Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 29 July 2011

Grand Forks, North Dakota

On the Red River

   With about 50.000 people, Grand Forks is the 3rd largest city in North Dakota, after Fargo and Bismarck.

The population appears remarkably homogenous, with 92% of the population from the following five European ancestry groups:

    About 4% of the balance is native American, with a smattering of other ethnic groups.

    Grand Forks boasts a fine Art Museum at the Campus of the University of North Dakota and 32 public tennis courts, which seems to be an extremely  high ratio of courts per capita, especially since the temperature drops below minus 40 degrees five months each year (that's about the same temperature in both Fahrenheit and Centigrade).

    I was up 5-1 against Mrs. Phred this morning, but she came back and won the next six games.

    We're staying at a lovely State Park on the Red River. It's a short walk over a bridge to downtown Grand Forks. The park was historic housing until the great flood of 1997. After the flood, the State decided that the best use of the land was for a park and campground.

    It's a city that Norman Rockwell could have painted. The great flood and fire of 1997 gave them a shot at urban renewal that few places experience. At high noon, instead of air-raid sirens, carillion church bells (Lutheran?) play "My Country 'tis of Thee".

    We had dinner at the Blue Moose last night. Mrs. Phred had tapas and red wine. I had a salad and Long Island Iced Tea. I want to see Cowboys and Aliens at the 15 unit multiplex a few steps from the campground. I like this little city as much as anyplace we've ever been in the world.


    There is a lot of the grand old 1920s pre-depression housing available close to downtown and the University.

     We'll be here awhile.  I'll be subtly working on Mrs. Phred to buy a summer place. Grand Forks is just South of Winnipeg and 100 miles North of Fargo (one of my favorite movies).

    The '97 flood and fire followed a winter that had eight named blizzards that dumped 100 inches of snow. The fire that started at the height of the flood burned many city blocks of the downtown area. It took up to three months for the residents to be able to return and for clean drinking water to be restored. Many new levees and berms have been built to prevent a recurrence.

    1 comment:

    1. Nice...sort of a home away from home..
      so how subtle are you:) sil