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BEST SIGN OF SPRING Minneapolis 2006 -

Winter is a miserable time for smokers. You see them huddled in the streets, clinging close to one another, sometimes barely leaning out their office doors. They puff away with alarming alacrity in a race to inhale a satisfying amount of nicotine before the frigid air becomes unendurable. With the thaw, these breaks take on extended proportions. On a magnificent spring day, the entirety of Marquette Avenue is littered with smokers, cluttered around their buildings' entrances, staring at the sky and discussing the glorious weather while sending up noxious clouds. The public area at the Federal Courthouse is an open gallery of puffers lounging in the sun like so many lizards, some laying on the ground next to Tom Otterness's weird little creature statues. Life in the spring is what it should be—a time when work is just a short break between epic marathons of cigarette smoking.

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