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The Strib Claims Tacos Are Sandwiches

Plus proposed transit security firm's dark record, a theater company calls off its season, and motel signs for sale in today's Flyover.

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It’s really that simple.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Words Have No Meaning

Last week the Star Tribune stated that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey lived in the non-existent neighborhood of “Near Northeast.” A whiff, sure, though hardly a credibility-diminishing one. We’re all human. That said, as humans, we’ve signed onto unofficial social contracts that establish certain universal truths. Chief among them: Tacos are not sandwiches. Try telling that to the newspaper's Taste section. Acting on a tip that came from within the Strib newsroom, we encountered this Twin Cities fish sandwich listicle that, to its credit, acknowledges the premise goes out the window right in the headline. (One entry is from Duluth’s fantastic Northern Waters Smokehaus.)

Things get inexplicably fishy when you the get to the Coastal Seafoods blurb. Writer Sharyn Jackson shares that, yes, the restaurant does offer legitimate sandwiches (salmon Rueben, Nashville hot cobia burger), but she then blows right past those and chooses the grilled fish tacos—which are not sandwiches, by virtue of their being freaking tacos! Nowhere is there a tee-hee explainer telling readers that, because these tacos rule so much, we’re fudging the rules a bit; the paragraph just nakedly thumbs its nose at convention, facts, norms, definitions, and sanity. It’s pure chaos. In fact, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court once ruled that burritos are not sandwiches. Out of respect for you, the reader, we’ll yield that while taco-adjacent, burritos are not tacos... but you get our point.

Our Transit System Has a Drug/Crime Problem... But Are Guards the Solution?

The latest news regarding Minneapolis's beleaguered public transit system: Southwest Voices reports that beginning Thursday, the Uptown Transit Station's indoor waiting room will close, as the Metropolitan Council considers a $6 million contract with the security company Allied Universal. If you're familiar with the name, you might understand why some people aren't super excited about that news—SWV reporter H. Jiahong Pan notes that the company has a long history of controversy that includes guards:

It's unclear exactly how long the station's closure will last; SWV reports that it won't reopen until guards are in place. "It's becoming an unsafe situation," Ryan Timlin, president of Local 1005 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, told the Star Tribune while discussing the Uptown Transit Station. "A lot of the broader social issues are spilling onto the transit system, straining and stressing the system. We need social services to address those issues. There needs to be shelters. Transit can not be shelters."

Park Square Theatre Cancels Its 2023 Season

For over 50 years, Park Square Theatre has brought modern stage productions to St. Paul. Now, its future is up in the air, as the organization has canceled the remainder of its 2023 season in hopes of regrouping in '24 or beyond. “Our desire is to reimagine the theatre in the context of post-COVID-19 realities to assure a successful reopening,” the announcement states. Those post-pandemic realities include low ticket sales (Park Square had already canceled two shows back in December for this reason), less ticket sales from school groups, and struggling to put pre-production money up as a result. The theater will be contacting ticket holders about refunds, though it suggests transferring passes to its current show, The Revolutionists, or donating the refund to the organization. Founded in 1972, Park Square Theatre went brick and mortar in 1975 in the Park Square Court building before moving into its current home in the Historic Hamm Building in 1994.

Wanna Buy a Retro Motel Sign (Or Two)? 

“Iconic” is a silly, overused word, but how else are we going to describe the Aqua City Motel’s distinctive vintage sign? Anyone who has ever driven into Minneapolis on Lyndale Avenue from the south has seen it, drawing their attention to a motel that Trip Advisor commenters have described as “Much better than expected!!!” and warned travelers to “Avoid by all means!” And now you can own it. Hennepin County is auctioning off that sign, along with the sign from the nearby Metro Inn Motel; both properties, are slated to become affordable housing, which Minneapolis desperately needs. The county bought these motels using federal pandemic recovery money and used them previously as temporary housing for at-risk populations. (The Aqua City went for a little under $2 million, if you're curious.) One thing’s for sure—the county is not going to be making much of that back through this auction: Demand for these signs is so far pretty low, with the current high bid on each at $10.

Correction: A previous version of this story said armed guards might soon be patrolling the Uptown Transit Station; they would be unarmed.

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