Cut and run

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August 11, 2003 // UPDATED 11:01 am - April 30, 2007
By: Stephanie Watson
Stephanie Watson

Saying goodbye to summer, and Downtown

I have a confession. An hour before I got that little photo over there taken, I had the brilliant brainstorm that I would cut my own bangs. Look close, and you can tell they're uneven. I cut them so short that they're sticking out, in any case.

But no more: I got my hair chopped off last week. Now, instead of a three-year-old who cut her own hair, I look like a four-year-old Christopher Robin from the old Winne-the-Pooh books. People at work said, "Oh, cute! You got your hair cut for summer!" and I say yes, that's why, but it's not. It's nearly the end of summer anyways.

I just said yes because it was easier than explaining the real reason I bobbed my hair: because I needed to make a big change to the exterior to pay an echo-y sort of homage to all the other changes happening in my life.

Later this month, I'll be starting a new writing assignment with a St. Paul publisher, and moving with my husband from our Downtown apartment to our first house in St. Paul. I'm excited to begin my new job and start living in a house that's all our own. We'll have a garden and lots of space, actual neighbors and a mailbox you don't have to open with a key. Our first few nights there, it will surely seem like a magical mistake not to be sharing a wall with strangers anymore.

It feels sort of hollow, though, because I don't know St. Paul yet. I haven't got a mental map of the streets there like I do of my native Minneapolis. I don't know where the good shopping is over there, or what neighborhoods get sketchy after dark. I'll miss living Downtown. I'll miss being within shouting distance of the Farmer's Market and having the Minneapolis skyline fill up our whole window. I've loved being constantly immersed in the city's energy.

As I walk around Downtown now with my move date looming large, I feel change buzzing through the city. Maybe it was always there and I just didn't tune into it before. Everywhere I look now there are construction projects in their final stages -- the building kitty-corner from our apartment is finally looking close to done. And I've been seeing more enormously pregnant women than I can count, about to welcome the changes that come with a new baby. Marshall's and TJ Maxx have all but cleared out their summer stocks, and refreshed their racks with fall fashions. Caribou even has a new coffee smoothie.

All this talk about change to tell you that this is my last column. Yeah, you'll have to find somebody else to feed you snotty commentary on Downtown. I just can't be a faker for you all and write about my crazy Downtown life from a sleepy St. Paul neighborhood. I know it's just across the river, and they have skyways there too, but the move to St. Paul feels like a bigger journey than to anywhere I've lived before, including Brazil. It's just a whole other world with its own culture and rhythm and Peanuts statues.

So here's to changes! Cheers to new haircuts and jobs and houses! Have a wonderful end of summer!