Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Curious. I live 45 minutes from the small city of Dickinson, but I've never explored the south side of town. Until last night. My friend Dale and I were looking for a place to eat and, since we weren't too hungry yet, decided to cross the tracks and search for historic houses. (Dale's the Director of Preservation North Dakota and is a building geek.) I'm guessing that the south side of Dickinson is where the Ukrainians and Bohemians live. The houses reminded me of those in Pittsburgh or some working class corner of Chicago. My favorite store was Rosie's, an old convenience store that had an area in back for foosball, Pac Man, and Asteroids. They sell fishing bait and tons of Polka cassette tapes. You have to see the music racks to believe it.

Also on the south side of Dickinson is undoubtedly North Dakota's most amazing Thai food restaurant. It's small--about the size of my bedroom--and is called Upin. It's been open three weeks. The woman who runs it is originally from Chang Mai, Thailand, and makes everything from scratch--pickled eggs, curry, pad thai, egg rolls. She even grows her own chili plants, and they double as decoration. Oddly, she has decorated the walls with big pizza posters (or more likely has not yet taken them down from the venue's previous incarnation).

Whoever thinks that Dickinson is boring needs to drive south across the train tracks.

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