I’ve spent fifteen years and three months working at the University of Minnesota, but am leaving next week. I decided I needed to hit all my favorite cheap eats places one last time, but a combination of cold weather and flagging interest in the project keeps sending me back to the sandwich place on the corner of 14th Ave SE and 4th St SE. It’s part of a chain but has been localized for charm: University paraphernalia hanging up, and a wall dedicated to a fellow named Bobby Zimmerman who used to busk that corner and lived in an apartment above the drug store across the street. He dropped out of college and moved to New York City and changed his name to Dylan and became a bona fide legend.
They have live music during the lunch hour, an endless and indistinguishable string of long-haired young men with acoustic guitars, playing for tips. They will usually work a Dylan song into the mix of Jack Johnson and Jay Farrar and other staples of the 2011 play-for-tips sandwich shop guitarist, and if the song is sufficiently old, it might have been born right there on 14th and 4th fifty years ago. Today’s guy was better than most; he had a good voice and didn’t miss any chords and seemed to know what the lyrics meant.
The sandwich was excellent, as always. I’ll kind of miss that place.