The Linden Hills neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis is not crime-free, but isn't far from it, either.
Minneapolis Police statistics from summer 2017 reveal a three-month grand total of 39 major crimes reported -- or less than half what some other neighborhoods experienced in a single month.
A few years back, a serial car burglar committed a rash of break-ins... only, he wasn't breaking anything, just popping open vehicles' unlocked doors. The episode caused one commentator to state, worriedly: "If we all lock our cars we'll send you somewhere else and somehow that doesn't feel right either."
So, yeah. It's that kind of neighborhood. Indeed, some might be surprised to learn the area's got any graffiti at all.
Until they get a look at it. Turns out, it's pretty much what you expect.
MinnPost reporter Greta Kaul moonlights in a community orchestra, which recently decided to take a group photo before a performance at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Band members gathered on the vintage trolley car that runs from Harriet to Bde Maka Ska and back.
While passing under a bridge, Kaul and other players noticed the graffiti tag above them. As she recalls, they "marveled at its cryptic nature."
Graffiti on the mean streets of Linden Hills pic.twitter.com/GHSY8FsFoK— Greta Kaul (@gretakaul) May 31, 2018
"It's like Mona Lisa," Kaul says. "What does it even mean, you know?"
What is it about that soundtrack that inspires not only devotion, but vandalism? Kaul, a musician herself, can't say. ("Was that movie even good?" she wonders.)
As with other franchises, the Shrek sequel went heavy on well-known standards -- "Funkytown," David Bowie's "Changes," "Holding Out for a Hero" -- that would trigger nostalgia for the parents of kids just in it for talking animals and ogres.
The album also featured the original Counting Crows song "Accidentally in Love," and a cover of "Livin' la Vida Loca" performed by Eddie Murphy (as Donkey) and Atonio Banderas (as Puss in Boots).
Here, listen to that.
How does that song make you feel? Like committing a property crime?
The graffiti Kaul spotted raises a baffling question of identity. Of the people who've seen Shrek 2, and who really, really loved the music... how many are also the kind of person who'd go tagging under a bridge? One, at most, right?
Whoever it is, they frequent southwest Minneapolis. Suspect will probably be inordinately cheerful, with a high possibility of some green paint splatters visible, and may be known to hum "Holding Out for a Hero" while in line at the Linden Hills Co-Op.
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