Summer in the Cities 1998

Let's face it: The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District is a joke. You don't control mosquitoes in Minnesota. You spray them, slap them, zap them, curse them. For all they care, you could blow a surface-to-air missile packed with Off! into their midst and you'd still go crazy in the heat of the night, slapping body parts you didn't know you had until your companion--Mr. Citronella himself--awakened and demanded to know why you're whacking his butt. And let's not even get into backyard barbecues and that magic moment, heralded by the first telltale buzz, when your guests up and shove off without so much as a word of thanks for the painstakingly threaded kebabs.

So forget about control and start thinking blessing. If the Boundary Waters--or, for that matter, Lake Calhoun--had no mosquitoes, imagine the mass migration of wimps who'd weasel their way in, demanding a piece of itch-free paradise. Without those beloved bloodsuckers, Minnesota would be nothing but a cold Arizona. And what about the birds, the fish, and all those other critters that need mosquitoes like we need double-chocolate-chip ice cream? It's time to open ourselves to the oneness of all things, the co-, ahem, inter-dependent web of interconnections that creates the Wonder of Life. It's time to learn to love the bugs.

Right.

Okay, forget love. Control's out. What remains is mitigation or panicked flight. For the latter, check with your travel agent. For the former, don't let go of this issue. In it, we tell you where to go to get bit to the degree of your choice--from a few bumps acquired during a lunchtime picnic to the full-body coverage from a three-day bluegrass blowout. And for those times when the sucking really sucks, we offer a select list of demosquitoized zones where the only things swarming are humans scrambling for a pink bowling ball or the last ticket to the midnight flick.

In the pages that follow we pay tribute to one of the abiding (and bug-free) glories of these Cities: independent and independent-minded movie theaters. Whereas in many cities you'd be hard-pressed to find a cinema with fewer than 16 screens, around here you're rarely more than an easy bike ride away from a vintage art-deco house or a temple of '60s kitsch complete with rocking seats, real butter on the popcorn, and nerve enough to book both Godzilla and Homo Heights.

There's more: Dara Moskowitz reconnoiters the best destinations within 10 miles of your doorstep; the City Pages music staff highlights the shows (indoors and out) you'd be a fool to miss this summer; and our tireless City Lights coordinator has assembled City Pages' most-comprehensive-ever Summer in the Cities guide. Need a course for women anglers? Got a jones to jump out of a plane? Ready for the Crystal Frolics and Blaine Blazes festivals? They're all here. And now you'll excuse us--we have some missiles to attend to.

 
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