and factory workers and fill more cultural kinship in a lot of ways with the Midwest, even though I may not technically be from the Midwest in the geographic sense. On the other hand, one gets a little spoiled living in cultural hubs where there’s a lot going on. I do sometimes fear that I’ve become some sort of horrible East Coast yuppie snob and that I would actually find living anywhere else intolerable, though I hope that’s not true! (Of course, if I was really a yuppie you’d think I’d make a little more money…) For what it’s worth, Minneapolis – at least what I’ve seen of it – seems pretty cosmopolitan with lots of nice restaurants, shops, and all the other amenities of modern globalized cities. Whether that’s a good or bad things depends on your point of view, of course.

Oh, and on the corner of the street my hotel’s on there’s a statue of Mary Tyler Moore. How cool is that?

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