One of the pitfalls of me being a volunteer from out of town is that I really don’t have a solid idea of where things really are. No real frame of reference between places I’ve been, even though in the past six years I’ve been a lot of places in Minneapolis. And it’s not like I don’t have a good sense of direction. It’s been said of me that I could be dropped blindfolded out of helicopter into the middle of any city and I would find my way out. But knowing where one place is in relation to another, without looking at a map or traveling between the two, is another thing entirely.
I’ve been coming to the Minnesota Fringe Festival for at least six years. I remember the very first year I was here and how confused I was about the city. Some areas seemed really, scary dangerous, especially Uptown. Smack dab in the middle of Uptown was the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Fringe Central was at the Bryant-Lake bowl that year, which meant I had to check in there to buy my button and pick up a schedule of shows before I could start “fringing.” I gingerly drove past a heated argument on the street, parked, picked up my stuff and fled. For the next five years, if a show was at the Bryant-Lake bowl, I skipped it.
But there was another venue called Intermedia Arts that was a nice, peaceful place on a pretty tree-lined street. I hung out there a lot. I liked the “safer” parts of town.
Well, today I drove around to get my bearings, without a map. I got a little bit turned around, and lo and behold! I discovered that the Bryant-Lake Bowl was literally right around the corner from Intermedia Arts.